Bleaberry Fell 280810

I’d prepped everything in advance with one of my packing lists so relaxed late departure from home. Stopped at Marks and Spencer, Lancaster which was heaving and bought an instant tuna salad lunch, and a 3 bean tortilla wrap for Sunday and 3 x 1.5 litre bottles of water, which despite packing list I had somehow managed to forget. Actually I was feeling a bit dozy and had even driven off down the wrong road in the village and had to turn back but at least that woke me up and told me I was not quite with it.
I found the turning to Burns’ Farm Camp Site very easily and it is just a mile off the A66. Linda was running around and decided she could fit me in but would have to charge me the full rate of £12 as I was only staying one night. As I had no idea what any other rate was this was fine. The field was very soggy and very full but I got a pitch that was flat if muddy. I put the tent up and made my bed, then ate my tuna lunch in the car.
I then drove down the back roads, didn’t stop at Castlerigg stone circle as it looked mega busy, and cut across the bottom end of Keswick to get onto the Borrowdale Road. Just a very short ride and I was at a National Trust car park on the left. Now that I’ve joined the Nat Trust, all my car parking in their parks is free, so far I have recouped nearly 1/3 of the membership fee by parking just 3 times. Well worth it just for this, as have only an occasional desire to be patronised by well meaning volunteers. OK, this is a bit harsh but I’ll definitely get the use by parking whereas I can’t guarantee to spend the year wandering around stately homos.
I walked up Cat Gill which was very pretty, it opens out above the woods and here I met a man with a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog. A very handsome beast and extremely well behaved. He was a nice man and told me his wife had died and he had got the dog for company. He was staying in a camper van at Castlerigg Hall camp site and had walked across. This is the camp site next to Castlerigg Farm camp site where I stayed last year.
I’m just relishing my flagrant use of Wikipedia links, which I have to spend all my time pooh poohing when I’m marking my students’ work, ha bloody ha!
Then I steered right across the bracken and crossed at the head of some falls, then over a stream and across to the head of Cat Gill. At this point, the map and the ground do not quite agree so I took a bearing and marched across the moor to meet the path. The path winds round a nice looking mound, then past a very well maintained sheep fold and bears left to ascend Bleaberry Fell. I mused as to what a bleaberry was but there was no berry of any description in sight.
I got to the top very quickly as the path is good, I wandered around a bit on the top to see how far the next fell was but decided not to try it as it was still threatening to rain a lot even though I managed to stay dry all through the walk.
I whizzed back down, this was a good warm up walk at around 500m of climbing. Drove back to the camp site, cooked up my dinner in the porch as it was starting to rain – bean and chorizo soup, pasta and tomato sauce. I washed up and then settled down in the tent. I was feeling a bit cold so got into my merino wool outfit and put all my other layers on and got into the sleeping bag. Before long, everything had to come off. Once I was comfy, I drank 2 cans of Greene King IPA and a miniature bottle of whisky whilst reading my book. Still on Daughters of Britannia, which I’ve been dipping into for ages.
My fellow campers were a bit noisy but everything stopped at 10.00, guess the rain helped here. I didn’t sleep very well, it was wet and windy all night.

Burns Farm camp site looking to Blencathra
Spooky bit in Cat Gill
Head of Cat Gill, not a cat to be seen either
Hole in my sky (I don’t even much like the Indigo Girls!)

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

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Author: Jak

Mountain Leader.

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