A Lakeland Round 2007: Day 1 – Monday 16 April

I woke at sunrise which I considered good as that’s what is probably going to happen whilst I’m sleeping in the tent.  After final checks and packing of last minute items I set off.  The first thing I noticed as I walked down the road to the station was that I somehow must have left my rucksack behind – as surely I was actually giving an elephant a piggy-back.

My journey was largely uneventful, although the train up-country was running 15 minutes late which put in jeopardy my connection to Windermere.  I just made it though, although not without some concern on my part.

At Windermere, as I had a while before the bus to Coniston, I went in search of toothpaste and matches, just to add to my load.  Alighting in Coniston, I headed south towards Coniston Hall, my chosen camp site for tonight, and here on the shores of Coniston Water, I pitched my tent, had dinner and sat down to write this journal entry.

Not that the tent was that easy to pitch due to the hard ground, and it took nearly an hour to complete the job and bang in the tent pegs with a rock.  A dinner of beef and potato hotpot followed, along with the chocolate muffin I saved from the train journey.  Not bad.  Sunset is in about an hour’s time and as I’m not carrying loads of lights, this means it will be an early night for me.

Tomorrow, I’m tackling the Old Man of Coniston and friends.  It’s going to be hell going up as it’s the first day of walking and because I’m already worried about the weight of my pack.  I suspect that tomorrow night’s dinner and coffee will taste even better as a result.  Hopefully, tomorrow’s site also won’t have someone camped near me with a motorhome and Coronation Street playing loud enough for me to work out what it is but not loud enough to actually make sense of.

With a target of 70+ hills I’m starting to not feel very confident, and I’m learning some lessons already:

  • the new rucksack was worth every penny.  But it has probably helped me overpack.
  • I need to think about how I bang in tent pegs next time.
  • the fuel cells that I took a chance on are brilliant.  These Greenheat recycled vegetable fat thingys may hum a bit at first, but are much better than meths and not as easily spilled.
  • next time a bigger water bottle needs to come.  The bladder’s just too unwieldy in the campsite.

Oh well, darkness is approaching so I better wrap up and try to get some sleep.  As if.

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