Day 48: 10 May 2014; Grange to Scales

Day 48: 10 May 2014; Grange to Scales
Walk descriptor LEJOG2014 Day 48
Date Sat 10 May 2014 Start to end time 08h 49m
Start point Grange End point Scales
Miles today 21.05 Cu miles 894.65
Ft today 3,091 Cu ft 128,076
Route miles left 598.62 Route ft left 72,219
Today’s weather Rain almost all day, varying from heavy drizzle to torrential downpours. Glimpses of sun in morning and evening. Light westerly wind. Approx 13C
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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’m not really a morning person so when my alarm goes off at 6:30 I’m not usually full of the joys of spring. This morning I was particularly reluctant to get out of my sleeping bag – probably because I’d managed to get nice and warm inside it, and partly because the rain was beating down with especial enthusiasm this morning. A quick peek into the porch area revealed the now-familiar sight of water lapping at the base of my tent and this just compounded my reluctance to get up.

Anyway, I eventually galvanised myself and managed to have breakfast in bed (chocolate milk and flapjack), and get my rucksack entirely packed, without actually leaving the tent at all. I then disassembled the tent and set off for the trek to Scales farm, on the far North East of the Lake District. This was quite a long hike – over 20 miles – with a long climb up the flanks of Skiddaw. But I’d arranged to meet Chris Woolhouse and his girlfriend (both Scout leaders, going to the Japan Jamboree) in Keswick on the way, and I was keen to get started early.

The walk along the shores of Derwentwater was delightful. Mostly rainy, but occasional brighter spells which turned the fresh beech and birch tree leaves into flashes of iridescent green. The azaleas were at their most stunning, with a spectrum of colours from red, purple, and orange to almost-blue. I made good progress to Keswick and was there just before 10. One day I am going to surprise myself by going into a café and having a salad and some fruit, but today was not that day so once a suitable café had been located, I had a bacon roll and millionaire’s shortbread (thanks Chris!) before setting off again.

It was another of those cagoule-on – cagoule-off days, when the moment you take it off it rains again and you have to stop and put the clammy wet waterproof back on again. We followed the Cumbria Way up to the East of Skiddaw, until we reached the remote Youth Hostel at Skiddaw House. I’ve not had much luck with Youth Hostels lately. When I’ve tried to stay – either they are closed or fully booked. And today was no exception – I’d hoped we might be able to shelter in the Hostel common room to have our lunch, but it was all locked up and nobody was about.

On leaving the hostel, Chris and his girlfriend retraced their steps to Keswick and I walked down the lonely Mosedale Valley to Mungrisdale and then up to the fantastic Scales Campsite near Hutton Roof. This is a lovely little campsite, and the proprietors have waived their overnight charge and allowed me to use their own shower room to get washed after today’s exertions. So all in all, a great day, with lots of good company, rounded by excellent hospitality at the campsite. More than made up for the spirit-dampening rain!!”

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
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I don’t exactly know what this thing is but it decided to pay me a visit in my tent this morning. I decided to evict it PDQ Stunning azaleas along the shores of Derwentwater filled the air with scent – quite heady when mixed with the aromatic pine forest
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Sculpture of huge wooden hands decorated the lakeside path this morning A rare gimpse of sun turned the beech trees into an almost dazzling blaze of emerald
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Ah yes the famous Pencil Museum of Keswick. A must on rainy days and high on the tourist trail alongside the Bakelite museum. Sadly the sign appears to show that the possibly slightly more exciting James Bond museum has closed With Chris Woolhouse on the slopes of Skiddaw. Chris is a Cumbria Scout Unit leader for the Japan Jamboree and it was great to have company on this remote stretch of the hike
This mountain is Blencathra – on a clear day, one of the finest in the Lakes. It’s also for sale at the moment, for £1.75million. Same as a 1 bedroom flat in London.
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
Solid line blue