Keswick 09 – last post!!!!

Well it is now Friday morning and I am sitting making my last blog post about our Keswick camping holiday! I wanted to use the following photo which shows us all packed up and ready to head home! This was taken at approx. 7.30am on Wednesday 29th July which was actually three days prior to our planned departure! You will see from my last post that the conditions on the camp-site, after a very stormy night of rain and wind, were not good! So we decided to pack up and leave for home early. You can see in the photo below the condition of the ground on which we were living 😉

In fact there was considerable media coverage concerning this with the story about the situation making the national press. To think that the Met Office had promised a Barbeque Summer – well they seldom seem to get it right and this summer was no exception!!!!! This is the first time in about 20 years of camping in the Lake District that we have had to leave early due to the weather.

You can see the BBC footage about the event here and also some clippings from the newspaper press coverage here Police warning.

This news even made the Times National Newspaper on the Thursday morning!!!!!

Mary pointed out the following video which I think is really appropriate and I can testify that the effect created is very much like being under canvas when the rain comes….. Once it starts playing – close your eyes and listen carefully.

During the course of our time in Keswick we were quite pre-occupied with the weather. Because we were online it was possible to follow the weather forecast almost hourly and we used a couple of Web Sites to do this. The Metcheck site seemed to do well in providing a good account of what was happening. The link in the last sentence is setup to show the forecast for Keswick but you can put any UK post code on the site to get your local forecast.

We also discovered the Environmental Services Agency web site which provides details of the flood alert conditions around the country including Keswick of course – click here to view.

So our holiday is over, we are back in Kemnay and the tent has been erected and dried out and is all ready for next years annual holiday in Keswick – yes we will be going back again! It will take a little more than a little rain to dampen our spirits! But we will be praying in advance for a dry spell next July/August which would be a real bonus. I have to admit that it was nice to get back home to Kemnay and to enjoy what has been a few very nice days with mostly warm and sunny weather 😉

I have published an album of the photos I took during this period in Keswick which was for us very memorable 😉 You can view the album by clicking here which contains photos from almost every day of the week and a half break!

Of course I am still on holiday and will remain in this mode until next Monday when I return to the work routine.

Stormy Night – the morning after

Well last night was a real stormer!!!! We had planned to attend the Keswick Convention evening celebration and then a Stuart Townend concert taking place right afterwards. This we did and it was a great evening – the convention events take place in a very large tent with capacity to seat about 4,000 people. It was full for both of the evenings events and the overflow tent too!

However, it had been a very wet day and the evening was no exception – in fact if anything the rain was getting heavier! It’s always difficult to judge when you are in a tent, and the convention tent is made of a plastic impregnated canvas material which makes the rain sound even heavier. But it is true to say that it seemed to range from heavy to very heavy to torrential all evening long….. We hoped that our tent would still be dry when we got back!! It was although we could feel the water under our groundsheet!!!!!

The night raged on with a combination of rain and wind – which was very gusty at times. Gave you the feeling that your tent would collapse around you!!! But it did not! The following morning we were aware of some commotion around the campsite so decided to get up and have look outside! I took the following photo of our tent and as you can see there is a lot of water around the front of it and some big puddles to the rear – right!

It was very squelchy underfoot! The weather had calmed down for a bit and the wind had completely died away 😉

The following tent was not as lucky as we were! As you can see the puddle beside it actually comes right inside!!! That puddle is actually joined to the Derwent Water! The lake level had risen and and the commotion we heard was people being evacuated from their locations – lock, stock and barrel as they say!!!! The folks who would own this tent were in the process of taking it down before the water level got too high! – this was one of the sites we were offered the day we arrived – thankfully for us we choose to look for a better site!

Here is another view of the site and you can see that the lake level as engulfed the two smaller tents. There were no people around! I can only assume that they got out before the water came!
The next view shows the lake! The tree in the centre view was about 20 meters from the lake shore line the day before! There would also have been a road from the position where I took the photo down to the lake edge – which is now completely submerged!

So we counted ourselves very fortunate that our part of the site was relatively unaffected by all of this drama! I would say about 50 tents and caravans had to either move to another part of the site or leave it all together!

Happy days when camping 😉

Aira Force

Monday was a wet day 😉 this seems to be the general way of things for this holiday so we decided to get in the car and visit Aira Force (the photos on the NT site don’t really do it justice) which is right next to Ullswater. It is a National Trust site and is a very popular tourist attraction. In order to view the water fall it is necessary to embark on a 30 minute walk which is also quite a stiff climb! There are actually two main features the first is called Aira Force and second High Force. The climb is through a heavily wooded valley and it was both wet and muddy! See below the first view of Aira Force – because of the recent heavy rainfall the water fall looked very powerful and spectacular.


Richard and Fiona stood against the railings for this photo, at the time the spray from the water fall was very heavy although you can see that they did manage a smile!

Here we see Richard, Mary and Fiona standing on the bridge which is at the top of the waterfall – at this point we did have a well earned rest before making our way back down to the car park!

Below you can see Fiona, Richard and the two dogs – the latter by this time were both wet and very muddy!!! It’s just as well that we had a towel to dry the dogs at the end of this wet trek!

Unfortunately just after this Richard and Fiona headed of back home as their short break had come to an end. We travelled up to Rheged Discovery Centre which is a really nice visitors centre just off the M6 on the opposite side to Penrith. If you happen to pass by here do take the opportunity to stop over and check it out. There is very good food, shops and a 3D Cinema. Always a good place to stop over on a wet day! We had lunch here and then said fairwell to Richard, Fiona and the two dogs!

So no dog to walk in the morning etc…. now!!

However, this does mean that we will be able to attend the Keswick Convention evening events without any worry about leaving the dog alone 😉

Today’s destination is south of Windermere – more of that later!!!

Honister Pass and Lodore Farm again

Sunday we decided to do the Honister Pass again with Fiona and Richard. It was a nice run and we timed things so that we could stop of at Lodore Farm for a bacon butty. You can see some satisfied faces below. Photo taken just after the food had been consumed 😉

That evening the dogs were happy to have a quiet time. See below Abbie who felt the best approach was to have an early night….. So here she is peaking out from her bed!!! It was hard to persuade her to come out for the mandatory late evening walk so that doggies can do what doggies need to do on a regular basis!!!

Wi-Fi whilst camping

I thought that I would publish a photo of the Wireless Access Point which we are communicating via this week. This is the second year that whilst camping we have been able to get online via the camping site wireless network system. The price is very reasonable assuming that you purhase a block of time – I purchased two weeks worth which cost £40 which I think is good value for money. This means that we have been able to do all sorts of interesting thing during the evenings like watch the highlights of last weekends Hungarian Grand Prix F1 and of course I can update my blog. I decided to do a daily post and so far I have managed to do this!!! I must confess that I never really expect to see a broadband wireless service made available on a campsite – but then I guess this will be a profit making and therefore self sustaining service. Well done to the Camping and Caravanning Club for taking teh initiative!! It also means that one could access ones work email – but I have been very good an have not tried this – and do not intent to!!!

Regarding teh performance – its seems to work quite well appart from mid evening when I think most people using the serivice might go online.