Both Sumaira and I were in love with Crummock Water, and decided to challenge our ageing bones with the 12 km walk around it. We vowed to set off nice and early, but that came to nothing as we dawdled in the morning, sitting outside on the barn steps, drinking tea and gazing at the sheep in a far-off field.
The sheep, we agreed, are incredibly stupid to look at. Two of them ventured close to study us with deep interest. A large hen pottered up to peer suspiciously at us. A flock of sheep appeared without warning, running up the hill on the road. They were flanked by a couple of sheep dogs, and followed by a young shepherd in jeans and Wellies—who I’m sure Marie would be very interested in—on a strange vehicle rather like a scooter on four big wheels.
Anyhow, we packed our lunch and snacks for the day, and set out. The sky was clear, and the forecast said it would be a fair day. We were not the only ones headed towards Crummock Water, and it took some time to remind myself that I must be on my best behaviour, because clearly, the English were! It felt oddly nice greeting and exchanging a few words (about the weather, what else?!) with people we met on the way.
Crummock Water is beautiful beyond words, and our route along the lakeshore and the surrounding landscape afforded some glorious views of the mountains. Sumaira and I have both trekked a bit in the Himalayas. We have seen lakes and mountains and fields. But we had never seen anything like this.
I was thrilled to find my first stile! Unfortunately, we didn’t have to cross it (though we did cross several later). Part of the walk through a private woodland and through a lonely part of the lakeshore near a boathouse where the water was especially still. Trudging through the open countryside, with soft heather underfoot, suddenly inspired Sumaira to do a “hills are alive” routine. I wasn’t quick enough with my camera, and anyway I have promised not to speak of it. 😉
The second half of the walk was a trifle more tiresome, though the view more than made up for it. The path was boggy and slippery in places, but luckily there had been no rain in the recent past, making it slightly easier than usual. There were some very ugly cows grazing, and we gave them a wide berth.
Panting and pumped up at having walked around Crummock Water, we decided to take a slight detour to go up and see a waterfall that the locals were raving about, Scale Force. We turned off from the path where we thought it led up to the falls, scrambling steeply uphill for almost a mile through boggy ground and squeezing ourselves between closely growing prickly gorse.
Half way up, we were told we were not on the best route for the falls, but we soldiered on nevertheless, only to be thwarted by a barred gate. We spied the waterfall through it, thought little of it, and came back down, mildly annoyed at not having made it.
That night we had new roommates. It was a full house as we were joined by a Scottish couple, and a friendly group of four New Zealanders.