Floutern Tarn 18-19 September

It really was this WET
Stir crazy

Carol and I set off early and arrived in Ennerdale after stopping for M&S treats and then to eat them. We both had sandwiches we’d made at home as well.
We parked the car and set off up the path to Floutern Tarn which we reached without event at 4.00 p.m. This time we found a flatter spot a bit higher up than previously. I quickly erected the tent and got the beds made up and then it started to rain. And then it continued to do so for the next 18 hours without cease.
At first it was ok because we had things to do, latrines to dig, organising our little space for maximum comfort and ease. We had a cup of tea and a little rest. We took some clothes off and then put a whole load more on as it went a bit nippy in the wind and the rain. It did not remind me of this song at the time: Drive All Night. Then it was time to cook the dinner. The tent has a good sized porch so we could cook without getting drenched. Starter of chick pea curry, followed by basmati rice and chilli con carne. C provided buttered brown bread. We finished it off with some chocolate. Then more hot drinks, whisky and sherry. We did a quiz, played some games, did the crossword. Hot food and drink make all the difference, whatever the weather.
We did of course have to leave the tent for the loo, yes in the dark and the rain, so misty I could barely see the walking pole marker post but mainly staying in a very confined space for such a long time is quite hard work. We did sleep but not brilliantly. The tent kept us warm and dry but you can’t really sit up in it very easily, it’s a good job we seemed to be not too bad at tentiquette. By morning I was going mad just to move my legs further than the tent door.
We woke at about 8.00 a.m. Some tea and coffee, and a rain check! Oh what a surprise still bloody raining and no sign of the tarn a mere 30m away.
We packed up everything possible from within. Then stepped out in all our gear and stowed away the tent. Soon got warm by walking back up the hill. The path is pretty distinct which is a good thing as there was very limited visibility. It was really a great relief to be walking about.
At the first gate you come to, we met a man and dog. We chatted and he told us that the farmer who owns the land including the tarn, has a penchant for waving his shotgun at “trespassers” – in inverted commas because the tarn is on Access Land i.e. we have a right to use it. This is the 3rd time I’ve camped there now, and I feel reluctant to go back. This farmer is known for his negative attitudes and the Ramblers have done Mass Trespasses on his land but to no avail.
We got back to the car and then guess what, it stopped raining! After a bit of pfaffing about, we got into the warm and dry and drove off to our next meal stop.
I felt I needed to get some pampering after 18 hours of rain, so we went to the hotel which said we could check in from 2.00 p.m. We arrived at half past and our room wasn’t ready so we had to wait for another half hour. After this annoying start, we got into the room which felt very hot. Turned all the radiators off, but this made no difference at all. So from one extreme to another. We opened all the windows but it just stayed hot. I even ended up sleeping outside the covers for most of the night, that’s how blooming tropical it was!
After all the rain we needed more water so had a shower/bath to clean up, went for a swim which was nice as the water was cool and then another shower/bath after the swim.
We pootled about a bit, read the paper etc. Got some ice in a bucket and dunked the wine in it.
Time for dinner, I had smoked salmon blinis and mushroom stroganoff. C had fillet of salmon and sticky toffee pudding. All very nicely done.
We returned to the sauna bedroom, drank all the wine and fell asleep.

Cloud carrying 18 hours of rain

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Chris and Jak’s Lakeland Adventure Sunday 160510

Ennerdale Water

C and I both had a rotten night, too hot, too thirsty but I couldn’t face trying to locate my water bladder which was in my rucksack in the box under the bunk. Then our companions decided to rise early and took all their stuff out of the room and got dressed in the passage. They were doing the C2C and had masses of stuff to carry, huge cameras, books, make up. All I can say is they must be very strong. As they’d properly managed to wake us up by being so considerate we had a chat with them and they seemed a bit more friendly.

Two of the German men were in the room next door to us with the ok crim and the sick crim (self inflicted I suspect given the amount of beer he was drinking). The Germans had to have an extension cable going into the room for their breathing apparatus – they were also doing the C2C but with a Sherpa Van to carry their kit. The 2 women had moved the safety sign which had been put up so that people wouldn’t trip over the cable and helpfully propped it against the door into which the wire went. Sometimes I really do think some people have no sense at all.
C and I both felt very tired so we packed up and went down to breakfast at 7.30. I had muesli and yoghurt and we both had some cooked food, my veggie option not so good, in fact it had that old soapy taste of dried soup from the 70s. Also scrambled egg which I hadn’t asked for and which reminds me far too much of vomit. More toast, no marg for me, just couldn’t face it. We picked up some very nice flapjack and our packed lunches and headed out. The YH is convenient for getting food prepared but the quality is pants for the price. Also they say all their food is locally sourced, organic, fair trade but they are tied in to one supplier so this is bollocks. I’m now starting to think I don’t really want to stay in a YH again as I don’t sleep and the food quality is only ok. The packed lunch was ok but nothing to write home about. I checked out to see if we could camp at Black Sail for when we do our assault on Pillar but this is apparently not an option, so we’ll just have to carry our curries! Which were delicious in comparison with the YH!
We set off to circuit Ennerdale Water via the south side. This was a lovely walk and everyone else was coming the other way. Some people we saw twice. It looked like it might rain at one point but then it got really warm.
We stopped to eat our squashed sandwiches at the end of the lake near some swans. Then we trotted back around to Bowness Knot and the car.
A bit more pfaffing and moving of items from A to B and back again and it was time to head off to Bassenthwaite. We’d been out of mobile contact since Saturday morning when I’d very briefly got a signal but we still had to drive quite a way before a flurry of texts came whizzing in. It wasn’t very far to get to Bassenthwaite and the Castle Inn.
We checked in, sorted a table for dinner and then went up to our room, no our suite! I had forgotten we’d upgraded to a suite. Totally fab having an extra room. The bathroom was great, huge shower which I quickly took avail of. Then straight off for a swim, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. Chris ordered a bucket of ice and we put the champagne in and had a little aperitif while getting ready for dinner.
Dinner was nice, quite plain but good that you could really taste the food. Chris had something fishy and I had unidentified vegetable soup. C went for sea bass and me for lamb shank. We washed it down with some large glasses of Sauvignon. Both selected creme brulee for dessert. A small child came to look at us so I put my napkin and did the “how much for the little girl?” bit from the Blues Brothers. After all that we just had to polish off the champagne and then both so knackered it was time for bed.

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Ennerdale+Water,+Ennerdale+and+Kinniside,+Copeland+District,+United+Kingdom&aq=0&oq=ennerdale&sll=54.540988,-3.354172&sspn=0.007842,0.026157&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Ennerdale+Water&t=m&ll=54.522576,-3.381643&spn=0.014944,0.025749&z=14&iwloc=A&output=embed&w=300&h=300]

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