Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas Day Ramblings and Rumblings

Firstly, I hope everyone's had a lovely Christmas.  It's not all over just yet through, as we still have New Year's Eve to get through, and so far I have to say that my holiday season has been a bit, er.... rubbish.  My sinusitis hasn't fully gone, so I've suffered through the Christmas season with the feeling that I've got a head cold from hell.  It left me feeling a little, well, like Bad Santa (hence the Picture Of The Week).  My plans for a more seasonal Picture Of The Week went slightly awry - thanks to my sinusitis and Manchester's usual seasonal weather (it rained).  I resorted to some very obvious photoshopping to convey how I felt.  Bah Humbug!

Nevertheless, I was determined not to have my whole Christmas ruined.  As some of you may remember, every Christmas Day a small group of us pack a car and head off to the Lake District for an early morning fell-walk.  Last year it was Loweswater.  This year the plans were for a decent hike up Walla Crag (1200ft high and 5 miles long) near Derwentwater, but my slightly poorly condition meant that this was changed to the shorter and slightly easier Falcon Crag (900ft and 3 miles), again on the east-side of Derwentwater.

It was a very early start at 7.00am on Christmas morning, and by 9.00am we had parked up in the designated car park and beginning our walk.

The first past of the walk takes you across the bottom of Falcon Crag, the way made difficult by the numerous boulders that have fallen from the Crag and litter the area.  Although not high up, I still got a lovely view down Derwentwater through the early morning mist towards Keswick.

Dexi Delite - Independent Escort - Derwentwater, Christmas Day 2013
The next section of the trek took us to Ashness Bridge - apparently one of the most photographed scenes in the Lakes before heading steeply uphill towards the top of Falcon Crag.

Dexi Delite - Independent Escort - Ashness Bridge, Christmas Day 2013
 The ascent of the Crag was a bit heavy going, the buffeting wind taking quite a lot of energy to fight against, but some of the views from higher up the Crag were well worth it - the pretty town of Keswick could now be seen, and the first rays of sunshine were fighting their way through the mist and clouds.

Dexi Delite - Independent Escort - view from Falcon Crag, Christmas Day 2013
 The view from the top of Falcon Crag was stunning - a clear panorama from the south shores of Derwentwater to the Keswick and the imposing heights of Skiddaw at the north of the lake, and across the lake the hills of Cat Bells and High Spy were all lit by the brightening sun.  It was only a short walk across the top of the windswept Crag before beginning the descent, the walk still providing lovely views.

Dexi Delite - Independent Escort - Keswick and Derwentwater, Christmas Day 2013
 After two and a half hours we were back in the car, a little more windblown and tired than we were setting off, but all pleased by the delightful trek. 

We headed back to Keswick, to finish off with a customary drink at The Inn At Keswick.  I adore this pub, and by Christmas lunchtime it is full of tired walkers, dogs and Christmas cheer.  They always serve lovely beer and have a decent selection of whisky too.  We managed to get in just before the crowd, and got a table right in front of the warming log fire.  Perfect.

Dexi Delite - Independent Escort - The Inn At Keswick, Christmas Day 2013
 By 2.30pm we were heading back south, stopping off briefly at Ambleside as I'd seen a pretty Christmas display at the Salutation Hotel that I wanted a picture of...

Dexi Delite - Independent Escort - Ambleside
... before finding our way back on the M6 and homeward bound.  A truly wonderful Christmas.

As the Picture Of The Week will be up until the New Year, I'll leave you with a quick closing shot in full Pic Of The Week resolution, proving that I did get to the top of Falcon Crag despite my sinusitis and poor choice of walking boots (hehe).

Dexi Delite - Independent Escort - Falcon Crag, Christmas Day 2013

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