Monday, 24 August 2020

Lake District Holiday Part Two: A Circular From Hartsop and A Few Thoughts On Summer. . .

Day Three of our holiday saw us tackling this little Wainwright - Hartsop Dodd which stands at 618m.  You basically start climbing up a path that runs just to the left of the drystone wall you can see running up the fell.  Then you turn left and follow the ridge up to the summit. It's a steep climb but not a long one.

Once you've turned left, you can look behind you at Brothers Water directly below.

And Ullswater further back at the end of the valley.

Here are some of those views along the ridge as we walked towards Stony Cove Pike.

And now you can see Windermere ahead.

There are so many routes and so many different mountains in the Lake District that even after nearly ten years of walking in the area, I'm still piecing all the bits together. It's a little like a jigsaw puzzle because you are often viewing hills you've climbed but from different angles and different directions.  There are always delightful surprises in store and there was one today when we came unexpectedly upon this view of the Kentmere Horseshoe (one of my very favourite walks in the Lake District, blogged about here). 

We had intended to continue on to High Street and make our way towards Angle Tarn, but it was so very hot and there was quite a descent followed by a steep path up to Thornthwaite Crag.  So we decided to cut the walk short and head back along this valley that follows Pasture Beck.

This is looking back at where we've come down.  It was a very pleasant track and someday, we'll go back up it and finish the walk we'd intended.

The sheep were very relaxed, probably too hot to move.

After a welcome shower, a short nap and a nice meal in Keswick, we walked down to Derwent Water in the evening when it was cooler.

Three days of walking in the heat had taken its toll on me. I was really tired and decided to take the next day off while my companions went walking.  I spent the morning wandering around Keswick. There's a lovely indie bookshop called Bookends and it was so nice to have a proper browse.  I came away with a few interesting titles.

And then spent the rest of the day reading and knitting with my feet up. My holiday book was Autumn by Ali Smith.

I've enjoyed all of the books in her seasonal quartet and am amazed at how quickly she has been able to write these. She captures very well the zeitgeist of the last four years and the whole gamut of emotions surrounding first Brexit and now Covid. And yet each novel, while indulging in a few angry rants at the state of politics in the UK (and why the hell not?) is also a self-contained story with interesting characters, questing plots and all the playfulness and profundity of language that Smith is so good at conveying.  She not only makes you look at this depressing news-driven world in a new way but has you also marvelling at the fascinating versatility of simple words.  In this strange year of isolation, Summer has made me feel more connected to this global experience than any real-life event.  Highly recommended.

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