Our gear is sorted into a necessary pile and excessive weight pile including but not limited to; dresses, makeup, my pink wig, dirty laundry and most of our clothing for the hike through the Lakes we have planned today. It is 11:00 by the time we are actually passing through the doorway waving bye to Amanda & Alan, hoping to hitchhike to Glenridding where we can begin the trailhead to Hellvellyn, England's second tallest mountain. 90 minutes later we have managed to get rides for the majority of the 40 plus miles of pass linking to the village. Walking to the tourist center we encounter a man who runs an owl sanctuary and is teaching the community about these majestic birds on Tuesdays throughout the summer. He even lets me hold a few of them while e playing to us that one of their ears is higher up so they can listen and pinpoint around objects! Stunning creatures, and surprisingly calm, two of them are still little owlets, only 5 & 8 weeks old! Nearly two in the afternoon now it is time to start our ascent, we follow what we think is the path for more than an hour, continually staring at the elevation lines on the map that Amanda and Alan leant us, waiting for them to make sense before we finally find our way onto the trail, our 11 kilo backpacks continually reminding us that we are not yet to our campsite for the evening. We finally arrive to Red Tarn where we can set up our trusty little Marmot tent before we finish the Ascent up the jagged rocks, scree and cliffs of Swirral ridge. Arriving to the top and feeling on top of the world couldn't seem better in the late afternoon sunshine. Walking along the lake on the descent line of striding edge it is hard to forget what a beautiful world and journey this is. We spent the rest of the sunny evening sitting by the lake entranced by the view and the delicious local cider we picked up!
Our tent at happily pitched at Red Tarn looking out to Hellvellyn
Looking down from Swirral edge