A very wordy blog today with 3 lessons:
- Changing you mind can sometimes be a good thing
- The devil is always in the details
- Sometimes what you think is going to be horrible turns out to be brilliant
Let me explain. In yesterday’s blog I was preparing to go up-and-over from Rosthwaite to Grasmere. Just before we went to bed we caught a news item on the Lakeland Mountain Rescue. One of their tenets was not to travel high fells on your own unless you know the route well. Guess who didn’t sleep well, endlessly weighing up the odds; good weather, not too far, route not familiar, walking alone, phone coverage not known, what if Hazel doesn’t have a phone signal, boring and dangerous main road!
In the end I woke up with a clear decision that safety has to be top priority so the road option, although unappealing, was the choice. Feeling a bit miserable over breakfast (was I being a wimp?), I mentioned my dilemma to the guest house owner. A short conversation later and my spirits were lifted. The first 1.5 miles was indeed down the A591, but there was a pavement, so quite safe and not too much traffic. Then came a footpath that followed the road but set back a bit. Better. The path led to a minor road that took me down the west bank of Thirlmere (the opposite side to the main road). Almost no traffic and beautiful scenery in great weather. Walking doesn’t get much better.
When the road ended at the far end of Thirlmere I had to do a couple of miles on the A591 but it was wide with plenty of room to walk on the verge. I met Hazel in Grasmere for a late lunch then onto more footpaths around Grasmere and Rydal Water, finally emerging into Ambleside. So, I was expecting a bad day and got a great one because I changed my mind.
As for the devil in the detail, I am embarrassed to say that I skimped on my planning. When I considered the A591 option I simply tracked it from Keswick to Ambleside, which cut across 2 maps. Unfortunately these 2 maps did not share a border. There was 11k missing; in fact I missed the whole Thirlmere area, hence my wrong assumption that it was 16 miles of road, road, road.
I should also say that I wandered lonely as a cloud today. Yes, we are in Wordsworth country. Hazel spent a short while at Dove cottage but intends to go back for a longer visit.
Final thoughts for the day:
- The weather looks like it might cool down a bit over the next few days.
- Good luck to the couple we chatted to over dinner. Get that next sky dive booked 🙂
- Some odd bits of humour in the 3 photos below.