This was my first trip to the Lakes with the whole family, and our friends Michelle and James were kind enough to put us up (many thanks to our excellent hosts). This did mean we were in Windermere, some miles from the cadets who’s expeditions I was notionally assessing in Glenridding, and The Moose did get a bit sick of the car I think, but thems the price of free accommodation! It didn’t help we had a very slow journey up; we averaged 41mph as opposed to 62mph on the way home, driven at night which will definitely be the new long-drive-with-kids protocol.
On the first day, James and I went out in his wee ‘beastie’ – an old-for-a-car-but-young-for-a-landy Land Rover Defender 90 at a mere 18 years. We did a couple of hours of touring the greenlanes of the Langdales which was good, if quite sedate, fun. James was kind enough to let me have a go and I managed not to break anything, though James did have to take over on one rocky section as I didn’t want to ‘attack with speed and momentum’ as I had been telling him to do all morning. ‘Speed is safety’ I said, but speed seems an alien concept to these beardy greenlaners. The compressed air powered diff lock was deployed a few times on trails that, by all accounts, are amongst the best in the country. So that was a bit of a bonus jaunt I didn’t expect!
Then the cadets arrived so Mike and I took a pretty fit bunch up Sharp Edge on Blencathra. For the sake of giving them a linear walk, and a little independence, Mike and I ran back down to pick up the bus and meet them at the finish. 45mins of running downhill perhaps was not such a good idea. Having recovered a bit after the drive back to base, we went for a second run, which was definitely not a good idea. I spent the rest of the week hobbling and walking down stairs sideways. My quads were way beyond any DOMS and into actual muscle strain territory. A bit embarrassing really. So that was it for my planned week of exercise.
We stayed at the bunkhouse one night while the cadets were on their expeditions so we could partake in the Julie’s annual roast dinner extravaganza (and so we could booze) and Willow, after trying and giving up once, slept pretty well given the drunken racket going on outside her door. In fact, it was quite a boozy week, all told.
|'Daddy, why does this lady have no face?'|
On the last day we had a picnic overlooking Langdales which was very nice. I would have liked to take Willow up more hills, but a trifecta of her recovering from a cold, my legs and Holly’s busted ankle meant she didn’t actually get in the papoose once. Nonetheless, she was mostly her smiley self.