Day 46: 08 May 2014; Windermere to Langdale
|Date||Thu 08 May 2014||Start to end time||08h 47m|
|Start point||Windermere||End point||Langdale|
|Miles today||16.91||Cu miles||857.09|
|Ft today||3,220||Cu ft||120,551|
|Route miles left||628.88||Route ft left||78,081|
|Today’s weather||Dull and overcast in morning. Light showery rain in afternoon. No sun. Very little wind. About 13C|
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
|GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)
“I love the Lake District! Even though the driving rain on my approach from Kendal yesterday did its best to dampen my spirits, I reckon that in almost any weather the Lakes are lovely. And today was no exception.
After a comfortable night in my B&B in Windermere, I set off under threatening skies to walk to my next overnight campsite, in Langdale. It was one of those days that was particularly hard to dress for. Not in a fashion sense, but in a keeping warm and dry sense. If it’s raining, you always get wet, no matter what you are wearing – waterproofs keep you dry to certain extent but inevitably get sweaty and leaky – their main function is to keep the wind off. So if it starts to rain, it’s a toss-up between whether it’s better just to keep going and get wet with rain, or put waterproofs on and get wet with sweat. Normally, in light rain I prefer the former, unless it’s very cold or windy, because you get less smelly. Today was tricky because it was only raining lightly when I set off, but looking threatening. I decided to put waterproofs on and then immediately made the 1000 ft climb up Orrest Head, during which it hardly rained at all. This guaranteed that by the time I arrived in Ambleside, I was absolutely saturated in sweat, which was most unpleasant. I think the lesson should be to keep adjusting clothing – even if it means taking time to put waterproofs on and off, it’s a good investment in comfort.
The views along the route were excellent, but the day really perked up in Ambleside when I met Steven Judge – he works for the Scouts and looks after media relations in the North of England. He took some photos and presented me with a proper Scouts’ neckerchief and a T-shirt (which I had to have sent to my home address, as I couldn’t carry the weight!). We then visited a local sports shop, Gaynor’s, where I bought a new Thermarest sleeping mat to replace my old one, which was leaking from the inflation valve. Rod, the helpful assistant, adjusted my rucksack for me, and it’s now carrying a bit more comfortably. Thanks, Rod!
I enjoyed a fantastic cup of tea and bacon roll with Steven and he explained how he was also a para-triathlete and in fact had been world champion twice in the last few years. What an inspiring chap! Really put a spring in my step for the rest of the day.
On leaving Ambleside, I climbed up to Loughrigg Terrace, which offers some of the most accessible, and stunning, views in Lakeland. I had planned my route to take me up to the high ridge above Langdale from Loughrigg and would have happily taken the elevated route, because of the views it offered, despite it being a completely unnecessary diversion from the shortest LEJOG route. However, I could see heavy rain approaching down the valley and after about a nanosecond’s thought, I changed my mind and took a valley floor route instead, following the Cumbria Way up Langdale to the campsite near Old Dungeon Ghyll.
Tonight I’m in the National Trust Langdale campsite, which is one of the better ones I’ve stayed at – only £5.50 to backpackers and unlimited hot showers. Fab! Now having macaroni cheese in the pub, made with Mrs Kirkham’s Tasty Lancashire which in my view is the best cheese in the world. Stocking up on calories for ascent of Scafell pike tomorrow.
All this is why I love the Lake District!”