Tuesday, 6 November 2012

What A Difference A Day Makes

Twenty four hours ago we were enjoying the wonderful wintery landscape of Ullswater in glorious sunshine. We enjoyed our walk around the lake so much that we decided to make the most of our stay here in Cumbria and go for another ramble. We bought a book of nine walks starting at the Black Swan in Ravenstonedale where we are staying and opted for one of six miles that included gentle climbs to the summit of Green Bell and an expected duration of three to four hours.

There was a light drizzle when we left the hotel - nothing serious; so we set off on the gentle walk. The booklet mentioned that the route of the path was unclear in parts and, as we started to climb, we worried a little that we couldn't really make it out at all. However, we could see the summit of Green Bell so we knew the direction we were heading in.

At least we could see the summit when we started up the path but as we grew closer it disappeared inside a low cloud and alarm bells started ringing for us as we had visions of wandering across open fells in thick mist without waterproofs and with the sort of inadequate equipment that would have had us in trouble with the mountain rescue people if we'd had to call them out. We got to within a few hundred yards of the top but, soaked to the skin, shivering and not exactly full of the joys of spring we looked for a route down, saw a path, checked it on the map and followed it.

The book of walks mentioned that the path was often wet and muddy. This was not an exaggeration.

At one point we reached this spot where two paths merged. It resembled a ditch and involved a detour through a bog to enable us to continue to the road and ultimately the safety of the pub where I am now sitting by a blazing fire with a pint of award winning Black Sheep Bitter and the prospect of a delicious evening meal to look forward to. We like this country walking lark but in future I think we'll remain fair weather walkers.