Day 5: 15.09.20 - Who knew a paddle in the lake could be so ‘awesome’.
Updated: Oct 2
We woke at 6.30am to the sound of silence here on Crookabeck Farm, refreshed and ready to take on whatever the day had in store for us. Breakfast wasn’t until 8am so we spent the next hour and a half by a) sorting out the blog b) rearranging our bags c) sorting out the ‘larder’ (this being our two bags of foodstuffs) d) tidying the bedroom and e) general M&A faffing about! I must say the bedroom is quite large and well furnished, and although there’s lots of drawer space it does lack a wardrobe and some hooks to hang things up on. Marvin and I commandeerd the double bed whilst Maice has to contend with the single bed, but both are extremely comfortable. We’re also lucky to have our very own lounge area where Adam will be serving our breakfast.
To be honest we didn’t really have a clue where we were staying when we booked the B&B so it’s a real bonus to find ourselves in the middle of nowhere and fairly remote but just a ten to fifteen minute walk into Patterdale and another 10 minute walk to Glenridding. It means we can walk everywhere without needing to take the car thereby saving us money in petrol as we still need to clawback the cost of our speeding ticket! They also rear there own Angora Goats and Herdwick sheep and have a farm shop selling clothes made from the wool........fortunately it’s not been open since we’ve been here else we may have needed to purchase an item or two!!
After a lovely breakfast cooked by Adam, we got down to the business of completing the blog. Us ‘professional bloggers’ have a duty to our audience, our fan base, our followers, all 75 of them, (which we know is small, but from little acorns) to ensure our blogs are posted in a timely manner! Maice had managed to select and titivate some of the photos last night but I didn’t start writing the blog until 6.30am this morning and time was moving on. Thing is, us writers just can’t be hurried. If you want quality you have to wait, and as we know, all good things come to those who wait.
After much faffing about, not just with the blogging but getting ourselves organised we finally posted the blog, packed our backpacks and asked Adam for directions to Glenridding. We initially wanted to take the Ullswater Steamer to the other side of the lake and then walk back from there but we hadn’t booked in advance and they were full so we opted for Plan B, which was to walk to Aira Force, a waterfall about five miles up the west coast of the lake. It was 10.45am by the time we finally left Crookabeck and started our walk to Aira Force. A few minutes down the lane we crossed a small stone bridge where Maice started chatting to a local fisherman, asking what was he hoping to catch and if he’d actually caught anything yet. Apparently he was hoping to catch some trout, but as with most fishermen, luck wasn’t on his side and he’d caught diddly squat. We’ve decided that from now on we’re going to speak and chat to all the locals because we felt really bad that we hadn’t had time to speak to the very lovely people at Carnforth Museuem yesterday. Well we couldn’t could we, as we were trying to avoid getting a parking ticket.
We left our fisherman friend still hoping for his big catch of the day and ended up half a mile down the road at the Patterdale Hotel, in Patterdale, drinking cappuccinos on the lawn. I know we hadnt ventured far but we decided a regroup was in order to study the map, get our bearings and see exactly where we were headed. Not being the best map readers it did take a while to locate our destination due to the map being almost as big as Maice but we eventually found it and with that we set off. Ten minutes later, having battled through the large number of tourists dawdling along the pavement we found ourselves at the tourist information centre at Glenridding asking to be pointed in the right direction for the path to Aira Force. A quick loo stop was necessary but can you believe they were charging 30p for the privilege. We know it’s for a good cause but 30p!! Of course, not carrying any cash on us we didn’t have 60p in coins, but we read the notice and how fortunate for us that they took contactless payments. Can you believe that…..using contactless for a 30p pee? We pity the poor accounts officer who has to reconcile all those 30p transactions through the finance system! Honestly, it was such a malaver.
It was now almost 12.30pm and we’d only ventured two miles. What was up with us? We could only put it down to the weather which was by now very warm and extremely muggy. The walk took us along the edge of the lake, which was looking resplendent and very photogenic and we stopped off at a small cove which we think, when we consulted the very large map was called Mossdale Bay. The view from here was lovely…..ah, if only we’d brought our swimming costumes with us, we could have been enticed in for a swim.
We continued on, following the Ullswater Way marker signs which took us across the road and soon we were following the path through the countryside. We were walking quite slowly today, ambling, rather than at our usual tempo but after our banana break we seemed to acquire some much needed energy and found ourselves moving at a much faster pace.
We were told the walk from Glenridding to Aira Force would take us an hour but so far we’ve been walking for almost two! The first thing we did when we arrived was to don our facemasks and join the queue for the loo. Best go now, as we didn’t know how far up the hill we’d need to walk before we came to the waterfalls. The walk up was shady and cool and we could hear the roar of the falls and see the stream down below us. As we were negotiating the steep stone steps we came across a couple who’d stopped for a breather and we said hello. Well, after five minutes we knew everything about them, she, having regaled us with their life history and then they ‘attached’ themsleves to us and proceeded to walk with us to the falls. We needed to take action to try and shake them off by walking faster, but they too walked faster and were right on our tail until eventually we shot off down the steps at a very fast pace and finally lost them. We don’t mind chatting to people but there’s chatting and then there’s ‘chatting’!
We must say how like Canada we’re finding the Lake District only on a smaller scale and the waterfall is no different. It looks very ‘Canadian’………it’s just on a smaller scale than those you’d see in Canada. Having viewed said waterfall we made our way back to the carpark, following the big white arrows denoting the one-way system that was in operation and seemed to be walking further away from our intended destination. We ended up asking a couple if we were headed in the right direction and they confirmed that, no, we weren’t so we about turned, found the correct path and finally made it down to the Ullswater Way again. On the way down we found a bench where we sat and ate our lunch……soggy cheese, spinach, tomato and hummus finger rolls, crisps, dried apricots and an energy bar. We even saw, although we heard it first, an Apache helicopter flying over the lake. If only we’d had time to get our cameras out, but alas it was too quick.
We regrouped back at the toilets and gave ourselves a talking to. ‘We’ve got to walk a bit faster’ we told ourselves, and with that we set off on a route march back to Mossdale Bay where we sat on some rocks, took off our shoes and socks and paddled in the lake. It was gorgeous and so refreshing. If only we’d brought our swimming costumes. We did contemplate stripping down to our bra and knickers but then we thought we’d have a soggy bottom for the rest of the walk home so we discounted that idea and decided we were definitely going to go for a swim when we were in Iona, whatever the weather……we were going in! It was now almost 5pm and the lake was ultra calm, it was very serene and had that etheral aura to it. It was beautiful. It was so peaceful sitting there with our feet in the water until…….WHOOOSH! The peace was shattered by not one, but two fighter jets hurtling down the lake. They were amazing. Fortunately we had our cameras at the ready as we’d heard some rumblings in the distance and guessed they might appear. We’ve so chuffed we even managed to video them as they made their fly-by. What a fab end to another wonderful day……only the day hasn’t ended yet. What we fancy now is a cold, crisp bottle of white wine. Quick, best get a move on!
We walked ever so quickly back to Glenridding……it’s a bit like dangling the carrot in front of the horse, only in our case it was the bottle of wine in front of M&A! At Glenridding we followed the sign to the pub, the Travellers Rest, which according to the sign was just 600m up the lane, only we couldn’t find it so we ended up at the Glenridding Hotel and enjoyed a gorgeous bottle of wine, a pizza and a hallumi superfood salad, al-fresco overlooking the stream. Here we were sitting outdoors, in the Lake District, the sun just starting to go down and it was still warm. Beautiful! Over supper Maice decided to check her horoscope to see what the day had in store, albeit the day was almost over. Honestly, what a load of drivel…….it didn’t come close to what she’d done today and when she read mine out that was just as bad. She’s been banned from reading them from now on!! Honestly, I ask you!
We wandered home, taking lots of photos of the setting sun over the mountains. The sky was beautiful, the air was calm and the views were tremendous. Mother Nature at her finest.
It’s been another fabulous day with lots of walking, lots of sightseeing and lots of photos. I think between us we’ve taken just over 200 photos, and that’s just today! The piece de resistance however was witnessing the two fighter jets do a fly-by over the lake. Truly awesome!
We’ve got to pack tonight as we resume our road trip tomorrow. We’re off to Oban to meet up with the Scottish contingent and then the following day we’re off to the Isle of Iona. Let’s hope the weather is as kind to us in Scotland as it has been here in the Lake District.