Thursday, March 14, 2013: Jagged vacance, thick with ice/and I could see for miles, miles, miles

After breakfast, we met Dwane, our tour guide for the day. He took us over to the Glaramara facility where we got backpacks, water bottles and gear we might need for the day. Then we drove to our starting point to ascend Catbells Mountain, the most climbed mountain in the Lake District which overlooks Derwent Water, one of the 20 major lakes in the aptly named area. Quite a hike! No amount of flat London walking can really prepare you for a 70 degree incline. But it seems that I’m in decent enough shape to climb a little hill, too.

And having just finished a book (SPOILER ALERT) that deals with characters with cancer-ridden legs and lungs, I’m so thankful for have a body healthy enough to take me to the top of that mountain. God, what a sight to behold. Three hundred and sixty degrees of breathtaking glory. It’s the kind of view that would be the subject of a Bon Iver music video. Needless to say, I played Holocene on the treck up multiple times (Gina, Joan, for you, naturally) because at once I knew I was not magnificent. Don’t know what else to say other than that I wish I could build myself a house up there and stay forever.

We made it up and down the mountain in a little over two hours and went back to centre to eat our lunch and lounge by the fireplace with a cup of tea. After we warmed and filled up, Dwane gave us some afternoon options. Because it was too cold to wade through a river and because IFSA doesn’t cover rappelling insurance and because it was too slippery outside to go rock climbing, we opted to go for a stream-side walk through sheep turf (and turd). We wore these hard core hiker waterproof outfits and I looked like a red oompa loompa. It’s a good look for me. Another gorgeous walk, this time I brought the Holga and I hope that these pictures come out because it’s been a while since I loaded a mediumformat analog camera…..As we walked, Dwane shared some interesting nature-y facts about the lichen in the area and pollarding trees. We also saw a waterfall, but because there hasn’t been significant rainfall recently, there was more fall than water.

When we got back from our walk, Dwane drove us to Keswick WHERE I GOT TO GO TO THE PENCIL MUSEUM!!!!! Ah such good fortune and yes that museums is as great as it sounds. And how about that gift shop! Will give you a tour through pictures, get excited friends. After an hour of learning about the history of the pencil, how it’s made, and its important role in WWII, it was time to head back to Penrith to board our train back to London. I spent the entire ride back reading and then finishing The Fault in our Stars and I have no problem crying hysterically in public places.

Can I go on a mid-week holiday every week?




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