Going Up North not so grim

Snack stop view
Snack stop view

Spent most of last night packing, the phrase “Travelling Light” does not apply in this household. Hopefully the Mrs won’t need the thermal layer she packed. Up with the birds (noisy b*ggers) and managed to fit said luggage into the car boot, which must have Tardis like qualities.

Headed off at 8am for the M40. Had an interesting moment on the A41 near Waddesdon when a large deer ran across the road. We’ve started our holiday bird list, so far we have red kite, rook, wood pigeon, blackbird, magpie, buzzard and kestrel. Heading for the M6 toll in the hope that it might be less busy than going through Birmingham. On the M6 toll hardly any other cars what a fab road. Best £4.80 I’ve spent since, well I last spent £4.80 I suppose. Podcast update: out of the 1300 Neil downloaded for the journey we are on no 2, first Andrew Neil now Anthony Horowitz. Blog update: its been a busy month, 599 hits so far, helped by the 60 odd hits via the RSPB retweet of the Minsmere visitor centre pic. Neil also tells me have reached a nice round no of posts since the blog started, 512 (note from driving Ed to non techies, that’s 2 to the power of 9 or in binary 10000).

View from holiday hut

OK thanks for that Ed, back to my in car ramblings. The bad news folks, is that we have 165 miles to go and this is the in flight entertainment. I’ll try for some motorway pics to liven it up a bit but don’t say I did’nt warn you. Sorry but its either posting here or the lorry alphabet game and I can’t face that just yet. Just be grateful we’re only travelling to the Lakes, if we were on the Dumball you’d have my waffle all the way to Odessa! Good luck to all the Dumballers by the way, great adventure, great cause.

We turned off the M6 at junction 36, and the road just climbed for some time. Soon we passed through Windermere, then stopped for diesel and a pee in Ambleside. Then we turned off the A591 onto the A593 a much smaller and twisted road. We found somewhere to park for some sandwiches and espresso from our trusty flask.Whilst sat under a shady tree we saw a Jay and heard a Cuckoo. Embarrassingly I managed to fall off, over backwards from the rock I was sitting on and landed in a pile a couple of metres down the slope. Only my pride was broken!

Next we had a dilemma either up and over Wrynode and Hard Knot passes or the long way round. Helen was all for the long way round but being the driver was not in the best of negotiating positions. The road is single track with either wall or drop at the side, and to boot it is the steepest road in England. I thought the steepest road was in Devon at Porlock?

The holiday hut

The road is interesting and probably not to be tackled in the dark or winter (when access is banned). Helen managed to get some shaky video between “sharp” intakes of breath. At times you could see only as far as the next bend then you got views as it twisted on up/down for a mile or two. At one point we spotted and large bird of prey, probably and Eagle of some sort, it was too wide to be a Buzzard. Without having to stop too many times we were over the passes and down into the valley, Helen could finally take a breath.

The weather was scorching but there was a brisk wind, to take the edge off it. We got a bit lost finding the hut, mainly because we ignored the advice and went over the passes, Helen was having to do the directions backwards whilst reading a map. Tom Tom was also a bit confused as it knew we were near but not on the right road, perhaps it could see a gravel track to get us there? We only lost five minutes and soon found the place, sat in the side of the hill with views up the valley towards Langdale Pokes.

The next door neighbour made us feel welcome and the owners soon turned up to let us in. The hut is well appointed with a big bed, so we should be great for the next week. We unpacked the car and had a sit down, before taking a stroll out to discover Eskdale Green.

We took the cross country route via foot paths, saw Yellowhammer, Swallow, Robin, Sparrow, and Buzzard. We found the well stocked village shop so we won’t go hungry and we now know where the pubs are. I write this from The Bower House Inn beer garden with a pint of Bower House Ale and an IPA. There are a couple of veggie choices on the menu so we should be ok for eating out later in the week. Suitably refreshed we headed back to the hut to eat the homemade curry we had bought with us.

In summary we had a great journey up with no delays, the accomodation is spot on, the local pub serves good beer, and the weather looks fine for at least 3-4 days. Things are looking good.