Lakes Daunder 2014 – How it REALLY Panned Out!!!! – Days 1 and 2

4th To 7th April 2014

Thomas Blug – Love Crimes

For many a year, this has been an annual event.

Disclaimer Clause ……………………
Now, before you read on I better put a link in to Al and David’s Accounts of this trip, so that you can get perspective.
Also, these accounts are as I remember them.
That may or may not bear a passing resemblance to the reality.

I have only been privy to this in recent years, and after this account may not be invited back!

Luckily being a SUV-ERN GEEZER wot is NAW Livin in B’ttshm, I can qualify.

So having arranged to walk again on the TGOC with the Leg Ends that are Mssrs Slothman & M’ Lord Elpus (Lambert), I found myself winging N’rtwards in Phil’s car to pick up Al, and another legend, Mick (Croyden) Hopkins at Huntingdon Railway station, before winding our way North again in Phil’s Beemer, to meet up with a few other lost souls in T’ Lake District.

We will come to them shortly…

We picked Al up, and he immediately cast me out of the front seat, because he has longer legs (NO mention of my iffy knee and left leg being cramped in the back of the car – no sir).
The Boss was ‘ere and the servants were in the back.

Fair play, that is how it always is.

And it IS AL’s Daunder, so history repeats and we are heading north…north..

Now there are really three choices to going North from here.

The A1, the M1 or the M6

It was decided by our Chauffeur that we would go via the A1

It turned out this was a less than ideal road.

But, it being the SKOOL holidays, and all manner of doesn’t normally drive NUMPTY  being on the road, and the powers that be, having bunged in extra cones and roadworks and all manner of inconvenient shit to stall and disrupt your journey, and bloody road would have been a congested accident strewn nightmare.
And this is exactly what it turned out to be.

Luckily Phil’s very sexy SAT-NAV lady was pretty much on the ball, and re-routed us past most of the mishaps and congestion, unless she changed her mind.

Well she was a woman! (Ducks)

OK, there was a bit just before Scotch Corner
(isn’t that a drink? – Should it not be called Scottish Corner?)
where we were well and truly held up by some bollard infested workman void contraflow thingy.
All was not well, because ANDREW, that’s ME wanted a pee.
But had been holding back since it was only a couple of miles up the road.
So anyway, some 20+ agonising minutes later we finally got through and went to the SIGNPOSTED public toilets just round the corner from the big hotel place.

By now everyone needed a pee.

However the powers that be had foreseen this necessity, and having signposted them, had then proceeded to LOCK THEM with a sign saying there was a toilet just over ½ a mile up back up the road.


Road works!
Desperate .
I am really going to get back in a ***ing car to drive back through congestion?

NO chance.

And more importantly, Phil has nice clean LEATHER seats.


To be honest I was all for pissing over the Locked Toilet Door.


Back in the car, we continued on our journey.


NOT EVEN for the essential Rolls, Cheese and Wine requirements.

This was smacking of the Monadhliath all over again.

And… On and On and On and On we went until at last we arrived at our destination.

This was the camp site at Throstle Hall Farm.

We avoided the baby lambs lying in the track to the farm.
Some seriously BAD Parenting going on with those Northern Ewes!

And then afore long we had met up with all but one of the intended Daunderies!

Pete (Morpeth) Shepherd 
David (3 Houses) Williams. All six foot several of him.

David is Trailstar Challenged in height and so was in his Scarp I.

There you go David, you now have an official Daunder Title :-))

Only the Lovely Lynsey left to arrive (she was on route)

Lynsey is the other half (and for most people the far better half) of the Pooler dynasty!

So, we put us tents oop, and then prepared to go to the pub in nearby Hesket-Newmarket

Helga HexPeak

Al’s Trinnie
He is breaking her in, but by the Chally,
he will have ironed those creases out of her flanks

Helga again awaiting to me TAUT!
This one is like the other, a FULL FRONTAL, the Hussy 

View from the site

It was a nice location if you could live with the SHEEP SHIT.

And sheep SHIT A LOT!!!

Just as we were about to leave Lynsey arrived.
We persuaded her since we had booked a table for 20:25, that she should come with us and we would help her put her tent up when we got back from the pub.

And Lynsey fell for that….

PUB.. BEER..DARK.. MUDDY field.. Help put tent up ????

We shall see………………..

The pub was OK, and apart from Mr 3 houses slightly dodgy pint of Skiddaw that he changed for something more palatable, we started on beer, and then went to the room at the back where groups of dodgy looking mainly southern folk are sent to eat.

The lovely waitress came and took our order.

She was good although was seriously challenged by the names of vegetable (the younger generation eh).

Saying….  “It comes with some green stuff”

Later identified as CABBAGE.


We gave her a good tip, based as much on entertainment value as anything else.

Lucky for her it was not based on food knowledge or she would have been paying us.

Still, according to the government, Educational Standards are rising!

Yes they are Mr Macaroon! Of course

Double A** GCSE is equivalent to a Grade 2 CSE back in the day (Right?)

But we had an interesting evening, and were ferried there and back by our designated driver Pete.

Back at the Farm, we put up Lynsey’s tent.

With guidance from Mick, and a lot of head torches.

Al was foreman. he is good at instructions.

It matters NOT a jot if they are right or wrong. He has authority in his tone.

Some would call it NAGGING!

Luckily there are no pictures of this Erection, because it was dark!

So we had an interesting night with rain and buffeting winds.
But in Helga I slept well, because she is a taut little minx and likes tight.

And then next morning, because we were in NO hurry we managed a leisurely departure at a time that was close to 9.30

As we left the weather was not half bad, meaning it was not half good either.

Direction is important.

Unfortunately, the weather was going in the WRONG direction.

Below is a map wot I cribbed from Lynsey cos I is lazy init.

So, suited and abluted we set of the next morning having manouvered cars about.

Now, at this point I will freely admit to pirating photo’s from everyone’s blog.

I would say whose blog, but I cannot remember.

So THANK YOU to those fine people now……..

There, that’s got that out of the way…..

And here we are except Al who was taking the photo
Blatantly stolen of Al’s BLOG.
I couldn’t even be bothered to copy it.
This is a direct link

Mick, Me, Pete, David, Phil (being shy) and Lynsey

Al, taken by someone.
Might even have been me??

On the way out we said goodbye to the little baby lambs.

We headed up through the fields and then after a short bit of road up to Hudscales (there is a camping barn here you know, that has walls and does not need a tent to be put up).

On the downside, it was a lot further to the pub
Then round up towards the mines.
There was a TINY schism here (but more was to come – oh yes)
Some went round, and some went up the steep bit.
I didn’t get buggered up knees by doing the easy route, so I took my iffy soon to be operated on, but not that soon knee up the steep bit.
Listen, if it is going to fail, let it fail now, rather than in the West Highlands!
Eventually the others caught up.
To be fare, Pete was still NOT WELL.
He was struggling with breathe.
Dr’s said it was still his lung infection from last years TGOC.
Well as it happens , Pete had to bail shortly after this, with STRICT instruction to go back and harass the living Be-Jesus out of his Doctors until they ****ING well did something.
I can say that over 60% of our family are Dr’s

A bit further on from here, heading up to the mines, there was a hint of rain.

We decided to put on waterproofs.

It was a GOODLY move, because as we ascended towards HIGH PIKE it veritably PISSED DOWN!

***k All Visibility.
50+mph gusts
And driving Rain

Just before the top, I bundled into a small wind shield that was full of Cumbrian Wayer’s.
A brief chat and then luckily, they decided to move off.
We all bundled in and hunkered down for a break and a drink.
Or, in Al’s case a meal.

After This
That’s me in the bright Orange PHD Alpamayo Smock.
Bloody gorgeous isn’t it?
I sat low down on that little flat stone to keep out of the driving wind and rain

Eventually, it was getting too bloody cold to sit here.

My huge so called waterproof Mitts C/O Go Outdoors where getting Damp, and my hands cold.

It was time to move on.

We headed to the summit

Here a couple of pictures of that same summit the previous week when Phil was up here with Tini.

Oh how the weather can change in the Mountains.

Such is “Global Cooling!”

We lingered NOT at the top, what with it being possible to lean at 30 deg off vertical into the wind with full rucksack.
And because whilst trying this, I nearly took out Lynsey’s eye with my pole
And because it was bleeding wet and cold
And a bit on the side of not that safe

So, we decided to descend down to the Ling Hut

Luckily, when we got there, OR because we got there, the Cumbrian Way peeps were leaving.

That just left a couple of Dutch chaps on their way up.

Well, we soon drove them out.
It was time for a stop for chocolate and jelly babies and Al’s second lunch

David outside the hut

Lynsey, Phil, David, Me, Mick
Guess whose site I stole that off then eh??

Yes, it was damp and humid in there

Phil is always happy.
It’s the Medication

All too soon, and because it was clearing just enough we decided to head down.

And because we had seen a route straight down to the valley and the old Tungsten mine that was steeper but more direct

We headed down, me nursing my knee.

It is fine on UP.
Ok on FLAT

Heading Down

The old Tungsten Mines at the bottom

God forbid, but when we got to the bottom, the Cumbrianites were there again.
Luckily, Al arrived first and scared them off, so we could read the sign in peace and also sit on the wall.

Yes, It is Al’s bloody photo!

Anyway, they were off to stay at Skiddaw House.
Not a tent between them.


All too soon it was time to head off to our camping spot.

The weather was no longer horrid.

Indeed, it seemed to be brightening up.

BUT there was a DARK SCHISM on the horizon.

After the mine we headed down and then took a sharp right following a good track up and over and then down to cross Wiley Gill.

The cloud was dark and moody but clearing

Al and Phil stopped for a scenery discussion.

We head up towards Skiddaw House and then cross about 500 m from it, then look for a place by the river.

So, why oh why oh why did Al and Phil bugger off across a heathery nightmare?

We looked and discussed following.

An attempt was made.

It was heathery and steep and the rover crossing was not really viable.

Eventually, the schism took hold and we set off back up to the track to cross at the bridge

We let them get on with it.

Crossed the bridge, and then looked back.

Way away in the distance they appeared to have stopped for some time.
Mick looked with binoculars and thought they had stopped to camp.

Bugger it.
We could stop up here.
I was all for it.
David was all for it.
Actually I think everyone was all for it.

“But we are a team” I said.

“Much as I hate it, I think we need to go down there.”
“Look for the easiest route.”

They were still not moving.

So we headed down, and down into deeper bog and heather and……..

The BASTARDS started coming up.

And Up and Up.

We could have stayed up here.

There was good camping just past where we had stopped to look back.

But no, with a sense of camaraderie, and NOT to leave Al and Phil down there we had gone miles across heathery SHITE.

I had plunged into bog to my thigh, and cracked my knee painful.
The BAD one.

It was hurting.

I wanted to PUNCH someone.

Someone dressed in BLACK or BLUE

Someone who had fucked off without telling anyone

Lured us into a world of pain we didn’t want or need to be in

Then come back as if all was well with the world.

Well, I can tell you, that by the time we caught up with them to walk all the way back along the river in bog, to where we were, they were FUCKING lucky my name was NOT PUTIN..

You know what I am saying.

Where is the RICIN for the end of your walking pole point when you really want it?

Anyway. I didn’t!!!

We walked up the river to where Al stopped for a pitch that he liked.

David and I carried on past the bridge to some slightly nicer pitches.

David knows this area, and knew what was here.

he was RIGHT.

There is a song by Al Stewart called  “You better Listen to Al”

Well, DON’T! 

Anyway, we found a tufty but flat spot and in nice but very windy and cold partial sunlight set up camp along Salehow beck, a bit below Skiddaw House

We had food and stuff.

We went to Al’s tent and drank Wine (C/O Mrs Pooler – It;s a family trait),
and cheese C/O Humphrey.

I say cheese.
Some cheese.

Some had evolved into a NEW and not nice pungent life form, that was threatening to nasal capability in the package, so GOD knows what would have happened if it had been let out.

More Cheese Gromit?

And all was well with the World.

And we all went to sleep.

Outside, the rain closed in, and it rained and howled.

Helga was rock steady as ever

Soon it would be tomorrow.
All would be forgiven.
Not forgotten
Just forgiven, and we would walk again.
But that is for another day to write.
I have a really crappy cold and i want to get to sleep.
So, you will have to wait!

15 thoughts on “Lakes Daunder 2014 – How it REALLY Panned Out!!!! – Days 1 and 2

  1. \”So, why oh why oh why did Al and Phil bugger off across a heathery nightmare?\” – well Andy it seems somewhat of a story with many versions from todays comments 🙂 But you all had a fine time, and thats what mattered. I also reckon thats a decent camp, based on how bad it can be there.

  2. \”But we are a team\” I said.\”Much as I hate it, I think we need to go down there.\”\”Look for the easiest route.\”Hmmm. I thought the words you actually used were \”If they think we are going down there they are even stupider than they look. Come on let's f***k off and leave them. W*****s.. David's the man. He knows a great spot. Will you be our leader, sir?\”

  3. I think Al thought he saw an oasis of wonderfulness in the distance across the mire and Heather and bog, that was nowhere near where he had said, so they just went for it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

  4. A small correction, Sir.If you care to look at the gpx file that you were sent prior to the Daunder, you will realise that Phil & I headed, and arrived exactly at, our intended destination for the day. The Splitters just ambled about aimlessly wondering what was going on because they couldn't be arsed to either print out or even look at the map files that had been sent to them. It is fortunate that Phil & I are public spirited, as when we realised there were not enough pitching spots for all six Daunderers, we headed up Salehow Beck to find a better spot that could accommodate the entire Daunder. Because you were in the wrong location to start with, you hit lucky with finding a spot that was large enough.I hope that clears up your woeful misinterpretation of events, Dear Heart!Mwah, mwah!xx

  5. Go to the back of the class, chaps. Sit on the Naughty Step and put on the conical hats with the big letter 'D.'See my comment above, and write out 100 times: \”Al is always right!\”:-)

  6. Actually, we went with far far superior local knowledge, and had I not forced them to trudge through hell, we would have been camped at that spit 30+ minutes earlier. And we did look at the map. We just decided to ignore it. Dissent in the ranks sir? Schism? It is the new tomorrow. Fear not, there will be no dissent on the Chally. Probably 😉

  7. I always nod and agree Al. It makes my life easier. Then I do my own thing. I am halfway through my lines now. I will email them to you. Just off to tell the dog to get off the stairs so I can sit on the naughty step.

  8. Hmmm, I'm beginning to wonder if Laura and I really have the makings of a Good Team. We don't have any of this kind of meaningful discussion whilst we walk. We walk in unison, always, giggling all the way.Oh dear. Fail!

  9. Give it time Louise…And anyway you are walking with the lovely Laura not er…Al!He is lovely really…. It is just banter and poetic licence on my posts.See see you veruy soon somewhere in Scottishland then 🙂

  10. Every ****ING day is a shock. But the biggest surprise is when it doesn't contain bog and Heather. Good grief sir, you have even put an extra Hill and Heather into the genteel stroll to Callster. Obviously, that will never happen. Anyway if I study the route too hard, it removes the joy of unknown adventure.

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