Travel.P #67 – Lockdown while living in the Nationalpark

“the killer question: “If I didn’t already own this, how much would I spend to buy it?”

Greg McKeown

As soon as we arrived in the Lakes, the weather kept getting better and better with only a few rainy days. I think we were incredibly lucky. On top of that we had lockdown and were allowed to do exercise.

The hole area was dead empty. Tourists were not allowed and it felt like a good dream. Spread over the day, maybe 10 cars passed through town. People were sitting in there garden and enjoying the beautiful atmosphere without tourists. Birds where cheeping and we even saw a deer, walking close to town.

It was so peaceful, you could see more wildlife and going for a walk or a scramble on different areas, we encountered rarely anyone. The parking spots were empty as were the roads. We absolutely loved it and used it well.

For Easter we got a little box from home, with chocolate and black bread in it. We also decided to paint some eggs, that we later hung out in the cottage.

Down at the Cottage, where Lorna and me were staying now, we usually got all our food from the bins and some extras from Aldi. We were living like the rich. Pastry for breakfast on a daily until we decided to stop eating that much pastry, because we would have to be rolled around soon.

It was hard to stop taking them from the bin, especially all we had to do was putting them in the oven for 5 minutes and they were like new. Nice and warm, with a little crunch on the croissants. Sitting on the porch, looking into the valley, no noise, some butter and jam, a hot chocolate or a coffee and sun warming our faces. Very hard to say no to that.

This is where we scrambled up
View from just the bottom of the start

At the Cottage we had several projects, from repairing the bed, to installing new lights, wires, painting the whole house, building a patio, new areas for the compost, securing the walls and rebuilding a whole drywall as well as re organizing and repairing the top patio, building steps that include a little spring as a water feature now and building a better channel for the water coming from the springs to run through. It was great, loads of outdoor jobs. I think our favorite job was the dry wall even tho we had some clashes here and there about which stone to put where, but in the end the wall is steady and looks beautiful.

Getting ready for a scramble

I really enjoyed when we had nice days and went to the lake for a cold swim or for a scramble. Scrambling up mountains is loads more fun than just walking up. I can advice everyone to try it at least. I love it. Even tho we did quite easy ones, I already had loads of time, and if you like it is possible to choose a harder route. Jane was always leading us and at some parts, especially in the beginning I was quite scared. When the exposure is huge, it feels like that if you’d fall now, you’re probably gone. Especially when some stories were added to the atmosphere of people doing suicide from the tall cliffs. We all had been connected to a rope all the time, but I never really trust the ropes and try to act as if there wasn’t a rope. At some parts, that were not as dangerous, we climbed without a rope,. The problem is just, that it only needs a stone to come loose or your trainers to slip and you could fall.

Another fun project we had going was the Photo June Challenge. We had different areas to take pictures for, like Sports, Flowers, Scenery, and Landscape. You can see the pictures at the end of this Blog. In general photography is amazing, but when you join a challenge I feel like it is even more fun to do it. I’d love to get better at photography, but right now I got another project running, so that will have to wait a while.

Lorna also showed me more around in her area, we went and saw old copper mines, and deep slate mines. Many of them are still there and you could walk into them. It is a bit dangerous, but it looks very interesting. A few days we camped on the fells. That was beautiful.

Bin raid of 120 eggs, so gooood

Back at the cottage I build my first little steps, but not dry. It took me around two days and I really enjoyed it. It really looks a lot better now than before. What I like about building with these kind of stones is that you have to look and take them to see how you could use them and where. It is like a huge puzzle with many different ways to finish it, but often you also end up with a stone in your hand and try it here and there for 5 minutes just to drop it in the end and take another one. This actually happened quite often, but apparently the more you build dry walls the better you will get an eye for it.

While we were working at the cottage, we also had roofers around. They were a fun bunch of people, and we could use their scaffold to beginn painting the whole house in sicklygreengrey. Halfway throug we all realised that this color was very ugly and decided to get pretty much the same color as before. It was quite a drama to find the right paint, but once we managed to get it somehow, somewhere delivered to us we started painting over the ugly bits and finished the whole house. We also painted the rain gutters after sanding them down as the lights and the key box. I think we had a great time painting the house and enjoyed it a lot.

Lorna making Elderflower wine. It was really good

In the front garden we took out a few litte trees and recovered everything in grass, as we did where we build our new drywall.

The patio extension, which is such a crazy improvement to the cottage, was build with another man who came down and showed me how to build a patio. He was quite full of himself, but in the end he was a nice guy, if you ignored that bit. We had a fun time building the patio as well and he gave me some great advice.

Since we think that Lornas heart was beating quite fast we did some training to maybe grow it a bit. It was HIT training, running up a steep hill, 3,4,5 times. The first time I was really close to throwing up and my body was very sauer. It is incredibly hard exercise and with short breaks of 1 minute hard on your body. After that we either went for a little swim in the lake or a shower and had breakfast. I always enjoy being down at the lake when it is not too busy, and in lockdown there was no one around. We went jumping from the jetty and just swimming around a bit together. The water was still pretty cold from the winter, so we never managed to stay longer than 10 minutes. We got us a TRX band and a roller for ABS to keep us fit and strong.

Often we just went out for a walk and laid down on the field, painting or just taking the views in, sometimes reading, sometimes falling asleep.

I think around June, we started to look for touring bikes, and after a lot of research and many different models, we both managed to get a Horn Sherpa. Mine was around 550 including a used Brooks saddle. I added a front and back rack for 140 pounds to it, the front rack was 100 from surly and the rear one a second had one. Both can carry around 30 kilos, which is great.

Our aim was to cycle Wales, the west coast, Cornwall, and a part of the south coast. From there we wanted to see Alex, Lornas friend who lives in London. I think I will give you a little gear check up of what we had, what was necessary and what wasn’t. I will also show you where we camped, and our route. It was very different to ‘2 Oldschoolracer durch die Tallen Alpen’, since our gear was way better and there was no roadtrain anymore, but even tho we were in the Alpes back than, this tour was making me crazy and I sometimes exploded of anger as a result of hills, hills, hills, hills, hills, hills, another one and another aaaaaand another one, oh and another one and on top wind in our faces.

But more about our ‘Tour de Hills’ in my next blog. A little gear check and our routes, Monday to Wednesday eating out and beaches and areas packed with people on people, since lockdown lifted. About wales, reaching new record speeds, and beautiful cycling experiences along the way.

Photo Shoot Competition

Coniston Lake

Make your choice. Which one is your favorite?

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