Sunday, June 17

Dear Diary:Monday June 11th

I'd turned in by 8pm the previous evening driven inside the tent by the midges. Early morning saw the views into the valley shrouded in mist with the promise of another sweltering day. Unfortunately the lack of wind meant the midge irritation was still a problem, so after a brief coffee by Blind Tarn it is was back to the tent and a quick pack away before crossing the foot of the old quarry working to pick up the track down to Walna Scar Road (clearly visible on the pictures on my previous post)

A brief stop at the bridge to take on fresh water supplies (the only strongly flowing source I'd found on this route)

With the fine weather all the Tarns visited so far, and many of the other water sources, were all looking at very low levels, which meant all tarn water was treated as suspect and boiled where necessary.

The bridge was a welcome source, just off the route to Goats Water, one of the best flows I'd found to date, and refreshing in the heat. Plenty of wildcamp spots nearby as well. Something for the future maybe, a good spot to dump the pack and take to the local fells with a daypack.

A final look back up towards the Dow Crag/Old Man horseshoe, and then it was time to head towards Coniston to arrive around 10:00. The trip from Walna Scar car park , back down the hill, felt if anything worse than the ascent such was the steepness of this section. Definitely a pull on the quad muscles by the time I reached The Sun Hotel at the bottom.

With another sweaty session now complete it was time for the next step.

Bus hopping to Keswick this time for a much needed shower, and some rehydration assisted by retail therapy for the rest of the day.

And so to Keswick YHA where the delight of the long anticipated shower was mitigated somewhat by the discovery of a fellow traveller who by the look of their size had recently hitched a lift, most likely from Blind Tarn.

First call after the clean-up was the local pet shop for a tick removal tool to add to my First Aid kit (after it was tested out of course) Next stop, the chemist for the smallest tube of antiseptic cream I could find to also add to the kit.

With all the years I've spent in the hills this was the first tick I've ever managed to acquire. Along with the noticeable midge problem the weather seems to have brought all the little buggers out in force this year. It'll be interesting to see how the summer season pans out on that score.

Keswick, as always, promises lots and delivers much less.

Attempting to source an extra Platypus container, to increase my water carrying capacity the next day, took 7 shop visits; A simple 100g gas replacement - another 3. Luckily there is plenty of choice in the town. It's just a pity most is aimed at the car camper, day-tripper market.

But at least the obligatory visit to the pasty shop never disappoints.

You'd think the town was ripe for a lightweight specialist shop, but looking at the competition and recent change of shop usage since my last visit late 2006, I suspect local commercial pressures wouldn't let it flourish for long.

Alas it occurred to me too late to drop into George Fisher on this visit, the heat and humidity becoming too much to just keep wandering around, so it was back to the YHA with some cold fluid and a good book to while away a few hours do by the river, in the shade of the trees in the park opposite.

And later, a couple of pints and a steak to feed the inner man.

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