It was cold and wet beyond belief and most people were wrapped up indoors and making the most of modem comforts, like central heating and showers. We weren’t. We decided that we needed a trip to the Lake District in our van. We packed all of our blankets, jumpers, coats, boats, and thermals into the small storage compartments the back of our van and make sure we had plenty of gas and heating blankets too for Winston the pug. Our plan is simple. We were not going to let the weather stop our fun!
As we slowly, (Our van only does slowly), made our way up north on the dreaded M6, motorway, being over took by haulage lorries and being buffeted by strong side winds. My optimism started to drain. The weather was awful. The wipers barely cope with the spray from the traffic and the snow was building up on the embankments the further north we traveled. There was no turning back now though. Whether it was due to stubbornness or resilience we continued the journey north and end after 5 hours on the road we arrived at our destination.
We are members of the Caravan and the Motorhome club for times just like this. Wild camping is brilliant and you can end up in some amazing locations but when the weather is against you and you are already battling the gods, (or so it seemed), you need a stable base to build your adventure from. We stayed at the Meathop Fell club site. Nestle is amongst tall trees in the south of the Lake District National park, it was a perfect convocation to explore the southern lakes. Windermere and Coniston water were closed by as was Grizedale forest.
We set up the van ready for the week in one of the most beautiful places on Earth; The English lakes.
Our first 2days consisted of rain and more rain in. We entertained ourselves as much as we could, playing games, cooking tasty one stove meals and explore area so we started to make some plans. Grizedale Forest is a large in between Windereme and Coniston Water. It is managed by the Forestry Commission and therefore has many of the activities that other Forestry Commission sites have brought have throughout the U.K. Mountain Biking, Rope Courses and other visitors are subtly built into the trees. There are also many hiking trails and that’s what we planned to explore. We aimed to get the highest part of the forest and hopefully grab a view of both lakes to the east and west. Winston had 2 coats on and was ready for an adventure, or at ready to be dragged on one anyway! Jumpers and hats were droned and we put snacks and drinks in our backpacks. Our peoples Poncho’s were on and set off to find our view points.
The paths were like rivers I am not using they were wet! They had a constant flow of 2 inch water flowing them. We “paddled” our way up through the winding paths. We soon became part of the forest. The trees enveloped us and our course, and rather than showing us the way to go it felt like the forest was a big for us to explore as we wanted. When you are in a wild space during extreme weather you can’t fight it. You have to allow it to do whatever it wants to do whatever it wants to do. Today the forest wanted us to get wet. The drops falling off the trees hit us on our Poncho hood like wainuts falling from the trees. Our faces were showered with a cold misty breeze everytime the wind managed to get through canopy save us. We didn’t mind though. We kept walking happy to be part of nature and experiencing the forest on a day like this.
The People’s Ponchos were keeping us dry. In fact when we stopped for lunch and pulled my poncho up to reveal my backpack and the backpack was dry and therefore , more importantly, my cake was dry!
JOE EYTON - BEARED OUTDOORS
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