Thursday, May 24, 2012

305.00 kms: Keswick-Threlkeld-Scales-Mungrisdale.

At the risk of cursing myself I think I want the cold weather back. The sun is not my ally; it is my nemesis. I spent a lot of the walk today staring up at towering cumulus clouds, willing them to turn thunderous. They remained white masses of cream with whispy banners coming from their tops. They are still over there on my right as I sit above the river at the pub and drink a lager-and-lime (see photo), but their bottoms are looking a lot more like overcastness so maybe my wish will come true and tomorrow I will complain about the cold, the wet and the mud. One bonus at the moment is I am able to go from street to room without removing my boots; one (opposite of bonus) is that instead of traipsing mud up there, I am dripping sweat. There is something satisfying, when you are stopped and imbibing in a cold drink of some sort, about drops of sweat running down your back. Makes you feel like you have achieved something—even if it is only dragging that rucksack in a forward direction for an amount of time. 

See those four names up there. They weren't just the places I went through today. They are the places I stopped for food or drinks or both. I am not proud; I was so hot. I think it got to a blistering twenty-eight degrees. That is warm for England. English people were melting all over the place, and turning very scary shades of pink. But the damn blighters were still hopping up and down mountains like goats. Damn them! I stopped in Keswick for breakfast of tea cakes and carrot cake. (What do you mean carrot cake is not a breakfast item—that is very small minded of you. Try having twenty-nine full cooked english breakfasts in a row and then see if carrot cake doesn't sound like the most brilliant idea you ever had.) I had a prawn salad and a pint of orange juice and lemonade in Threlkeld. A huge pile of prawns appeared on my plate but they were those little ones they put on pizzas at cheap pizza places and didn't taste like anything. I wanted to have the key lime pie too but the service was so incredibly slow that I couldn't give it any more time. It did have a table of eccentric old man next to me though—there was a special set-menu for pensioners (why did the lady give me that menu; its the bad effects of the sun!) They were talking about everything from bribing anyone and everyone in Kurdistan to the editor at the Mirror telling one of them how to check if his phone had been bugged. I love them. At Scales I had a tonic water with lime cordial and a pot of tea (with a bikky on the side). And here, at the Mill Inn I am currently nursing the beer, but have been told by walkers today that the Inn is famous for their pies, so we'll see how we go. My washing is done. I am cleaned of my sweaty layer of sunscreen and dirt. The night lies open before me. I can go to town—or I can go to village, there are only four houses and a pub here so I don't think it will get too wild. I'll eat, drink, read, and maybe have the lime and lemon cheesecake to make up for the key lime pie shaped hole in my heart.


I feel I have left the lakes behind me. The landscape spreads more smoothly out in front. I have not spent enough time there. I will have to work out a way to come back and hop around the mountains like all the other mad men and their dogs. But not with that bag. And not when it is so hot. I'll have to schedule it for about 2017. Everything else is booked up at this stage with other holiday schemes. Too much work, too little holiday time. Life could be fairer than the amazingly privileged one it already is. Just saying ...


Mungrisdale literally means pig farm. There is an odd waft every now and again.


Good night to Mungrisdale, good night to you.



  1. I love an Ice Cold Beer on a hot summers day, indeed one of life's small pleasures.

  2. The beer actually calls me too despite the freezing Melbourne weather. I do have a thirst. Have one for me.

    Carrot cake is suitable for all meals.