One chilly weekend I stayed at Keswick, nestled by Derwent Water. My goal’s were relatively light that weekend; the modest peak of Cats Bells, then Pike o’Stickle in the Langdale Valley the next day.
I had rarely ventured into the northern lakes before, so the area was relatively new to me. Derwent Water is a lovely place to visit, and it was blissfully quiet that day. I don’t think there were many other walkers.
It was late in the year, Autumn turning into Winter. I had much less light to complete my walk. In fact, it was dark before I got back to Keswick. There was frost and a little ice, but it was relatively dry. Langdale Valley was a different challenge – lots of ice and frozen paths.
Still, that day on Cats Bells was one of my favourite walks. The sun was out, the views outstanding with a mix of sunray’s and clouds.
I remember in the evening, as I descended the hills and was walking back by Derwent, there was a section that prohibited a view of Keswick. Looking around I could see hills, Derwent itself, and reddish bracken glowing in the setting sunlight. I couldn’t hear anything. For a moment, I felt I could be anywhere in the world; there was something distinctly geographically anonymous about the setting. Not only could I be anywhere, I wanted to travel everywhere.
When I had moments of trepidation about going to Australia, I remembered that feeling of excitement and adventure at Derwent Water to motivate me. Today, I’ve had so many fantastic experiences that trepidation has pretty much faded, but I still recall that lovely weekend in the northern Lakes.