Sunday, 22 August 2010

Great North Fun Day 25


Trust me, it's a shower.

I know, I know, I'm a little late with this one, but when you're in the wilds of the Lake District you're relying on the outcome of the battle between the mobile networks and the mountains, and the mountains usually win.

We left the lovely CL near Gretna today and it's a place I can't recommend highly enough.  The site was lovely, there was a shower and a loo and the owners were lovely.  The farm kept sheep and sold various cuts of lamb and mutton (apologies to any vegetarians reading this) and would happily provide any veg they had to go with it.  I bought a couple of huge leg steaks and was provided with a good selection of freshly dug or picked veg and all for an astoundingly cheap price.  We have farm shops back in Hampshire but with all their overheads and their captive 4x4 mums audience the prices tend to be astronomic.  So much nicer and fresher direct from the farmers wife - even if I did feel a little guilty as we drove past their field of sheep on the way out.

Ullswater from the diesel "steamer"
We headed straight for the CC site next to Ullswater, bagged a decent spot then headed for the lake.  Amazingly it's my first proper visit to the Lake District and as the weather was taking a brief lull from it's autumnal schedule I decided I wanted to make the most of it and head out on a boat. We got ourselves tickets for the Ullswater Steamer and 10 minutes later boarded a diesel powered boat - where are the trade descriptions lot when you need them?  We happily chugged up and down the lake for a couple of hours and even spotted a couple of houses we fancied buying one day if we maybe win the lottery. Twice.  The scenery was dramatic with Hellvelyn looming large over the head of the lake.  Once back ashore I took out a small mortgage to buy a loaf of bread and some milk before we headed off for Aira Falls.

The Aira Falls pay & display carpark was free for National Trust members - hallelujah!  That's another 70p saved thanks to our annual membership fee...  As the NT hadn't splashed out on too many signs we ended up on the wrong side of the river for High Force so Steve deftly & elegantly leapt across 3 boulders to the other side.  As  I have the sense of balance of your average Glaswegian after a night on the lash I rolled up my trousers and paddled across.  In the 20 mins it took me to slither and swear my way to the other side several families with young children had followed Steve's lead and were all now mocking me from the far bank.  Eventually we made it up to High Force for the obligatory photo of more gallons of water hurling themselves selflessly down a rockface for the amusement of tourists.
The bottom of Aria Falls.  Spot the penguin?

Returning to the campsite I set about cooking up the lamb and veg I bought earlier.  Luckily the stuff was so good that it gallantly rose above my attempts at incineration and turned our pleasingly eadible - which is more than can be said for the gravy which was so weak it couldn't even make it out of the pan.

Well I won't be around for a few days now as we're taking a break to immerse ourselves in family stuff.  All being well I'll be back on Thursday in Ambleside churning our more meaningless witterings from our travels.