Or the Roof of the World, a Jack Russell View of the Lake District and the Best Thing to do with 20p…
The week’s forecast was cloudy day and night but we wake to another beautiful day with clear skies and not a breath of wind. The birds sing their hearts out.
We rejoice in the perfection of the day and eat outside in the hot sunshine under a sky as blue as any in France.
Warming up rather stiff muscles and encouraging a less than enthusiastic canine we walk slowly up beyond the mine and follow the footpath through a landscape once industrial, now returning to nature. We follow the path of Sticks Gill to Sticks Pass. In one direction the path leads up to Stybarrow Dodd and the other to the cairn on the top of Raise. As we head up through fields of tufa like stones the vistas unfold around us. Keswick, Thirlmere, Skiddaw and Blencathra behind us, Ullswater and Helvellyn in front.
It feels like the roof of the world.
As we sit in splendid solitude eating our lunch two crows swirl about us. Millie treats them to narrowed Jack Russell death eyes.
We follow the piles of stones that line the ridge. Looking back at the rock strewn landscape we appear to be on some alien planet.
We zigzag our way down Glenridding Common in the shadow of Helvellyn. Above us the sky is streaked with weird and wonderful cloud formations.
Darrell assures Millie that it’s downhill all the way from now on. She is obviously not convinced as she sits down, wagging her tail ingratiatingly and I end up carrying her a couple of miles in the pouch.
He then decides that she probably wishes she were a council house Jack, pregnant at 12 months, on benefits and angling to get on the Jeremy Kyle show.
He may be right as I suspect that the best things about this trip for her have not been the walking or the scenery but the farm dogs, the burger van and the variety of disgusting things she has gobbled down before we have been able to stop her.
Back in camp and it is 43 degrees in the van. We open every door and vent and Millie lies flat out on the bed to catch the slightest breeze that passes through.
We each have a restorative 20p shower and then sit in the shade of the awning. We can hear sheep being moved, a daily event here it seems.
As we sit and relax after a hearty beef stew dinner a sheep wanders onto the site bleating belligerently. Millie who is sitting chewing a stick on the grass surrounding the pitch is horrified.
The sheep then ambles back out having checked all the campers for kidnapped lambs.
“I’ll be baaaa-ack..” Darrell calls after her as she trots down the lane and disappears from view…