Friday, 22 November 2013

Eskdale Trip Days #2&3

Apologies for the huge gap in blogging. It's been manic!

Stephen's birthday was our second day away. To be kind to him, I let him have a day off the bike. He's always wanting to go walking, so I obliged. And like the last walk, I was determined to walk his feet off so he wouldnt make such a daft suggestion again!! That's his theory anyway, for why the walk was so tough.

Birker Force was torrential so we decided to take a closer look. There's actually no path to the waterfall itself, so we clambered over rocks and bracken to take a closer look. We were drenched in no time. The falls were dramatic, but not very pretty.
We returned to the bridleway, but the bottom of the falls had burst their banks and the bridge only crossed part of the waters. A family were at the other side trying to figure out how to get across... my solution was the only solution that a bad-ass girl could come up with

Even though the weather was damp, the path to Stanley Gill was pretty busy. This is my favourite waterfall and I'd never seen as much water gushing down the valley before, so I was looking forward to seeing it. The usual trickles from the sides of the dell had turned into waterfalls themselves.

A well timed lunch at the cafe at the end of the Ravenglass Eskdale railway meant we avoided a massive downpour before the afternoon section of the walk.

We continued down the valley towards Eskdale Green following bridleways meandering around the hills en route to the Japanese Garden at the wonderfully named, Giggle Alley.

The Japanese garden is growing wild since I last visited it afew years ago. It had been maintained by a group of volunteers, but I guess that has fallen by the wayside. It still looked beautiful though, but not quite the manicured preciseness you usually find in J-gardens.

Darkness was creeping in as we heard distant rumbles of thunder. We were still at the furthest point from the hostel.

As we climbed back to the hills we watched the dramatic clouds moving across the landscape.

The grey soon cleared to let the glow of the setting sun warm up the view of the valley below.

The last few miles of the walk were getting darker fast. I enjoyed the fun of clambering round in the gloom choosing to finish the walk on footpaths rather than on the road.
One last waterfall, which is called Whillan Beck... not beck like today, more like Whillan Force.

The walk had been hard work, but stunning at every turn.

We hung our wet gear in the smelly drying
room and Stephen enjoyed some of the robot chocolates I'd made for his birthday. Well deserved too.

The last day of the trip was an easy 20 mile ride, mainly on road to the end of Wastwater to lunch at the pub at Wasdale Head. The road goes nowhere, so it's pretty quiet for traffic.
Britain's favourite view was obscured by low lying cloud, but still stunning, as the Lakes always is.

Stephen had hoped it would be a mainly flat ride, but as usual, I managed to get some hills into it as we climbed into a headwind heading back to Gosforth. It did mean a wonderful last view before a fast descent to finish off with. Always an ideal way to finish a trip.

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