After 15 long months without any holiday/annual leave, it was finally time for me to get away and switch off for a few days, something I find very hard to do, but I love doing and I do it best when I’m away from home. I normally like to visit different cities around Europe and of course my beloved Ibiza, but this time due to COVID (of course) it’s a little different. I booked 5 days in the Lake District staying at White Cross Bay in a lovely lodge with the hound, Nala. One of my other favourite pass times is hiking. It’s actually something I encourage all of my clients to get involved with too.
I wrote a blog on the benefits of hiking that you can read here.
I’ve also embarked on a big challenge next year in which I will be taking on a 7 day trek in Peru, South America on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This will consist of 7 days of consecutive trekking of up to 6-10 hour each day – sounds a bit crazy right?
I’m doing this to raise money for Mental Health Foundation – My target is £5,000. I’m so passionate about this cause and I’ve wanted to do a big charity event for a while now, once that pushes me to my limits and this will do exactly that. You can sponsor me for this event and contribute to a fantastic cause here.
I figured as well as this trip (The Lakes) giving me the sense of release I’ve been craving for so long, it will also give me some idea as to the requirements of the Peru trip which is why I’m taking on a big hike each day to see how my body responds. There is a slight difference in that I’m staying in a nice luxurious lodge for this one and I’ll be camping out in the mountains in Peru, but at least it will give me a small idea of what’s to come for the physical aspect.
I decided I would do a small write-up each day to share with you, not because I’m showing off, I just actually quite enjoy writing, and of course, I’d love you to sponsor me for my challenge next year which is in April.
Day 1 – Easedale Tarn from Grasmere
I arrived in Windermere around 11:30 after a pleasant drive up the M6. However, due to not being able to check-in until 4pm I decided to keep the car moving up to Grasmere which is one of the most well-known villages in the Lakes, home to the famous Gingerbread shop which had a huge queue all day, it’s also home to William Wordsworth’s former residence and daffodil garden – a very popular spot. If you had to stereotype the lakes, this would be it.
With the first car park being full, I drove up to the car park on the other side of the village which to me was a good thing because it highlighted the wonderful sight that now the rules have been relaxed the village was flooded with tourists which is a totally different experience from the last time I was there last year when we still had some restriction around staying over elsewhere.
I’d checked the weather and rain was expected, so I got the waterproofs on, along with Nala’s jacket too and headed for the beginning of the trail to Easedale Tarn. It’s a very short walk from the car park where you take a slight uphill road opposite the main village (it is sign-posted – Easedale Tarn for those not sure).
Of course, as we begin the walk, the rains poured down but having checked the weather I knew it was going to brighten up, many people had made the turn around and were walking back towards me away from the tarn but we marched on.
You eventually take a left as the road bends to the right after you’ve passed a row of houses on your right which leads you over a narrow bridge that runs over the stream which actually runs all the way down from the beautiful waterfalls you eventually meet. As we followed the path which is uneven on the foot in parts and so ankle high hiking boots are 100% required on this route, we continued to be faced with the torrential downpours but I didn’t let this dampen my spirits and Nala didn’t seem to bother too much, the fact it wasn’t particularly cold certainly helped.
As you progress you can see the waterfall in the distance which encourages you to keep going, we encountered a few people on the way up who’d began their journey home, we did however overtake a few slower hikers on the way up. It was just great to see people out and about after such a tough year under restriction.
We did encounter two cute little lambs who’d managed to get out of their field of residence somehow to which Nala wanted to chase the poor little things, I keep her on the lead at all times for this very reason – the Beagle in her wants to chase anything that moves!
After around 30 minutes or so of trekking you’ll meet the first part of the waterfall which is a fantastic sight, a great opportunity for some pictures and even a swim if you are feeling brave – maybe one day. We didn’t stall for too long as the rain was still pouring down at this point, I took a quick video ‘for the gram’ mainly of Nala soaking wet shaking everywhere! The reality is that although it’s very tempting at the time to spend time taking photos and videos, they often never do the experience justice, sometimes you just have to take it all in and enjoy it although I did post it on my story 😉.
As we progressed beyond the waterfall you start to climb a little, with the rocks wet, it required a little more care than normal on the ascent. Although there is some care required on the foot, there climb itself isn’t too bad and certainly in the dry shouldn’t be a problem for most people. As we continued with the path bending to the left, it’s a very obvious trail so there isn’t much risk of getting lost, the rain began to subside.
We eventually arrived at the tarn after the best part of an hour with the sky clearing, brightening and the temperature warming slightly, it had all been worthwhile. After enjoying the scenery for a short while we began our descent back into Grasmere village. Although the rain had subsided, it was still wet on the foot and so care had to be taken, especially when you’ve got a dog pulling you down the rocky terrain!
I’d previously injured my calf in a game of football the week prior and I felt it pop a little on the way down, which is not ideal ahead of a week of hiking and tackling Scafell Pike tomorrow, I made it down and it seemed to ease a little. I think the 2 pints of Grasmere Brewery Bitter at the pub helped ease the pain somewhat.
It was topped off in the evening with 2 more beautiful pints of Lakeland Blond and fish and chips in a nearby pub to where I was staying. All in all a great start to the week providing the calf doesn’t provide further problems!
21,500 steps complete. Over 16km walked. 4 Pints consumed. Calories consumed – unknown!
It’s time to get my head down and get some rest ahead of the highest peak in England tomorrow.
Lastly, a little reminder that you can sponsor me to donate to Mental Health Foundation for my trek to Machu Picchu next year.