Monday, July 6, 2009
Lake Buttermere in the Lake District
Thursday night Stef, Belen, Rose and I headed to the Lake District with a detour in Hebden Bridge, a little village in the middle of Yorkshire where artists are a plenty and where Rose's mom, an artist herself, lives. We stayed the night there and woke up from the chickens' morning call to see ponies and rain out the back window. We left Rose to enjoy family and friends for the weekend, with a promise of a ride for her on Sunday and an offer by her to house us should the weather be too much to bear.
Because it was raining hard, the only thing to do was check out the towns; Windermere and Ambleside. We ate at Lucy's restaurant in Ambleside (on two different occasions) which serves really great home cooked meals and brilliant oh so rich desserts, see photo of Belen below.
We continued North past Keswick, pronounced Kisik (we were corrected numerous times) to Lake Buttermere. There are actually two lakes in Buttermere with two pubs, a B&B and a fantastic campsite, Syke farm, between the lakes, with mountains surrounding the region from all sides.
We pitched our tent and walked to the lake passing the local farm life, sheep and beautiful cows, along the way. We then had dinner, roasted marshmallows, put them in oreos for faux smores, drank pints by the fireside and met other campers who were all very friendly. FYI Northerners are FRIENDLY (but sometimes I had trouble understanding them)!
It rained through the night, but Saturday started off clear so we decided on a mega hike, with a map given to us by our friendly tent neighbours. Four hours later we were at the top of Red Pike. It was one of those hikes when you thought you made it to the top only to see another peak or hill in front of you. Once on top Stef wanted to carry on to the next peak. It was three in the afternoon. I was nervous for Stef to go on her own, but I knew she'd see people on the way and she had the map and Belen's mobile so we decided to seperate.
As B and I attempted to go down Red Pike, all we saw was red skate, loose rocks and not a proper path at all. 'Surely this can't be right', Belen kept repeating, but I remember our neighbours warning us about this. The great height and steepness got to Belen and she froze up, there were a lot of tears and frightfulness. We walked around to different areas, but I assured her the red rock way was the only way down, an older man and his wife confirmed it as they passed. The man offered to assist Belen and the promise of a strong arm helped us on our way. After twenty minutes the couple took off practically leaping and flying down the hill and left us to struggle on for two more hours down the rocks. We saw a rainbow on the way down which made the pain in our legs lesson a bit.
Stef joined us only one hour after we arrived, having met up with some backpackers who trekked with her most of the way. She had an easier time of it actually. Needless to say we slept well that night and woke up a bit achy in the morning. I was amazed when one of our fellow campers told us she hiked four peaks past our three, having a 10 hour day, hiking for charity.
Sunday the weather cleared just in time for us to pack up. We then made our way to Beatrix Potter's cute little house (see pic below) with a nice drive through Longsdale and along a few other lake before heading home. After visiting Wales and Cornwall, I think my favourite is the Lake district. I will be back!
at 7:03 AM