Friday, 8 September 2017

Spirit Trail Day 7 - I'd bring fewer pants next time...

So, just about 1 week into our first ever multi-day hike and we were discussing what we'd
learned so far. The over-riding lesson for both of us was that we didn't need as much underwear as we thought we'd need and I really begrudge carrying around grubby undies.  When you have to carry everything around on your back the word "essential" becomes much more clearly defined.

One thing which is absolutely essential is the requirement to carry the very kind gifts which many of the folks we've met have generously given us. (I know the English in that sentence is shocking but it's late & I'm tired).  Take this morning for example - we just popped in to see Anthony in Windermere Wines and he handed over 2 small bottles of Mint Cake liqueur sent over by "Minty Mike" - that's definitely worth dumping your grubby undies for.

With Anthony & Mint Cake Liqueurat Windermere Wines

As we made our way down the hill to Bowness we passed another off-licence & this one stocked a local liqueur we'd missed on our original list - Gingerbread Vodka. It was utterly delicious and required me to buy a small bottle for "research purposes".

Today some of you may say we cheated but it has always been our intention on this project to offer this as a route you can hike if you want or, if you prefer you can use other modes of transport (apart from driving if you're planning to try any samples!), so from Bowness we hopped onto the steamer to Ambleside.  There is honestly no better way to explore the lake and today we were treated to the most spectacular sight - a rainbow mist.  I've never seen anything quite like it, utterly breathtaking, and something we just wouldn't have seen from the shore.

Stunning rainbow mist from Windermere cruiser

View from steamer at Waterhead

Our accommodation for the night is Brathay Hall & we are both mightly impressed at the value for money here. Unbeatable location at the head of the lake and simple but perfectly proportioned rooms containing everything you need.

Brathay Hall

As you know, I spend a lot of time on Twitter and one place I've exchanged many tweets with over the past year or so is Dodd's restaurant in Ambleside - their daily specials look so divine that I've occasionally come close to licking the screen of my phone...  When they heard about our hike they invited us over and I was powerless to resist!

The food is glorious - all freshly cooked in a proper kitchen by chefs I can see. No nasty microwave re-heats and plenty of variety and flavour.  The place was understandably packed with folks waiting patiently for a seat - always the sign of a great restaurant.

Beautiful fresh made food at Dodds

With Lazlo - head chef at Dodd's

I was properly full by the end but, as we're back hiking again tomorrow, I prefer to see it as essential carbo-loading rather than gratuitous stuffing of our faces.  Huge credit to Lazlo & his team for creating something truly special.

Tomorrow we're heading up & over Loughrigg and learning more about illicit spirit production in the region so if you spot me in a homebrew shop in the next month or so, you'll know why.

BEFORE YOU GO please take a moment to like & follow all of our supporters - they are all wonderful folks without whom this trip would have been really boring. Please click on the photos above to visit the folks we met today. Thank you. 😀

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