Just when you think you know it all! The Lakes bites back.
Jun 05, 2018
I've been doing a lot of walking over the past 3 years and really enjoying it. I have walking some of Scotland's biggest mountains, done coast to coast, The fife Coastal Path, The West Highland Way and so much more. I thought I was pretty experienced, sensible and ready for anything that can happen.
I was wrong! Here's a little lesson in being prepared.......
I was hosting The Luxury Lakes Weekend in early June and with only a short Saturday morning walk planned didn't take my usual walking gear - boots, waterproofs, back pack etc. In my great wisdom decided trainers and jeans should suffice. I know - what could possibly go wrong?
I was up at 7am enthusiastic to rekkie the 3 mile walk along the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake, get this done before breakfast and take the group out later. Off i went in my Fila trainers, jeans and polo top. The start of the walk along the road was great, nice and leisurely, the birds were singing, it was warm, I was happy. After 10 minutes I found my way marker to head onto farm land - lambs running around, the fields whilst damp from the morning dew were ok, my Fila footwear seemed to be holding up. As I ventured further onto the farmland, the grass was getting longer, the cow pats more frequent but all was well in Jamie's world. After passing through a field of inquisitive cows I found myself heading into the woods - still no lake by the way - I know it's there though - just behind the trees, the map says so!
At this point the bottom of my jeans were damp, footwear wet and morale waining. I was around half way and decided to continue with my route, i'm not going back having covered half the walk i thought.
The walk through the woods was lovely, it was getting very humid however and I was heating up - I did have water though - I always have water. Only a mile to go as I left the woods - heading away from the lake I had yet to see - so much for the lovely lakeside walk - the trees were so thick and on private land the lake views never came.
As I continued along a small river the path thinned with trees to the one side and fence on the other. The grass was long and path getting muddier. After 5 minutes my jeans were soaked - right through and up to my waist and my feet were sliding in the mud - I was really enjoying myself at this point.
Imagine my mood - i'm sweating in the humid heat, my feet are soaking, my footwear plastered in mud, my jeans are heavy and uncomfortable as well as soaking wet and I have at least a mile to go - this path better improve soon. I pick the pace up as time is marching on I am now going to need another shower and change before I meet the group at breakfast.
Thankfully the path ends as I head onto a farm track, a short distance from the main road - phew, I was nearly there.
However the farm track decided I needed one more obstacle thrown at me - muck, lots of it, tractor deep and very wet - there's only one thing for it - plough on through.
As I arrived on the main road - wet, dirty, hot, annoyed I made my way back to the hotel. There were no pavements and passing car drivers seemed to think 60 miles an hour on a country road as they go by me is fine - it wasn't - pretty scary!
On the funny side I couldn't help but think I looked like I was doing the morning walk of shame - that crazy night you never made it home till morning wearing the same clothes - except this party must have been one to remember judging by the state of me....
I finally made it back to the hotel, showered and changed and in time for breakfast with the group. I advised I had been out early to check the walk was suitable but fear it was bit 'damp' and unsuitable for our group. We made other plans.
The lesson here - the outdoors can be beautiful but always be prepared for it - no matter how easy or short the walk maybe, or how experienced you think you may be - you have a to respect it or it will bite you.
The jeans survived, the Fila trainers - made it as far as the bin.