15 September 2008

Camping

R and I came back from our camping weekend in the Lake District today. Setting out at 9am on Saturday, we didn't reach the campsite until after 6pm due to traffic in Windermere. It required us getting a bus halfway, to Ambleside (>£6), and then a taxi (£8) to the Low Wray campsite.

Once we got to our allocated pitch, we pitched our tent quickly and went in search of some food. The two closest pubs were 25 and 45 minutes walk away. The one 45mins away, The Outgate Inn in Outgate, looked like a relatively straight walk along a public footpath on the map and was the cheaper of the two. This 'footpath' consisted of bog, marsh, flatted grass tracks, streams, hidden waterflows and rocky ravines to hike up. I had good shoes but R wasn't so lucky with his fashion trainers and suffered from very sodden feet. Our torch came in very handy. Finally arriving at the pub, we were looking forward to some good pub grub. We insisted we'd get a taxi back to the campsite as we couldn't walk that route in the dark.

We weren't disappointed by the pub grub; two massive soups of the day and shoulder of lamb for me and steak (overdone) for R filled us to the brim! So we sat a while and then called for a cab. Out of 5 taxi companies, they all said they couldn't do that journey. Oh dear, the footpath was our only option then. Thank God for that torch. R won't admit it but, we were freaked out at the beginning, seeing freaky sheep just staring at us, birds fluttering, other funny noises and the land covered in full moonlight. A few times we weren't sure which way we'd come but got there in the end. We were so happy to make it back to the campsite in one piece! That was the major excitement - that and nearly having my leg ripped off by a vicious dog! - during the weekend, the rest was very relaxing.

We, well R more than I, froze that night though. He insists it's because he couldn't fit into his sleeping bag so for the next night we joined them together to construct a double sleeping bag. It worked very well; the power of body heat is impressive!

We hadn't realised until the Sunday that we were really close to Lake Windermere, a 2min walk. That night we were determined not to be stuck without any food and the footpath journey to be our only option. So we made our way to Hawkshead village, quaint little shops where R picked up English and French dictionaries and I looked at some cute Wellies.

We purchased a bbq, sausages, ketchup and an awesomely soft Cuisine de France breadstick. We went on a little visit up the hill to Wray Castle (pictured right, which I have since discovered is a 'fake' castle) and sat on the edge of Lake Windermere for a while. The sausages, ketup and breadstick were excellent, stuffing our faces with three sausage sandwiches each. We slept early and after a rather rainy night, departed the next day. Our tent came down very quickly and I had an excellent weekend. The only negative part was my great displeasure at having to return to my life of discontent in Manchester. :( Oh well.

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