Day 46: 08 May 2014; Windermere to Langdale

Day 46: 08 May 2014; Windermere to Langdale
Walk descriptor LEJOG2014 Day 46
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
IMG_1008 IMG_1007
Today’s location
(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!”

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
IMG_9571 IMG_9588
On the summit of Orrest Head – superb views looking North up Windermere towards Ambleside Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. The grass really is blue. With bluebells
IMG_9598 IMG_9617
One of my native habitats is mountain tops. My other is greasy sppons. This one in Ambleside served particularly excellent bacon rolls and giant mugs of tea. Note the Scouts’ neckerchief, courtesy of Steven Judge Looking towards Langdale from Loughrigg Terrace
IMG_9628 IMG_9635
Herdwick sheep with lambs. Weirdly they seem to be born with black hair which goes grey when they reach adulthood. A bit like people, really I had been planning to take a high level route up Langdale but the evident imminent deluge over the Langdale Pikes soon dispelled that daft idea
A panorama from Loughrigg Terrace over Skelwith Bridge. From here it’s almost impossible not to get a great view – no matter where you look
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
Solid line blue