Pheasants and Robins

Today I took a bus to Dubwath, which is on the west side of Bassenthwaite Lake, thinking I would do some walking around there. I’d seen the gently-rounded hills from the bus on my trip to Cockermouth.

The bus stop I alighted at was over the road from the train station cafe that I had booked for Luke, Pete, Lea, Sue, Mark and I in May. I’d seen it online and booked it but had no idea what it was like so it seemed like a good idea to go have a look and see if I’d made a terrible mistake.

I had not made a terrible mistake.

I had coffee at the cafe, in one of their railway cars.

I used their bathroom, outside of which was a bookshelf and I think one of the books was about me!

I’ve been practicing my banter so much I think I’m definitely at an advanced level now.

Then I took a walk around the nature reserve over the road. It was a boardwalk over boggy ground. I took another photo to add to my collection of terrible quality photos of birds. I think it’s a wren but I’m happy to be corrected.

I know it was a bird, but this photo is so bad it could be a weird potato.

I had a look in the bird hide, where there was a whiteboard to record wildlife sightings.

Exciting stuff! I then had a chat to a man who told me about the African swallows (unladen) that had just started arriving and described their call to me and just as he did, one of them did their call. It was very fortuitous.

Then I took a walk up the nearest fell. It was a stunning day and the views were tremendous. The walk wasn’t super difficult but from the top I could see all the way to Scotland, the Isle of Man and I think I could see Northern Ireland too. I’m not going to post many photos because I think it would be an ideal walk to do with everyone before our tea at the train (weather permitting). Some of the walk was a corpse road, an ancient track along which people would carry bodies to the local church.

The amazing weather made it less creepy.

There were a few people around as the walk was very accessible. It’s the first walk I’ve been on where I’ve seen quite small children.

The way there and back from the bus stop passes the Pheasant Inn.

My favourite bird, as you may well know by now. I went in and had some lunch in their back garden area.

Roast beef roll and some cider.

A very tame little robin joined me.

I can now start a collection of high quality photos of birds. Finally!

After a long rest and soak in the sun, I took a photo of the hedge then returned down the road to the bus shelter.

High quality photo, poor quality bird.

The bus shelter was of a much higher standard than most, and a nice place to wait out of the rain.

I felt like I’d had a medium-effort day but my watch said I’d climbed 59 storeys. There certainly were a lot of ups and downs and I could feel it in my calves.

I got back to the B&B to find all my washing done – my hosts had asked if there was anything they could do to make up for the lock incident. The only thing I really wanted was clean clothes, so that was easy!

All my clothes are pictured except for the set I was wearing. I have attained my badge in ultralight packing!

I’ve also done a book swap with one of the owners here, since I finished the Matt Haig novel last night and there’s no reason to hold onto it. It’s the first book I’ve finished on the trip. I think writing the blog and listening to podcasts has been my main entertainment. Luke asked me what I do in the evenings and, aside from washing my pair of socks and underwear from that day, that’s about it.

I’ve been having trouble replying to people’s messages on the blog but thank you to everyone who has left comments and kind words, I’ve really appreciated them! Deb asked what I think of walking poles. As I was on the bus home I tried to think of ten reasons why I recommend them.

1. Better balance (four legs are better than two!)

2. They help me hoist myself up higher more easily.

3. They help me let myself down easier from high steps – they are great for relieving pressure on joints.

4. I can prod damp patches to see if they are deep or shallow and get across wide puddles more easily.

5. They are good for lifting spiky plants away from my legs.

6. They give me peace of mind. Charmaine broke her ankle and couldn’t come, she said if she’d had her poles she probably would’ve been more stable and not fallen. I’m not taking any risks I can easily avoid!

7. Numerous times I’ve gone out without them and regretted it but never regretted taking them!

8. I’ve had a couple of people say to me over the years that they think poles are for elderly people, so I like to use them because I’m not, so I’m normalising them for middle-aged people;-).

9. They do take weight off your legs so you get more of a workout for your arms and can walk further in comfort.

10. This is one of the things I notice almost immediately if I don’t use them; my hands feel slightly swollen when I walk briskly with them hanging by my side so I have to hold my backpack straps to alleviate the sensation. With poles, my hands are elevated enough to avoid this sensation.

I don’t use them on city streets or anything, but out in the countryside, particularly going places I haven’t been before, they make it possible for me to go further, faster and more confidently. So I say grab yourself a pair!


4 thoughts on “Pheasants and Robins

  1. Naw adorable little robin joining for you lunch must have been so lovely. Do you think you appreciate nature more because you’re on your own and less distracted by conversation with other people? I love solitary nature time. Great photo!

    • Totally! When I’m with people I’m very focused on them, travelling with others is a very different experience. Not worse, just different. Also depends on the person too, and how happy they are for me to stop and stare at the sky and the trees and the flowers every five steps;-)

  2. Love the birds, I’m with you about the walking sticks, Amanda. Never heard about wild garlic! The places you visit look soo peaceful, thank you. Keep safe

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