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Saturday, 12 September 2015

Wandering, but not lonely and no daffodils...... Sept 11th(Lake District)
 It's a while since we have been to the Lake District and the days are getting shorter, well daylight hours are if you are a pedant. Today, four of us are off to walk from Rosthwaite to Grasmere, once the home of William Wordsworth one time official distributor of stamps in the county of Westmorland* and writer of poetry, most famous for wittering on about daffodils on the shores of Ullswater.
This walk needs good timing and bus passes. We drove from Newcastle to Keswick by way of the A69, M6, A66 and caught a bus to Rosthwaite several miles down Borrowdale.
The walk has been designed by the Ordnance Survey to boost sales as it covers all four of the Lakes Maps, Outdoor Leisures numbers 4, 5 , 6 and 7 the English Lakes.
There are four of us out today, Brian, John C, Dave and me and we did have time to call in for breakfast at the Coffee Lounge in Keswick for bacon sandwiches and tea, (Five flitch bacon sandwich).
 After breakfast we caught the 77 bus which goes down leafy Borrowdale, (B5289) alighting at Rosthwaite to start the walk. The buses are open topped and upstairs passengers are occasionally in danger of being hit by twigs, the road is narrow and the driver often has to pull in close to the verge.
                             Rosthwaite Village in Borrowdale
The walk:
 . Just before you get into the village there is a bridge across the Stonethwaite Beck, this is the start.
                                            Stonethwaite Beck.
   Once over the troll free bridge we turned right along the footpath on the east side of the beck. The path is stony but starts off quite level, passing Stonethwaite village on the opposite bank, before beginning to climb. There is one fork in the trail, we took the right hand path and continued to climb steadily, admiring the views and the waterfalls.
                                                    Eagle Crag, eagle free probably
                                 One of several waterfalls on Greenup Gill
  The last section of the climb up the gill is quite steep but it is cairned and easy to follow. At the end of this climb, Lining Crag, we called a Herbie Spot, well three of us did, John  soldiered on for a while, refusing to return in spite of our shouts.
 Mrs A, having returned from holiday sent us a top class pineapple and walnut cake and we had carrot cake slices and, in Ben's absence, some ginger parkin biscuits from Aldi. Quite spicy but not what I call parkin, which is a soft cake. From our lunch spot we looked back down the valley we had walked up and, donning the patched jacket, looked at the Hummock Morraines. I thought they were called dunlins or doldrums or drumlins but Dave assured us that the name Hummocky Morraine is now in common, if not very scientific, usage. They are formed when the rocks and soil at the underside of a melting glacier deposit them.
                                             Looking back down the footpath
                                 Hummocky Morraine.
Lunch over we continued on our way to Greenup Edge and across the boggy ground to High Raise. The panoramic views from High Raise make the whole walk worth the effort. This point is in the centre of the Lake District, surrounded by the familiar peaks we have climbed on other days.


                                  As seen from High Raise and Sargeant Man. Note the not very lonely clouds.
               From High Raise we followed the path to Sargeant Man and then turned roughly east on a well marked path that took us downhill and all the way to Grasmere. The path is steep in places, it has stone "stairways to heaven" occasionally. (Large stones built as a stair, partly to prevent erosion by the thousands of feet that come this way)
The path took us past Coddale and  Easedale Tarns before reaching the village where Wordsworth once lived at Dove Cottage. I went round it once, all I remember is a pen that may have been used by the poet. At least Chekov had his roses.
                                     For Kathy in Goole and Sue in North Shields
                                                               Easdale Tarn 
                                     Cumbria's Matterhorn
                                                           Easdale Tarn
                                               Waterfall in Easdale
           Fortunately we were in time to catch the 555 bus that runs between Lancaster and Keswick and soon we were back in the the latter. Debooted, or completely changed in some cases, we headed for the Keswick Wetherspoons, This  pub is another Wetherspoons conversion, formerly the police sation and magistrates court it is now the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. The courtroom has been preserved complete with magistrates bench and prisoner's dock and the cells have been turned into mini dining areas. Not surprising in Keswick it is a busy pub and service was slow. Abbot Ale, Doombar, Emmerdale, Hawkshead beers were on offer. Sadly I was driving
This is a terrific walk, quite tough for gadgies who are getting on a bit, but the scenery must be about as good as it gets in the lakes. The weather was not as sunny as the wee jock had promised but it was warm and windy. Had we known how strong the southerly wind was going to be we would have walked it the other way round.
I have been asked to include a gadgie game; The fish shop championship
If we travel west we pass a fish and chip shop on the way home. Gormans at Cowgate it has been renamed The Fenham Fish Bar and reportedly sells quality take away food.
The rules of the game are simple, you have to guess how many people will be in the shop or waiting outside. However you may not choose within three of the last person so if I start and say 9 then the next person must go for 6 or less or 12 or more and so on. As we pass the shop it is the job of the non drivers to estimate as accurately as possible the number of customers and then a winner is declared.
One day my wife, daughter and I were passing the shop so I explained the rules and offered a game. For some reason they both thought the game and the rules were pretty stupid.
Dave won this week.

The Matrix  MMXV SS
                                                                          steps                               miles
LIDL3D                                                             30148                            9.25 (to compensate for slope
                                                                                                                            I am 3' 7" now)
Dave's LIDL3D                                                 24240                            9.45
Dave's USB                                                       22704                            8.95
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                     9.19
etrex 20                                                                                                    9.56
John C                                                                                                      9.66

* Westmoreland was one of the old English shire counties. It was eaten in reorganisation in 1974 and became part of Cumbria and Yorkshire. The inhabitants were not happy.
                      Blencathra, or Saddleback as it is known, from the bus