Sunday, June 17

Dear Diary:Wednesday June 13th (13:00)

A 06:00 start, still amongst the clouds but the midges have found me out again despite the poor visibility. And I thought I'd hidden away so well. Curses!

Around 11.30 last night there were a number of repetitive thumps, like that of fence posts being hammered into the ground. A few minutes of this on/off intermittent noise was followed by a very loud yell. With Castle Crag at the junction of 3 valleys it was impossible to tell from which direction the noise had come, and I stayed warm and dry inside the tent. Not going out there!

Alone on a hill fort, site of old quarry workings, and a war memorial to boot it had its spookier moments. Add in the noises from infrequent slips of loose slate, on the only approach to the top (down to the rain I hoped!) it should have made for a restless night if I'd let my imagination run away with me. And thinking back to Coniston I recall a number of very large explosions (fireworks?) somewhere to the east of Coniston water just before midnight on Sunday.

They don't tell you about this in the 'joys of wildcamping' articles (lol) Strange things can happen after dark in these parts.

A rapid descent, in the dry for the moment, following the valley route north to Grange. A much better route to & from the Crag. And finally joining onto a stretch of the Cumbria Way, alongside the river. A really picturesque spot.

Looking back up the Borrowdale valley to Castle Crag

Reaching the bus stop on the main road, with 5 minutes to spare before the first bus of the day (and the last for the next 2 hours) I just had time to slip the pack off, before the rain once more returned. Enough to get me suitably soaked before the bus arrived ...... a few minutes late. Naturally.

The River Derwent still low despite the previous day's rainfall

Off into Keswick for coffee and to lose some excess weight from the pack before catching the 555 bus southwards towards the railway station. With the weather patterns look to have set in for the next few days it was time to make tracks home.

A stop off in Ambleside to look over the gear & book shops produces little of interest.

A Boardman/Tasker Award winner book I'd not read (Climbers by M John Harrison the only novel ever to win the prize - a little strange but good enough to make the rail journey shorter) and a chuckle when I spotted my Saturday T Shirt purchase on offer in Gaynors for £18 (reduced item) which made the £12 I'd paid a bargain, despite buying it in Grasmere, not the cheapest place to shop.

Enquiries at Windermere Station showed a number of options to get back south during the afternoon, without arriving too late into the evening. So rather than yield to the temptation of a night in a YHA, and no doubt some additional expenditure, I hopped the train home for a quiet journey home. But not before I managed to pass on my bus Day Rover ticket (£9) to the first backpacker I spotted, newly arrived at the station, waiting for the bus north into the Lakes.

Their trip was to start with good fortune, much as mine had felt like all through the week.

I'd had the best of the trip in more ways than just the weather.

Total trip costs, including rail & bus travel and accommodation - £140 approx.

And next ..... the debrief.

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great write up John,really made me jealous
ther's always next time Mike
A GREAT way to get rid of the 'spookies' and get a much better nights sleep is a cheap pair of foam ear plugs! Works a treat :)
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