Sunday, 1 November 2015

escape to the top of the world...

Of course not the 'top of the world' at all really, but as near as I can manage. Things have been particularly challenging of late and its fair to say I have felt at a pretty low ebb. I think I'm beginning to understand what 'burn out' means. Not a place I ever thought I'd get to. My support systems seem to be slowly falling apart and I don't know quite how to put things back together.

In a moment of minor madness last week I decided to run away to the hills. Just for a couple of days. Scafell Hotel in Rosthwaite was my place of sanctuary and I walked to exhaustion...

The advantage of a degree of constant insomnia is that you can get more into the day (silver linings!) so I left Norwich at 6.30am, parked the car at 12.30pm and was walking up into the hills by 1pm.


It has to be said that the weather was about as bleak as my mood but I've walked in the Lakes in heavier rain so, undeterred, I set off up the steep path through the woods which takes you up onto the fell above Watendlath.


The advantage of the wet weather was that all the streams and waterfalls were cascading along, surrounding me with that soothing sound of moving water...


This was a bit of a trip down memory lane; I've walked this path a number of times before - kind of a 'laying the ghosts to rest' thing. This fallen down tree half way up jolted me a bit - I have a picture somewhere of three little boys sitting on here eating Kendal mint cake with their Dad...


The top of the fell may not be particularly high but, even in gloomy light, it is breathtakingly beautiful up here...


Dock Tarn has been the site of a number of picnics in the past - apparently its a good spot for wild swimming but I don't think I'd fancy it much. This time it was seriously wet underfoot and I had to go a bit off course to avoid being up to my knees in marshy mud. But so peaceful...


And just as I turned towards Watendlath the sun was trying to peep through with patches of brightly lit heather on the other side of the valley. In fact, there was a faint rainbow across this view but it just faded as I took the picture...


Over the top of the hill looking towards Watendlath Tarn...


And as I looked back the sun suddenly broke through the clouds just momentarily. Oh...and that small stream? That'd be the path I'd just waded down!


By the time I got down to Watendlath there was even a teeny bit of blue sky...



The only disappointing bit of this walk was that I'd promised myself a cup of tea at the cafe by the tarn...only to find, no cafe!!! Maybe too much to ask for late October but I was a bit frozen at this point and hot tea would've been lovely!

Had to make do with a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire back at the hotel instead...


On the second day I set off early again with a plan to walk all day, conscious that dusk was going to be an hour earlier with the clocks having gone back. From the opposite side of the valley, you can head up through old mine workings onto High Spy, then follow the ridge down across Maiden Moor, Catbells and towards Derwentwater. 


The pictures don't do justice to the range of early autumn colour - the trees were so lovely I had an almost immediate change of plan and veered left after crossing the ford (more stepping stones than forded path!)...


...to head along the riverbank towards Longthwaite and Seatoller...



...then heading up and back on myself through Johnny Wood...



At risk of sounding completely antisocial, there is something quite moving about having all this natural beauty to yourself for a while. I didn't see a soul, no voices, no music, just the rustle of leaves, a gentle breeze, the odd bird and the babble of water somewhere below...


I did get a little 'misplaced' though - having not taken the obvious path up direct from the village I couldn't quite work out where it went and ended up going a bit 'off piste' and wading through this bracken!


Oh of course! That's the path!!



This was a pretty steep climb with the odd spot of rain again...


but when you get up there you have fabulous views across Borrowdale and Derwentwater...


It was a bit cold, which hampered my picture taking, but by the time I'd walked back along the contours through Grange and past Castle Crag it was almost dark and I just caught the tea shop in Rosthwaite for tea and cake in the fading light...



I don't know that I have dealt with all my demons but it was a temporary bit of escapism. What's not to love about this stunning landscape?





4 comments:

  1. What a beautiful place to escape to for a couple of days. You've obviously got a much better sense of direction than I have - I'd have been lost in no time! Hope those demons go away and that you're feeling better soon. xx

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  2. I'm sorry you're going through such a rough time, but I love your moment of madness to deal with it. What a beautiful spot to walk through. The pictures are stunning, and I bet it helped to clear your head. At least I hope it did. I hope things get better for you really soon. Take care x

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  3. It was beautiful. Had lots of thinking time. Thank you x

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