I had a quick escape to the Lake District last weekend, and it was really nice!
It was the last weekend of October and one would perhaps not expect that the majority of Brits to be out hiking after the end of September. Apparently, they do, so it looks like I have to adjust my prejudices to, well, at least November.
The Lake District feels like walking through the landscapes of Postman Pat. Wikipedia tells me that my feelings are (for once) correct, as the landscapes of Kendal (a real place in the Lake District) inspired the landscapes of Greendale, the fictive home of the great postman. On my strolls around Grasmere, I didn’t see a single cat nor postman, but I noted down 21 bird species, as well as red squirrel and deer.
On the first evening stroll around Grasmere, we met a very friendly robin perched on one of the drystone walls. After stopping to say hello to the bird, it kept getting closer and started following us down the road. I had brought a 25 mm manual focus and a 35 mm so I wasn’t exactly set up for wildlife, unless they were very friendly robins. Changing over to the 35 mm with autofocus, I snapped a few pictures of the robin which willingly and very trustingly posed for the city people. After snapping for a while, I felt I was exploiting it, not paying it for its excellent modelling job. However, I didn’t have anything to feed it, so I started looking for insects in the moss. Turns out I am pretty good at finding insects and I would probably do quite well as a robin, good to know if I have to quit science. After 5 minutes of insect hunting the robin (which I named batman – because it is a robin… hehehe), would eat earthworms like spaghetti from my hand. Unfortunately, I am too weak in my arm to wield 2 kg of camera whilst feeding batman in dim light, so no photos of the feeding, you just have to trust me on that one.
The weather was really nice although there was quite a lot of wind on Saturday which made it quite a cold day for the people without wind stoppers (i.e. not me). Loaded up with camera equipment we had took the Easedale Tarn hike, stopping every 2-3 minutes trying to do long exposures of rivers or waterfalls. Sunday was quieter wind-wise, but there were a lot of people out. We resorted to the hills above Grasmere to avoid the crowd, and come evening though it quieted down pretty quickly.
I sort of love the style of the people in the Lake District, it is very much an either-or place. Plenty of people in jeans, hoodies and trainers. Also, plenty of people with walking poles, full hunting kit, mountain hiking boots that would probably do better at Everest, plus huge plastic pockets with maps and a compass. All doing the same hikes on nicely paved trails. It was kind of interesting to see people very under or over-equipped. I am probably belonged to the latter gang of people, perhaps being the biggest idiot of them all, lugging around 12 kg of camera equipment in a full green Fjällräven suit believing I will do great landscape photography when the sun is high in the sky. Lies, lies, porky pies.
Hiking for a Norwegian, is related to wilderness and experiencing nature being far from people. Although I think the wilderness is the best, I think it is not so bad to hike in the hills of the Lakes, gazing at the drystone walls and all the little sheep. Plus, when an 8-hour long day is ended with filet of venison in a Michelin guide kitchen, I am not the one to complain. I would love to come back!
Have a smashing week!
Thanks for reading,