Day 5: Patterdale to Shap

 Tarn on the way to Kidsky Pike from Patterdale

Tarn on the way to Kidsky Pike from Patterdale

Today we walked 24km, much of it uphill. We scaled Kidsty Pike, the highest mountain on our route. It took three hours to get up there from Patterdale, and over an hour to climb down. Jelly legs for all of us so…. early to bed this evening in anticipation of our 32km hike tomorrow. Yes, yes… ridiculous. Shap is on the very fringe of the Lakes District, and we will venture into Yorkshire territory in the next few days. We got a taste of the 'up hill and down dales' today while walking through the meadows and woods in the 10km trek from the base of Kidsty Pike, to Shap.

Here is a Kelpie cross called Albie. No problem walking dogs in National Parks in England, so long as they are on the lead (though hardly any are!)

Haweswater was on today’s route. This lake (flooded in the 1900's to create a fresh water dam) is beautifully described in Anthony Trollope’s novel Can You Forgive Her? (1864-1865). Trollope's description is pertinent to many of the lakes (or tarns as the locals call them) that we saw today:

A lake should, I think, be small, and should be seen from above, to be seen in all its glory. The distance should be such that the shadows of the mountains on its surface may just be traced, and that some faint idea of the ripple on the waters may be present to the eye. And the form of the lake should be irregular, curving round from its base among the lower hills, deeper and still deeper into some close nook up among the mountains from which its head waters spring. It is thus that a lake should be seen, and it was thus that Hawes Water was seen by them from the flat stone on the side of Swindale Fell. The basin of the lake has formed itself into the shape of the figure of 3, and the top section of the figure lies embosomed among the very wildest of the Westmoreland mountains. Altogether it is not above three miles long, and every point of it was to be seen from the spot on which the girls sat themselves down. The water beneath was still as death, and as dark — and looked almost as cold. But the slow clouds were passing over it, and the shades of darkness on its surface changed themselves with gradual changes. And though no movement was visible, there was ever and again in places a slight sheen upon the lake, which indicated the ripple made by the breeze.

 Angletarn

Angletarn

A couple of characters to add to my list. Two fell runners separately came into view. These athletes are hardy (some might say demented) people who specialise in running fells (in other words, up mountains). In Rossthwaite there was an honour board in the pub recording remarkable times for fell running.  Not sure the red and blue lycra clad men we saw training today will make it onto the board, though they did seem to take their running seriously.

 Blue lycra Bill

Blue lycra Bill

 Red Lycra Reginald

Red Lycra Reginald