Beautiful Buttermere Beating

We woke to rain on our first full day in the Lake District. The campsite was (still is) the best we stayed at, called Castlerigg, it overlooked Derwent Water – not that we could see much of it with the dull weather – and we had the Best full English breakfast you can imagine in the cafe on site.
Buttermere was always the plan for the day, the weather made no difference to that.
We packed Bertha up ( there is a magic button that when pressed the bed puts itself away – but this only seems to happen when I go to the shower block) and set the Sat Nav.
Driving through the Lake District in any direction you will be rewarded with a view as I’m sure many of you know. From teasing glimpses through the trees of sparkling water to full blown landscape views from above, the Lakes has it all.
The route took us around Derwent Water (a dip in here was to be had later on) and on up through Honister Pass. Bertha did us proud up the ‘hill’, she even managed to pass cyclists! Cyclists! Up that gradient! My hat was off to them, having cycled the London to Cambridge last year I have nothing but respect for anyone who can cycle up a hill. My friend and I took one look at a couple of them en route and just no, na ah, no way (maybe with a few expletives!) and got off and walked – which I have to say wasn’t easy either!!
I managed to take a little bit of video on our way up, taking in the torrent of the river raging back down the hill, down the waterfalls and under fallen trees and of the rain that was driving or sweeping ‘down’ sideways!
We pulled in at the top, at the slate mine, where apparently you can get a view down to Buttermere. Roger wanted to get a pic. Well not this day!! It was a little bit cloudy to say the least! There were puddles forming in the car park, rather large ones, the rain was so intense. So, back into Bertha we go and continue on down the road. It’s a fantastic road, a little bit hairy in places it has to be said, especially with the river running parallel and the sheep dotted about. How the sheep managed to stay upright and clamber over the terrain is beyond me. Quite resilient creatures.
We made it down the hill and into the car park just past The Fish Inn. There was no let up in the rain, the river was running down the side of the car park and it was pretty high and very fast. There were people camping in the field opposite – I was thankful we had Bertha. We made ourselves busy getting our things together and getting our cossies on, put our robies on and started our walk to Buttermere.
I took my brolly. I know, I was going to get wet anyway but I wanted a reasonably dry robe to put on when I got out (it was a borrowed towelling one – I now am the proud owner of my very own Proper Dry Robe, courtesy of Santa). I felt quite the rebel and tapped into my inner child and splashed through the puddles along the way. We made it to the waters edge. The clouds were very low and very full but they were doing their very best to empty themselves! It was positively driving down. There were still dog walkers though!IMG_0796
Roger took no time in wading in. Me, as usual, stood there, thinking……Really?!?! Am I really going to do this?! Then something clicks in my head, I take my robe off and put it under Rogers under the shelter of a tree (a fabulous tree) and walk to the edge.IMG_0805 Oh My Goodness!!! Bloody Hell!!! The rain was painful!! And cold!! I realised it was probably less painful to just get in – so I did. It was quite shallow, I’d watched as Roger got in, I like to know where the bottom will disappear and where I can put my feet. I don’t think that will ever change.
It was heavenly. The wind, the horizontal rain, the waves, everything. The water was warmer than the rain and it was protecting me from it. Apart from the face, but I really didn’t care, I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling. It was totally amazing. We swam about a bit and generally had a lark. Roger took his photos, I took the time to have a look around. It was beautiful, I couldn’t see a lot but I still knew I was in the presence of beauty. All too soon it was time to get out. Imagine that – I didn’t want to get out, me, the swimming goat, the landlubber, could I be being converted slowly? It is a fantastic feeling when you get out, you feel quite righteous, accomplished and, well, just Fab!!IMG_0797
Robes on we trudged back to Bertha, meeting a young couple on their way to the water for a swim! We stopped and had a little chat, the young man was taking his girlfriend on a whirlwind swimming tour of the lakes while she was in the country. They could obviously tell we had been for a swim and asked how it had been. I think they could tell by the huge smiles on our faces the answer to that one.IMG_0799
We made it back to Bertha and got dry and warm. The river was even higher and faster and we watched the campers in the field opposite trying to pack their belongings up, they’d obviously had enough and I can’t say I blamed them.
We set off back to the campsite, back up Honister Pass and stopped again at the Slate Mine. The car park was now a lake in its own right. We got out and managed to get across the water that was running through and into the Mine itself. We had a quick look round the shop, they were struggling to keep the water out, it was running down the walls in the shop, they were trying to sweep it out so we made a swift exit into the cafe and treated ourselves to some warming soup. There were people there who were preparing for the Via Ferrata, the climbing experience and some who had completed it, my hat was off to them for doing it in what the weather was throwing at them.
After we’d been warmed up with soup we got back on the road and continued down the other side of Honister Pass and back to Derwent Water where we found a little car park that was right on the shore of the Water and settled down for a well deserved nap. As soon as we woke up, Roger put his budgies on again and headed off to the waters edge – much to the surprise of the the others in the carpark – and went into the Water. I watched him – then put my costume on and did the same. Except, not quite so confidently or quickly. IMG_0801I waded in – good grief it was cold! It wasn’t deep, I like that, I can keep my feet on terra firma. I took the plunge and got all the way in, well, it just made me smile. There was no doubt it was cold, but it is so freeing, it’s a truly amazing feeling, which is added to by people watching with incredulous expressions on their faces. The weather was easing a little, the sky was very moody but at least it had stopped raining.IMG_0804
After messing about in the water and Roger had taken his usual stunning photos, we got out, wrapped up and headed back to the campsite to get ready for dinner in town.
So, first full day and two dips, who would have thought it! Not me that’s for sure, but I knew I couldn’t wait for more!! And oh boy, there was certainly more to come!

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