We wake up to find that our new pitch is adjacent to a river. Oh, no, that would be a road. There has been incessant torrential rain all night again, although by day it eases to a persistent drizzle. There is surface water everywhere and it will test the 4×4 capabilities of Chris’ vehicle. Martha sends a message to say that 80 houses have been evacuated in Morpeth; fortunately we are not due there until next week. The local press are now reporting a whole year’s worth of rain in the last couple of days. The rivers are certainly racing and very full. There is water rushing down the hillsides in places where it wasn’t visible yesterday.
We travel north towards Keswick, it was nearly Kendal owing to my poor eyesight and a slight mishap with the SatNav but I realise in time. We see notices warning us to look out for Racing Santas. Racing Santas? This is September. We don’t actually see any but who knows how long the notices have been there. We then head westwards, past Derwentwater and are now in the remote, mist clad Borrowdale. We cross Honister pass, home to the slate quarry and museum. By coincidence, this was the subject of a BBC4 television programme last night. Sadly the former owner, a risk-taking maverick called Mark was killed in a helicopter accident. The substance of the programme was the ongoing difficulty of balancing the needs of the tourist industry with preserving the natural beauty of the area. The slate clad slopes, just visible in the mist, are very impressive.
I venture out of the car on a couple of occasions in order to take photos. The rain doesn’t matter as Chris has successfully glued my left walking boot in order to stop it letting in water. Last time I wore them I had to put my foot in a carrier bag first, which rather defeated the object. I discover the hard way that, unfortunately, my right boot is now leaking instead. Judging by the number of Jersey registered cars that tear past the whole population of the island are holidaying in the Lake District. We see a red squirrel which for me was almost on a par with seeing my first kangaroo in Australia. The sheep are breeds that are unfamiliar to us. Some are blue-black in colour and many have their tails intact. Others are black with white faces.
We detour via Workington in order to find a Morrisons to replenish our stores and to get some petrol at a vaguely acceptable price. Despite the detour being a fairly long one it has saved us money as fuel is 10p a litre cheaper than in the National Park. All this holidaying is affecting Chris as he tries to do the washing up using shampoo. The forecast suggests that there may be less rain tomorrow – here’s hoping.