Tuesday, August 28, 2012

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

So here I lie, my painful blisters and bunions stoicly ignored, made weak by time and fate but strong in will.

I tell you, reader, of an epic adventure among these barren crags.  My eye is fix'd upon a distant peak; my mind is fix'd on deeds heroic.

I woke this morning at four a.m., fully prepared for a day that would live in the annals of history.   But then I thought I would prefer a lie in.

It was later on the bus from Kirkby Stephen to St Bees that I began to have doubts.  The journey took almost two hours.  My word, one can cover an immense distance in that time.  Why would I want to walk it?  Well, of course, I didn't.

At St Bees it was blowing like billy-o.  There were legions of sea horses and the sea itself was so churned up that it was brown.  There had been a family in the bus with us whose daughter said she'd barely slept a wink all night with excitement at the prospect of walking the coast to coast.  I sympathised, except she had the wrong emotion.  The son was wearing shorts.

So while these benighted fools set off up St Bees Head, Colleen and I took a short cut up the valley.

Sheep were scattered like confetti across the fields.  One has to be careful of these brutes.  Overtly they are so mild but, given half a chance, they will sneak up behind one and bite one's bottom.  There have been 27 fatalaties this year in England alone.  I took a photograph of one while he was distracted by a svelte ewe but I haven't yet worked out how to upload photographs using Lakeland internet.

On the way up an enormous peak, we ran into some Americans.  They claimed to be from Vegas and felt the lake district was a bit damp.  I told them I thought Vegas was a bit dry.  These were the fit type of Americans, in their fifties and sixties, slim and with perfect teeth which they were prepared to demonstrate in bright smiles.

I put on my sunglasses.

On the way down Dent Hill, I became a little confused.  One guide book told us to go straight on.  The maps said to turn hard right.  At that stage one of the natives appeared, walking three dogs.  I asked which way was right and she said summat like 

"Arr eee ye be wharrkin t' cos tu cos?"  I would quote more from her but I think my iPad would run out of saliva.  She pointed off to her left and cackled something about a cliff.  Ten minutes later I found myself walking down a cliff.  To avoid undue worry, dear reader, I will let you know that I survived.  An RAF Tornado flew by, so low that we were looking down on it.

We arrived at our B&B farmhouse about 4.30.  The lady, a charming retired doctor, said it had rained 2" the day before.  I took off my boot and most of that rain tipped out.  I had a marvellous bath, a hot cup of coffee and recovered.  A day's walk across the fells with no rain.  Excellent.

Tomorrow the rain returns.  Could life be better?

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