I’ve just got back from a weekend away with my long suffering husband. We were actually away for two nights and one full day only but it did me good. We went to Keswick, which I now believe is the best place in England. We stayed in a nice B & B and I was able to get myself re-habilitated from my humiliating and traumatic experience on the Pap of Glencoe.
Right, lets start with our journey up to Keswick. It was only remarkable because we were overtaken on the M6 by a Ford Focus ST or, as Jeremy Clarkson would have it, a Ford ASBO. Okay, that’s not remarkable, we get overtaken by all sorts, including bicycles, but this Ford ASBO owner has a registration plate that reads ASBO from a distance. We were debating whether this is owned by somebody who works for Ford or if somebody had seen the chance early on and had got the car and registration plate of his dreams. We were probably debating it until we got our first view of Windermere.
When we drove through Ambleside, my LSH (long suffering husband) pointed out The Glasshouse Restaurant. I have to admit, I’m only interested because I watched the episode on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and I still cringe at the Chef saying “Sex on a spoon!” – yeuch, horrible!!!
Some more magnificent scenery later and we drove into Keswick. After a little farting about and a brief visit to Castlerigg Stone Circle (see below), we checked into the B & B.
After that we went to see the Bowderstone. I really like the Bowderstone. It’s like a bumble bee (follow the link); it doesn’t know it should not be able to stand on an edge so it does it anyway.
I had to take the picture from the “B-side” because there was a lunatic climber trying to claim up the overhang and I didn’t want him in the picture. I did get a rather nice Border Collie in though – he’s on the left about halfway up, by the way. Completely by accident but I think it makes the picture more charming.
Then we went into Keswick and got me a hat (absolutely necessary to stop my hair blowing in my face all the time) and a new rucsac (not absolutely necessary but we wanted it).
Well, after that, we went back to the B & B and later we walked into Keswick and had tea and a few drinks. We ate in the Bank Tavern, which I can recommend heartily. It has a good selection of Jennings ales; I had Cocker Hoop – 4.6%, light ale and absolutely brilliant (Sex in a glass?), LSH had Sneck Lifter – 5.2%, dark and delicious (drunkenness in a glass). I had Cumberland Pie with a huge salad and he had Cumberland Sausages and Hickory Smoked Sausages with mash and veg. The food was very, very good; the beer was magnificent. At the end of the evening, we walked back to the B & B, me giggling inanely and telling him rubbish jokes and him not laughing at them. What Larks!
The next morning, I was hungover but still game for a bit of fell walking. We had a hearty breakfast, courtesy of our hosts at the B & B, and off we went. He had decided to go up Castle Crag and, in view of my bad head, this did not seem a bad idea.
It was a great walk.
Then after some climbing, we came to a part of the walk where the landscape almost looked alien. It was all jagged and inspired me to come out with the phrase that gave rise to the title of this blog: “I love this bit, it’s all hard and sharp places”.
We had already had a view of Castle Crag earlier on in the walk but I managed to get a picture of it just a bit further up the hill. Now, I apologise if it looks wonky (it does to me and I’ve done a bit of editing and rotating but I can’t get it to look right) but I suspect that Castle Crag is just that – wonky. But then, you wouldn’t want it to look all straight and uniform. That wouldn’t be natural now, would it?
The views from the top were spectacular. I just wish my photos were but it was windy and most of them are blurred or plain camera shook, which is a real shame. I did manage to find this amongst them:
The views at the top were not spectacular. This one is of me and I’ve made it very small because I am pulling the most ridiculous face imaginable. I’d like to pretend it was the wind and the cold that made me look like that… It was the wind and the cold that made me look like that. I had my new hat on so you can’t see the blue streaks in my hair, the new rucsac on my back and my trusty walking stick in my right hand. It was very cold indeed but I was happy.
You will all be pleased to know that I made it down again in one piece and I did not once sit down and refuse to move until I was rescued by Mountain Rescue. My left knee hurt a bit (it always does) and I noticed that I have a left hip and left elbow – that side of my body is wearing out faster than the right side – but otherwise I reached the bottom in full health.
One thing I did notice is when I’m going uphill – especially scrambling (a mild form of climbing), I’m very much left-legged – I lead with my left. Coming downhill and doing the reverse of scrambling, I’m right-legged. I’m not sure if this is because my left knee can’t take too much jolting and I’ve made allowances for this since my fell-walking career began or if I’ve always done that but not noticed. Hmmm, interesting.
Well, after that, we went back to the B & B and then went into Keswick for our tea and another drink. This time I drove so I stayed on the fruit based drinks. We ate in another pub, The Oddfellow’s Arms, which also sells Jennings (but not my favourite, Cocker Hoop – I had Mountain Man instead) and the food there is very good too. I stayed sober, my LSH did not and he fell asleep in front of Match of the Day later.
So, I’m glad to say that the weekend went very well indeed and I’m not longer a wimp when it comes to fell walking. Sharp Edge, here I come!