TRIP TO THE LAKE DISTRICT
Spontaneous adventures are the best adventures. Those are the kind that spike my excitement the most, knowing that I am getting an opportunity I would not have had otherwise. Before we even had a chance to plan our days off, suddenly Charlie was driving our car up to the lake district for work training, so I decided to go along and jumped in the car with Charlie’s two colleagues. There was plenty of space and I have never been to the famously spectacular mountainous part of North West England.
I had about a day to prepare. The weather forecast did not look so great so I quickly packed my camping gear, as well as enough stuff to allow me to decide what to do when I got there. I asked the Wild Camping UK Facebook community for advice on where to wild camp. I got a few rough recommendations and decided on an area I would like to explore. Planning the hiking route had to be left to the 5 hour car journey because I had ran out of time.
When I dropped the guys in Tebay, I drove to the East side of Ullswater. It was on and off raining, I had a headache and driving on windy little roads did not allow me much sightseeing. Driving on my own and the thoughts of hiking and camping somewhere on my own were making me a little anxious, even though I knew I had nothing to worry about. I stopped at a little church to take a few photos of the views. Spending the few minutes outside made me feel better and the rain seemed to have stopped. I decided to keep driving to the end of the road to see if I could park somewhere and go for a hike. That area and I guess the whole of the Lake district is full of farms so there are not many places to park unless you just want to pull over at a lay-by for a moment.
I did not manage to get a paper map anywhere, so I had to rely on app called View Ranger. This app uses OS maps. The only down side of this is that you are relying on your phone. If your phone died, you are screwed. I looked around and there was a ridge next to the church with a path on the top. The surroundings were so beautiful, I could not wait to enjoy the views.
The weather was threatening me with a light spitting of rain. I stripped off most of my layers of clothes as I was climbing up the ridge. Walking on the ridge was spectacular. Looking at Ullswater behind me and a valley with mountains rolling around it in front of me erased all the anxious and tired feelings I had arrived with.
A big smile appeared on my face and stayed there. I was walking pretty slowly because even though I was only camping for one night, I had to carry everything including a tent, cooking equipment, a sleeping bag and a mat by myself. Plus, I just had to take pictures about every few steps.
I made it to the end of the ridge to two little half standing old farm houses. There was another ridge in front of me. As it was about 4pm, I decided to go straight up and find somewhere to camp. There was a path called ‘Roman Road’ on the top. I walked a little bit further on the ridge and found a perfect spot to spend the night. Now, both the view of Ullswater and the mountains around the valley were in sight.
The sun came out as I was putting my tent up. When I got comfortable, I boiled water for a cup of tea and heated my dhal curry up. Taking leftover dinner with me was a great idea to make things easier. I had my tent open and my porch door tucked away so I could get the most out of the view. I wrapped my legs into my sleeping bag to get away from the light breeze. The rest of the evening was spent reading my book. At the moment I am reading ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama. As the sun was going down, painting all the colours in between the cushion-like clouds, I was reading about Michelle and Barack’s first kiss.
I was so happy in this magical moment and the pure quietness of being in the middle of nowhere with no phone signal. All my fears and worries were gone and I was fully taking advantage of it to recharge. When it got too chilly, I closed myself in the tent and kept reading until I could no longer keep my eyes open to read another sentence.
THE NEXT DAY
I knew it was about sunrise when I woke up. I peaked out of the tent to see whether there was any sunrise to be seen. The sky was cloudy but it had a light pink glow to it. I enjoyed the view for a moment and tucked myself back into my sleeping bag to have another two hour nap.
A cup of green tea and homemade apple strudel for breakfast was followed with more reading. It was almost 10am when I was packed and ready to walk back to the car. I was only about 3 miles away but decided to walk along the Roman Road ridge to see different views. Eventually I was supposed to get to paths that would take me off the ridge down to the valley and back to the church.
On the way, I came to a place where the water would wash down off the mountain. It looked walkable so I decided to cut down. It was pretty steep at parts and a bit dodgy with stony land sliding down. I was careful and eventually I made it down to the valley. From there, it was only about half an hour back to the car.
THE JOURNEY BACK
It was midday when I got back to the car. I knew I had to be in Kendal at 3pm and as I had no phone signal, I was not sure how long exactly it would take me to get there. I started driving with the idea of exploring the other side of Ullswater and then making my way down to Kendal through the mountains.
It was sunny and I found a little lay-by by the water with a tiny beach. I got my sandwich out and ate it watching the water bashing into the shore with the green rolling mountains behind. It was filling me with so much joy and I was taking in the last moment of the quiet beautiful scenery.
I put the place I needed to get to in Kendal into my navigation and started driving. The drive was gorgeous. I was passing picturesque villages with people chilling outside in the sun. Driving through the mountains was truly special and I loved it. As I got to Kendal and waited for Charlie and the guys to finish their training, it started pouring down with rain again.
I did not mind that at all as I handed over the driving and enjoyed being able to take in the nice views again.
Small adventures like mine are so important on a regular basis. They allow us to recharge as we go and take a step back from the busy work-home circle we get stuck in. Go and plan an overnight trip to somewhere. Even if it is just close by to your home. Take time for yourself and feel the power.
If you’d like to get more ideas for mini adventures, go to my SHORTIES section.