The joy of a familiar walk
A few weeks ago Graham and I were out walking and I mentioned that I favoured repeating familiar walks, while he favoured new and exciting adventures. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to do lots of new walks which I’ve greatly enjoyed, but I still love familiar walks. On Monday I repeated a walk that I’d done last month around Haweswater and today I repeated the west shore walk around Derwent Water.
I’ve concluded that I liked the repeat walks best, for the following reasons:
- I knew what to expect, how much water to expect, how even the paths were, how steep etc. Depending on how I’m feeling different path conditions can make a huge difference
- I knew where I was going, no constant referring to maps, worrying about GPS battery life, protecting my iPhone from the rain
- I didn’t need to take many photo’s, assuming the first walk was in good weather
- I knew how long it would take, allowing me to plan or otherwise additional activities for the day
- I get to explore the area, different cafes, short cuts, view points
- I know where to park (more important than it sounds)
For these reasons, I was more relaxed, enjoyed myself more, soaked up the scenery better and generally had more fun. That said a new walk is still wonderful, the sense of challenge, accomplishment, and wonder all being greatly enhanced.
Like all things in life it’s about balance, but if I had to repeat 20 great walks for the rest of my life, I’d be a happy man, that’s how I’m built, I don’t need to climb every fell.
Today’s walk started at Keswick town centre, because Chris had suggested that I try MSM for my tendon problems yesterday. I then set off around the lake starting at the Keswick end and heading down the east shore. The wind was getting up so I picked up the pace to warm up and buoyed along by the promise of less knee pain. The east shore path is quite slow and challenging in places, the sort of uneven path that wrecks my knee so after a while I decided to walk along the road. It was a good decision as the road was closed to cars for repairs so I had it pretty much all to myself.
I was pleasantly surprised to find toilets and several nice looking hotels with cafe’s towards the southern end, which would have made for a nice break in worse conditions, but by now it was sunny and I was warm so I pressed on.
Last year I’d brought Anna to the area for a geography field trip and we had a lovely time, so I was very pleased to discover that’s we’d walked across the southern marsh (raised walkway) together on our way to Castle Crag, and it bought back great memories of that day.
The rest of the walk up the west shore I’d done yesterday, it was lovely to do it again. I stopped for lunch at Brandlehow Bay, Graham suggested that I go swimming there, but I was content with a refreshing paddle. During lunch some ducks came to join me which was great, the female in this picture is eating my Apple core and she seemed to like it.
By the time I got up to the Northern end of the lake I was ready for a rest and popped into the Dandelion Cafe that Graham (yes he knows the area well) suggested. The range of cakes was limited but the place was nice and it had great views. I settled for a large cookie with smarties, very nice.
The last couple of miles involved a short walk along the road but quickly reverted to a foot path back into Keswick. All in all and excellent day.
I’m now back at Center Parcs and have just finished a part-baked Baguette with Bacon, with fruit salad and cream to follow, one of the big benefits of walking, lots of great food to eat!
All the pictures from today’s walk can be found here