Subtitle - The first time the earth actually moved for me!!!
Date: Tuesday, 6th September 2011
Start/Finish: Parking Space near Elterwater
Distance: 9.5 miles
Time Taken: (about) 6 hours
Mick and I had planned for some time that we would complete this particular route on my special day as it would be a gentle walk taking in a couple of waterfalls, a quarry cave and.....a tea shop :-) As it turned out, as my birthday approached, it was just as well we had chosen an easy route as Mick had been having problems with his arty leg and we feared that the walk would have to be cancelled altogether. However, Mick being the superhero that he is, managed to carry out a 'bodge job' on the leg which we hoped would hold out for the walk and so, the day dawned and off we headed to the Lakes again.
The weather forecast for the day was dodgy and it was very windy but, as we were not attempting anything high-level we didn't worry too much about the weather - but took a full change of clothes for us both just in case we got soaked to the skin again :-)
As we drove through the Lakes to our destination, we could tell by the amount of water coming down the hillsides and onto the roads that there had obviously been a serious amount of rainfall in the area recently - lots of 'wow's were uttered by me as I took in the delightful views and several swerves on the road ensued as Mick tried to see what I was 'wowing' at!! However, we arrived at our destination safely and parked in an ideal spot just outside the village of Elterwater.
Everything appeared to be a little waterlogged but, it was fine and dry and the strong winds were blowing the clouds over at some speed so, we hoped that any rain we did encounter would pass over quickly too.
We headed into Elterwater and made a brief pit-stop at the public toilets before crossing the bridge to the start point of our walk.
When crossing the bridge, we noticed how full and fast flowing the river was and began to wonder if the riverside path we had planned for the return leg of our route would be submerged!?
As we had a 'bodged up' arty leg to test out, we decided to have a there and back wander along the road for a mile or so just to make sure that all was well before we began our walk proper, and we could see that the riverside path as a route was looking as dodgy as the weather but....plenty of time to worry about that later :-)
So, everything appearing to be fine with the leg, we returned to our route proper and began to ascend the path with would take us up and around Lingmoor Fell and over into Little Langdale. This path gave us the first clue that we were going to end up with wet feet today as the water was running down the path making it more like walking through a stream :-)
At the top of the hill, we had to stop to don waterproofs as a heavy but, thankfully, brief rain shower passed over. Fortified with a couple of chocolate treats, we continued on our way and discovered more about how wet our feet were going to get!
Some views along the way...
Well, it seems my superhero can't walk on water!!......
....but, so far, I had managed to keep my feet dry :-)
Continuing on our way, we headed down towards Little Langdale Tarn.
Looking back at Lingmoor Fell.
The wind was very strong on this section of the walk and we could see the rain heading towards us...
....so we took shelter behind a wall whilst the heavy shower passed over before we headed down, out of the wind, towards Slater's Bridge. Luckily, the bridge wasn't quite submerged and we crossed without any problems.
Once on the path on the other side of the river,.....
.... we headed uphill to reach the disused quarry cave and take a look inside.
Coming out of the cave, we headed back down to rejoin part of the Cumbria Way path and headed to find a suitable spot for a bite to eat. It didn't take long for another shower to pass over though so, we quickly packed up again and continued our walk.
We were now heading towards our first waterfall of the day - Colwith Force. Wonderful! :-)
Mick eventually prised me away from here and we continued to head towards Skelwith Bridge for a well deserved coffee stop....
...and, following the coffee and cream scone, Mick is a happy boy! :-)
Moving on, it was time to visit our second waterfall of the day - Skelwith Force. Unfortunately, conditions stopped us from getting the best views of this one as we couldn't get down to the second stage without risking life and limb!
With Mick prising me away again, we ventured on to find out how bad the return route to Elterwater via the riverside path would be. Suffice to say, it was somewhat waterlogged! And that goes for the surrounding area too! :-)
However, putting our best (wet!) foot forward, we made our way across...
...and I managed to keep my feet virtually dry until we went through this gate and onto the last section of our walk.
The path was under so much water beyond this gate that we had to back track a bit and plot a way back to Elterwater across the fields. Although, this change of route avoided us wading through knee deep water, it meant that a few gates had to be climbed and it was on this section that I finally got my feet wet.
However, it was also on this section that I had my most exciting moment of the day when...... for the first time in my life.....the earth actually moved for me!!! Wow - what an experience!!! :-)
Well, once I had recovered from the shock, we finally got out of the waterlogged area and made it back to Elterwater village with nothing more than wet feet and in good time for us to end the day with more well deserved refreshments at the local hostelry.
I can't think of a better way to spend a birthday than being out and about on a brilliant walk, in the most beautiful area of the country, with the best walking companion ever and enjoying yourself so much that the earth actually moves! :-)
Thanks for a brilliant birthday celebration Mick :-)