So we stayed in a little place not too far from the motorbike honeypot that is Hartside, in the Eden Valley between the Lakes and the North Pennines. Sleepy quaint villages full of red sandstone houses and reddish drystone walls. Now normally we prefer to camp this time of year but as I've mentioned, this was a treat and for a good price I can manage that every now and again! Tip if you do want to stay up in the Lakes during the summer period, look for places a few miles outside of the National Park itself, we were about 20 or so miles out and it was worth travelling that bit further. Plus you escape all the touristy craziness during holiday season...oh and the hiked-up prices!
Gorgeous cottage just about big enough for the two of us and a large hairy dog. Admittedly Toby's shedding of hairs on a par length-wise with my own was always going to be a worry in someone else's house, we contemplated taking our own trusty vacuum cleaner but in fact forgot...fortunately the vac provided at the cottage coped admirably with the accumulation of blonde fur, thank goodness!
|Toby teatime yet?|
Satisfied we embarked on our mountain climbing. Got lost within 10 minutes of starting due to a re-routing of a path we'd picked on the map but it didn't deter us for long and after a friendly point in the right direction we were off on the right track. Straight into a field with a horse and donkey!
|Watching Toby very closely!|
|Me in my "natural habitat" behind a camera according to Chris!|
|I call these Toby's foxy gloves!|
|Path into the clouds|
Although we did happen upon one very friendly chap who proceeded to rant about a £4 car parking charge at where he'd left his car...not just us then! He was suitably appalled at our finding an even more expensive place up the road, SEVEN HUNDRED PENCE!
The last view just before the top before becoming fully shrouded in cloud...
So yey, we did it! Helvellyn, 949 metres asl, good stuff. Felt higher, feel the calf burn, feel it! We tucked in behind a shelter, ate the rest of our lunch and started the descent. Out of the cloud and into the sunshine again, I'd got chilled very quickly and had to dig out more layers despite having only stopped for 10 minutes or so. Luckily we were prepared but then I do get cold easily, blessed with female lack of circulation....
Soon warmed up though once moving again after repeatedly being told off by Chris for taking pictures and freezing my hands in the process...owt for a picture...always worth the pain. I have a terrible memory, hence the need for lots of pictures...and a blog for me to fill in the good times!
|Looking down onto Thirlmere|
And more views, good old splash in a waterfall to cool down.
A nice easy path, or so we thought, following the edge of Thirlmere... Nice for a bit...then becoming increasingly more overgrown with very tall bracken and bramble...not so fun when you're tired and hot at the end of what has been a brilliant but loooong day.
After managing to stick with the path for a fair old way we decided to just head onto the quiet road running parallel to save time as it was starting to get a tad late in't day for such shenanigans. We'd got a little tired of this, especially as Toby had found yet another bog and had no choice but to repeatedly run back and forth in front of us on a very narrow path between bracken meaning progress was not as quick as we liked! Not that our legs could really propel us much faster at this stage...
|There is a dog in there somewhere...|
|Pig and muck springs to mind...|
|Beautiful views of Thirlmere to keep us going|
Suffice to say our next day was a lot more laid back, socialising Toby in the dog-friendliest town of Keswick, market stalls and walking shops...and many many dogs! Great fun and a very happy much needed little holiday :)