Wednesday, April 30, 2008

30th April 2008 Home again

Here's a Panorama from our last walk round the end of the lake to remember it by......
Woke to the sound of driving rain, so got pretty soggy packing up to come home, but I guess we had little alternative, as our medicine had run out.
We had an excellent run back with no traffic problems and were home for 1:30 pm.
Looking at a great pile of bills and advertisement pushed through the door!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

29th April 2008 :64 Today!

And still Barking Mad! Had a good birthday, and last full day of the holiday too, just for the record here's a picture of our pitch: as you can see we have plenty of room on this site: it's great:

We put on our wellie boots and walked down to the lake, heres a view to the north,

we ventured as far as the bridge over the river and took in this little panorama

Returning to the caravan we had our morning Grasmere Gingerbread "fix" and a rest then went into Keswich for a very tasty lunch at Booths: we followed this with a drive down the length of Ullswater.

On the way we parked at Aira force and I climbed the hill and took a photo.

On the way back I came across a genuine "Money Tree!" it's actually a partly rotted fallen tree and people have hammered coins into it, and in many cases bent them
I can't imaging what prompted them to do this, looks like something from Pagan times!

After tea i went for a last long walk around the lake and too yet again some more photo's

The final image is one with an added blue sky as the approaching darkness made the sky washed out

The camera I got for my birthday (a month early) has now made 1837 exposures!

Monday, April 28, 2008

28th April 2008: Only one more day after this!

We woke once again to the sound of rain, but thought, well, we might as well enjoy the last couple of days, so set off south to Grasmere for another batch of gingerbread (to last for a little while when we get back) and then off west into Langdale and over Wrynose Pass: it was wet, but fortunately traffic was light so the pass was easier to navigate than usual.
We then turned south down the Duddon Valley in the direction of the coast and stopped to photograph this cataract, the image comprises four separate ones, of course.
At this point it came on to rain really hard so we diverted over the hilltops

to Broughton Bridge, picking up the coast road and arriving in Millom in good time for a roast pork chips and peas lunch in the bridge hotel for a very reasonable £4, which is at least half what you would pay anywhere else, especially as that included a cup of tea.
The weather was pretty good on the way back and we got to the caravan mid afternoon, when Pat decided to have a rest, and I decided to walk to the Bowden stone,

a mile south of Grange.
It was worth the walk and there were school parties doing cliff climbing and abseiling,

and I also walked down to the river and took some images of the wonderful scenery and the crystal clear stream.
Later back at the caravan I was processing the images when suddenly two Roe deer walked out of the wood and close by the caravan. I was able to snatch a couple of shots of the doe, but some people walked up and startled them off at the crucial moment!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

27th April And the weather is: Foggy for a change!

Well, why not? it's tried everything else (except of course for the impossible: you know, when that round thing in the sky lights up!)
Still it hasn't put us off and we had a pretty good tour around Lake Ullswater today, we joined the lake at the Aira Force waterfall, stopping to take the odd shot or two from the lakeside of course

I noticed there were clumps of primroses all along the bank under the trees
We continued North to Pooley Bridge the across the top of the lake before going for a change part way around the Eastern shore.
You can stop here and there and there are very pleasant views across the lake, and plenty of pleasure craft at anchor.

The reason is quite simple, half way along the lake you come to a little place called Howtown, where there is an "Outward Bound " centre and a rather picturesque jetty.

you drive over a steep hill will hairpin bends,

drop down into a little hamlet called Martindale, a further half mile brings you into the tiny group of cottages called Sandwick, and it's end of the road time.
The rain started, so we drove up to the viewpoint in the picture above and ate our packed lunch, then came back to our Campsite for a lazy afternoon.
After tea I went for a paddle in the shallows of the lake in my wellies, taking shots of the reflections and fragments of the fog still clinging to the hillsides,

it had been another good (if damp) day, and surprisingly mild at 15C

Saturday, April 26, 2008

26th April 2008. Wild wet, and gray

After a wild, windy and wet night things improved, well at least the wind dropped a bit! It had been a little disturbing with the wind screaming through the treetops overnight, but looking around in the morning there were no signs of fallen branches anywhere, so it must have been more sound than fury!
We decided we needed a coastal run as the weather usually breaks quicker away from the mountains, so off to Silloth we went. We stopped on the coast road for our usual cuppa and of course the absolutely essential Grasmere Gingerbread. Here for reference purposes is a photo of a new unopened packet:#

Refreshed we continued along the coast to Silloth,usually the run has nice views out to sea, but today mist and fog hid all but the closest items. I got out of the car and battling with a golf umbrella to protect the camera, succeeded in getting at least one shot.
The strange breakwater at Silloth is something I haven't seen anywhere else and has always fascinated me.

There wasn't any point hanging around, so we headed cross country to Bassenthwaite lake, and here, for a brief few minutes the rain stopped and I was able to take a couple of shots of the lake and distant hills to combine into a super wide angle view.

We were nearly home, but decided to stop at the National Trust "Kettlewell" car park on the shore of Derwentwater where I got out and photographed some fungi growing on the trees

And also some rather begraggled catkins!

Finally as I ate my sandwiches, (and fed the scrounging ducks with the crusts) the view attracted my attention as it looked like a set from a Japanese kabuki theatre (you know, the ones with cardboard silhouettes) so here it is
Considering how grotty the weather was we had a pretty good morning out!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday 25th April 2008 Stayed local today

Fot two reasons, Pat had a nasty headache that wouldn't shift, and the weather was wet for most of the day, though it was still mild, thankfully.
During the morning too, we did have a bried interlude of sunshine.
We did go into Keswick , which was rather quiet for a change,
As we needed to do some shopping and we had a very tasty lunch in Booth's again, then came back to camp and put the shopping away, Pat had a rest and I went off to the other side of the lake for a walk along the shoreline: it's amazing the amount of wood that gets washed up, and the strange shapes it ends up when eroded.
The trees themselves seem to grow into the strangest shapes, probably due to hang too hang on to rocks and seel nourishment from tiny patched of soil between them!
From there I drove up to Ashness Bridge on the Watendlath and took several photographs to be used to make vertical panorames (super wide angle shots)
And then further up to Surprise View, the rain and mist was hardly helpful, nevertheless I still took quite a few shots, mainly to make into panoramas as usual.
This one is composed from five separate shots, and considering that it was misty and there was a fine rain at the time, it 'aint so bad!

As it was still raining after tea I had a beer and some peanuts and just went for a short walk.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday 24th April 2008 Wrynose and Hardknot day

The day started off with heavy rain, so we lazed around until about 11, when the sun came out, so there was a hasty packing up of sandwiches for dinner, and off we went, first through Honister pass,
Then we stopped by Buttermere for tea and Grasmere Gingerbread, and across to the coast road and south, then via the back roads to Eskdale Green and Wast Water.
I took quite a few shots here even though the weather was misty and dull, and made a panoramic of five shots to begin with,The sheer size of the screes on the other side of the lake make it impossible to get much in using a normal wide angle lens, so this is where the big advantage of Panoramas comes inEven on the shoreline the sheer scale of the scene defeats the normal wide angle lens and this time stitching two vertical images together is definitely the best idea
Here is a vertical panorama of just two, which enables including a decent foreground and lots of sky
No visit to the lakes is complete without a run across Wrynose and Hardknot Pass, so this was the way we decided to come back
And this is the view down Wrynose looking to the west: it's a great run during the week when there's little or no Traffic!
The road over the passes is narrow, twisting, steep, badly rutted, and in wet conditions treacherous: if there is any ice about: it's a no go area to all traffic!
Which makes it of course a magnet to the curious: if you want a treat park by the roadside and watch the faces of the drivers as they pass: it isn't hard to tell the difference with the experienced driver's who've done it before and the newbies having the (scary) time of their lives.
Last year when we were here there was an event where 300 mini's came over the passes, covered in streamers, union jacks, balloons etc., some of them were ancient, and I remembered driving them over the same road thirty years ago: even though they were nearly new then, they only just had enough power to make the climb (and god help the brake linings on the down side!)
One of the mini vans was a mobile garage workshop filled with spare parts and a mechanic so they were well prepared.
incredibly they all made it in style, with a large crowd cheering them on.
It was a real fun occasion!
We then turned into Little langdale, stopping for a look at Blea Tarn of course, before completing our journey home via Ambleside and a welcome rest.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

23rd April 2008 A coastal Day for a change

We woke to the sound of rain for the first time this holiday and spent the morning lazing around, and in my case on "Bridge chat" on the Bridge camera user group website. By Half past eleven it had cleared up, so we drove into Keswick and had a delicious lunch at Booths (the local supermarket) then went up to photograph the Castlerigg Stone circle.

It was obvious that the clouds were clearing from the west, meaning the coast, and hanging around on the hills, so off we went to the coast, passing though Whitehaven and stopping at Maryport.
Although I had visited before this was the first time we bothered to look around and i was surprised how much of interest was there.
Apparently the place got started when the Romans used it as a supply port and base for Hadrians Wall, but after they left it declined and was actually part of Scotland for hundreds of years, it came alive again with the industrial revolution when it grew on the coal and metal items trade to Ireland
After trade declined things went downhill, though now the new Marina and Steamboat Museum show that it is making a comeback!
There are actually two parallel harbours in Maryport, the inner one is busy with fishing boats and some historic vessels, including this Dundee steam tug being renovated by volunteers

And the altogether grander outer harbour which is taken up by a large Marina.
We really enjoyed the walk, at times there was shelter and the sun was pretty warm, it was a much bigger place the we expected, and we were pretty pleased when the car came into sight.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

22nd April Tuesday Tarn Howes and...

A lovely sunny morning, and we needed some Grasmere Gingerbread! So our first destination was rather obvious. Once we had the Gingerbread we continued south, and decided to take the back roads for a change, and spotted a sign for Wray Castle: National Trust, which rather puzzled us as it doen't seem to be in the book! However the car park and grounds are open free to the public, though the house is closed, probably to be renovated.
Although it looks ancient the house was built in 1840 for a retired surgeon called Dr Dawson, and some time later rented by Beatrix Potter's family.
We had a good walk round the grounds and garden, And there were some incredible trees and plants growing there, this one was close to the castle, I was attracted to it by what appeared to be bright red flowers, which actually turned out to be new leaves, as the flowers are white!
We ate our packed lunch on what appeared to be a balcony on the drive which gave us an incredible panoramic view to the north of the lake .
After lunch it was a short drive to Tarn Howes.
Though it looks lovely, it is of course artificial, being the result of combing three separate tarns in the pat: it was bought by Beatrix Potter, and bequeathed by her in due course to the National Trust.
As members of the National Trust we don't have to pay to use the car park, assuming of course you can find a spot! Even at this time of year we had to go round the car park three times before finding somewhere we could get in.
We bought an expensive though delicious ice cream cornet at the residen van, then walked over to the hilltop to take a couple of shots: I was impressed by the way that daffodils survive in what can only be described as the most exposed places...

The views from here are truly breathtaking, but as it was getting late so we set off back following the smaller lanes and roads, and we stopped on one corner to take a scenic shot and I spotted this little family group..

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday April 21st 2008 Whitehaven and Ennerdale

We decided to combine shopping and scenery, so drove up on back roads round the western side of Derwentwater, then west towards the coast through Newlands pass.
This is one of the gentlest of the lakeland passes, and it also has the least traffic, and some great parking spots where the view is worth photographing. I had been hoping for sunshine to pick out the wonderful forms of the landscape, however thhe weather was a bit dull, nevertheless I took several images anyway:
This is one of my favourite views of the valley, and one of the flatter sections of the pass too, once past this there is a fairly steep rise before the immense hill that sweeps down the mountainside to the village of Buttermere, then on through Buttermere and across via Lowes Water and Frizington to Whitehaven, where we parked at Tesco's on the front, had a fish and chip lunch in a local cafe, then walked through the town centre to find a craft shop as Pat wanted some decouppage print sheets to cut out to make birthday cards suitable for men.
At the end of the main street is a square, and in the centre a small metal pagoda, with these bronze statues: very lifelike and impressive, presumably of two young fishermen from what appears to be the 1960's, one is seated and tying a knot

We enjoyed our walk back along the extensive Marina filled with pleasure craft and passed several strange bits of street architecture or follies, including this rather strange cycle rack made of Stainless steel in the shape of fish.
There are also tiled patterns in the roads and pavements related to fishing, and metal models of nautical knots mounted at intervals in the pavement on the quayide.
All in all the place has plenty of character, do visit sometime.
We spent quite some time looking around before shopping getting back to the car park to do our shopping at Tesco.

Once this was done it was inland to Ennerdale as the sun had come out, though it was still rather misty. We had a cuppa and a banana on a seat taking in the view before Pat went back to the car to do her "decouppage" cutting out, and I went for a walk down by the lakeside.
To my delight there were Peacock butterflies flitting about, and with difficulty I managed to get a decent shot of one, which I have posted on Ephotozine as my entry for today, and it gained 11 votes.

Despte the fact that the sky was a little devoid of detail and there was a mist, I did take several shot of the scenery of course, who wouldn't?
Ennerdale is definitely a "must see" for anyone with an interest in good landscape views, and of course for the more vigorous there is a circular walk right round the lake.

When we got back to the van we ate the sandwiches we had packed up intending to have for lunch before we spotted the fish and chip cafe: then as the sun had come out I nipped out in the car to take my favourite view down onto the house on the promontory: for once the lighting was right!