Hell – Also Known As Haweswater Reservoir

It was supposed to be straightforward. It was supposed to be a ten mile walk and it was supposed NOT to take 8 hours. All we had to do was follow the shoreline. What could possibly go wrong? We should have known from the start that it was an ill-fated walk, when, dressed in 6 layers of clothes, including thermals, the sun came out! It had been snowing the day before. As it got hotter, we got slower, stopping for a drink, stopping to enjoy the sun,standing on the beach skimming stones. We even lazed in the grass having lunch. The scenery was stunning, the hills perfectly reflected in the still water.
However, eight hours later, I don’t think I ever want to see that infernal reservoir again. You see we made a fatal mistake, for which I take full responsibility. We wandered down to the water’s edge and then, rather than returning to the upper path, we took the lower path (which was clearly marked on the map). However, in reality, it only existed long enough for it not to be worth retracing out steps. We were passing through a lovely wood.
The moss was lovely and soft as we scrambled through the undergrowth on our hands and feet, eventually emerging on to a rocky beach. Herein lies the problem. For every step we took forwards, we slipped back. We tried several times to scramble backl into the woods, to no avail (and my unfused metatarsal was not happy) Eventually we managed to heave ourselves into the woods and (I would like to say easily) climbed over a dry stone wall (but I’d be lying) The worst was that we were not even half way round!
We eventually reached a car park and embarked on taking the path down the other side of the reservoir. It soon became obvious that no one had used this path for a long time. We walked along in single file. The boys doing the conga to break up the monotony. I kept reassuring them that the dam was round the next bend. In fact we were so despreate to see the dam, one of us even was sure that they had seen it, though no one else could. I have never been to a reservoir with so many bends. It was like the journey in the Blair Witch project. In a few years time, there would be stories of the walking group who ventured out on a walk and were never seen again! We were supposed to join the road at a boat house. We began to believe that this was a lie and ended up joining the road earlier (the boat house did in fact exist). As we went down the road, Tom got grumpier and Alex got sillier. We all got faster. I don’t think I’ve ever been so pleased to see the car!

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~ by envisioningutopia on April 8, 2012.

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