Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Days 2 and 3: The Pre-Walk Daunder Finishes (me off)

It was a lazy start to the second day of the walk. The schismers had to head down Tongue Gill to our camp spot so we brewed up and chatted in the spring sun as we waited for them. By 9.15 am all 14 of us were in the same place at the same time for almost the first time on the walk, and this number simply emphasised the obvious, that it was far better that we split into smaller groups. As we headed to Seatoller some members of the party decided that more hills (or, for some, any hills), would be a bad idea.
The schism temporarily healed, Mick makes a speech explaining why it would be much better to abandon the day's walk and head to a pub for fish finger sandwiches
So at Seatoller we schismed again, and half of us headed into the fabulozy Combe Gill and then along the delightful path up Thornythwaite Fell and on to Glaramara. About 30 minutes before the top Johnboy, who had been walking near me, suddenly changed gear, arriving at the summit an hour before I did. I know that Einstein and the laws of physics would tell you that would be impossible but I am simply telling you what actually happened.  And, in case you are wondering, by the time we were on the top our fellow Daunderers were eating the largest platefuls of fish finger sandwiches that ever came out of the North Sea at the pub in Rosthwaite.


    Andy, Jaimie, Robin and Johnboy heading up Thornythwaite Fell above Combe Gill

Happy Bunny on Thornythwaite Fell
The path to Allen Crags is also full of loveliness and the sun shone, and the views were sharp and clear and wonderful and the fells were at their absolute best and we generally revelled in the walk, despite hitting the busyness of the Esk Hause to Angle Tarn path. Then on down by Angle Tarn Beck into Langstrath. If you haven't walked Langstrath this is, for the Lakes, a long, long valley. I first came down this way in March 1973 and found it tiring as a fit 16 year old. Now I'm far less fit but know what to expect when I walk this valley. Thus, if loins are girded at Angle Tarn it does not feel as bad as it did all those years ago.  Even better, as we put our tents up on the campsite at Stonethwaite Judith, who had taken the shorter route, raced around collecting our water bottles and generally looking after the more weary amongst us. Then it was bar snack time.
On Allen Crags


Stonethwaite Campsite
Which takes us to Sunday and another delightful path, but this time low down through Borrowdale and back to Braithwaite. We managed to stick together almost to Grange, when a tea shop with tables in the sun proved too much of a temptation to those amongst us who understood the true meaning of a Daunder.  The group I was in pootled on ahead, stopping only when we came to a handily placed ice cream van below Catbells. My fellow walkers were so enjoying the walk itself that despite the route going right past the Swinside Inn we just carried on. But a pub, right next to the route?  We never saw the laggards again. I believe they are all still alive and I suspect their legs were rather less stiff than mine were the following day. 
Johnboy naively looks to the hills whilst Al and Phil discuss the locations of pubs and cafes

One of the prettiest views in England: Derwent Water, Skiddaw, Blencathra and Keswick
Some of those who made my three days so enjoyable


Stats: Day 2 - 19.4 km, 1020m ascent, 8 hours 30 minutes
          Day 3 - 14.0 km, 336m ascent, 4 hours 30 minutes

10 comments:

  1. Wonderful stuff David, impressive!

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    1. Thanks again Dawn. I'm not sure it was that impressive but I think most people enjoyed themselves.

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  2. Does Robin realise that there must be 10 grams he can shave off that hip belt strap.
    Good do Dave, I enjoyed that and the weather looks excellent from your pics. All the best on the challenge you now know you will need it. Ha

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    1. That hipbelt of Robin's was brand new, bought specially to upgrade his Mariposa. I'm sure he will modify it before long. 😁

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  3. Great stuff, David, thanks for all your hard work. Beautiful scenery and excellent company.

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    1. And it was great you could make it, Emma. Added some sanity to the party.

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    2. Reader, I leave it to you to make your own interpretation of the suggestion that my presence added sanity.

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  4. Brilliant... just brilliant 😂😂😂

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    1. Well you know me, Geoff!

      Thanks though.

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  5. I know you're already an experienced Challenger, David, but I think this weekend has given you a truthful insight into what the Challenge is really all about. Yes, there's some inconvenient walking to be done but only to find nice places to eat, drink and sleep. You should learn from this!
    Thanks for all the organising. I had a great time!

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