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Friday, June 28, 2013

Like Here Only Different ~ Day 6 Patterdale to Bampton Grange

Patterdale to Bampton Grange 14 miles / 22Km 6hours ~  Patterdale - Kidsty Pike - Hawswater Reservoir - Burnbanks,  Staying at Crown and Mitre Hotel www.crownandmitre.com 

The day is rated the most tough of the walk.  Starting right up from 500 feet to 2558 feet in 5 miles with two 1000 in 1 climbs, Kidsty Pike is the highest point on the walk.  Once up on Kidsty Pike, you go right back down to slightly below 1000 feet in 1 mile; a 1500 foot descent.

The guidebooks also mentions many boggy places.  I know my boots are waterproof but still, I hate boggy ground.

It is here were I start using all the supplemental maps provided by Sherpa Expeditions.  A bad weather route follows Ullswater circuiting the Kidsty Pike and even gives two options one low on the water and the other cutting upland.  I also need my extra maps as my hotel is not on the regular route.  It is said a visit to Ullswater inspired Wordsworth to write "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"

Today's weather was not favoring a single, cautious walker.  I know my companion of the last few day was going to do the route described above.  I opted to be conservative and take the bad weather route suggested by Sherpa.

It was an excellent choice.  I studied the maps and came to the conclusion that today's walk is probably 15 to 18 miles total.

My feet certainly feel it.  The trail walked the south bank of Ullswater to the halfway ferry dock, about 6 miles.  I then walked up and over Askham Fell about 8 more miles.  Finally down lanes and roads into Bapton Grange.

Being along the lake and in woods I got to hear a lot of songbirds.  I was able to spot several types of finch, a few of the tits (chickadees) and one of the medium sized woodpeckers which I only remember the German name , something like Mittlespeckt.

Over the fell I was into country I have not yet experienced.  Wide rolling tracks of grass and Bracken fern.  Sheep pop up out of nowhere.  For navigation I have three OS maps, which are what many hikers use for long trips.  My maps told me that I would stay on the obvious track until I came to "The Cockpit"

And there it was, faster than I expected.  The open ground is easy to stride across...none of this rocky, wobbly stepping.

What is The Cockpit?  It is an ancient stone circle,my first. The path along here was also part of a Roman Road.

More fun birds to see, arguing Raven, fighting Pied Wagtails and most unexpectedly, a Curlew.

I came down into the village via beautiful sheepfolds and small back lanes.

I had about three miles to go when the Sherpa Van zipped past me.  I felt a little deflated by then forced myself to push on.

As usual, a shower, a tea with cookies ( gingerbread from Grasmere) and a review of foot condition.  I had to book a table for dinner as the young man said, "It's Friday,we get busy.

It is Friday, I cannot believe I have come so far.

As I rest upon my bed, the sun had come out and the beautiful garden of the home next door has quite a lively bird population.

We are out of the mountains and distances will go faster, but not always easier.  This may become the time for longer days and and more attention to maps as to rove between one sheep farm to the next cattle farm...

With the occasional ruined historic site thrown in.

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