Early in May, we met up with our old friends for a walk, and to celebrate Andy’s birthday. We had the least far to travel, since we were meeting at the Littledale carpark on the edge of the Forest of Bowland, not too far from Lancaster. So, naturally, never knowingly on time for anything, we were the last to arrive. I think the last of Andy’s bacon butties had yet to be washed down with a mug of tea at that point, so we may not have delayed things too much.
Leaving the cars, we started with an easy ascent of Baines Cragg, which, despite many previous visits to this area, I’ve never climbed before – it turned out to be an excellent viewpoint. It’s a shame the skies were so grey – I shall have to go back and have another look when the weather is more clement.
Apparently the Thirlmere Aqueduct, which transports water from the Lake District to Manchester, is the longest gravity-fed aqueduct in Britain (source).
The track which crosses Ottergear Bridge was presumably constructed as part of the engineering work related to the aqueduct. It took us to the path which climbs Clougha Pike from the Rigg Lane car park.
When we lived on The Row, we used to see Slow Worms in our garden quite often. They seemed to like our compost heaps. B did once find one in our current garden, but that was years ago.
They are thought to be the longest-lived of all lizards; the remarkable age of 54 years has been reliably recorded.from ‘Fauna Britannica’ by Stefan Buczacki
Below the sculptures we found a sheltered spot, out of the wind, for our second cake/brew/lunch stop. For me, this was a highlight of the day. The heathery slope was comfortable, the view to the north, if somewhat hazy and grey, was still extensive and, above all else, the company was excellent.
Andy had been keen to tick-off Ward’s Stone, but the weather wasn’t great, so we decided to follow this track which looped around Grit Fell and then come back over the top of Grit Fell.
It was along here somewhere that ‘the trouser incident’ occurred. J has a pair of waterproof overtrousers, apparently designed for cross-country skiing, with zips down both the inside and the outside of both legs – making it possible, in theory, to put them on whilst wearing skis. However, with all 4 zips undone, and in a strong wind with driving rain, the trousers had 4 long flapping pieces and even without the encumbrance of skis, try as she might, J couldn’t get them on. It didn’t help that she got the giggles, which turned out to be infectious and soon, whilst TBF and TBH tried to help, the rest of us were doubled-up laughing and making entirely unhelpful suggestions. Eventually, the trousers were tamed, just about in time for the fierce shower to come to an end.
Andy’s account, with a better map, better photos etc is here.
Whose birthday is next?