I'm sat in a cafe in Coniston village and it is actually sunny outside at the moment. After being told by half the staff at Jodrell that I should have a holiday (ok, not quite half, but it felt like it) I took one. On Monday after getting back from Gaping Gill I packed my big rucksack and went to bed. On Tuesday I caught a train to Windermere and pitched my tent in a little campsite by the edge of Coniston Water. Tuesday night was very wet and windy, and a lot of people packed up and left the next morning. One tent ended up down the field at the bottom of a stream, and another lot (who were on the same bus as me from Windermere - one of their kids attached herself to me and kept trying to help me pitch my tent) appear to have given up and abandoned their tent altogether! Happily, my little tent (a Tadpole) stood up to the buffeting exceptionally well.
Yesterday I packed most of my stuff back in my rucksack and set off, leaving just the tent ans sleeping bag behind. Without a proper route plan I set off in the direction of Torver, vaguely intending to go up the valley and over the Old Man of Coniston. In the end I decided that the ridge looked more interesting so I walked over Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag (on top of which I met a guy from Kendal coming the other way, why does everyone laugh when I say I'm an astronomer?!), and then up onto the Old Man itself. It was very windy, but the cairn on top of the old man is huge so I sat behind it and brewed up a mug of tea, very civilised! I also met five girls doing their Duke of Edinburgh expedition. I aksed where they were heading to and they weren't really sure "we're only on the first side of the map, I'm not sure!"
While scrambling down from the top of Dow Crag I managed to twist my ankle when a rock moved under my foot as I landed. It didn't hurt too much at the time, and I got back to the campsite without a problem, but it swelled up overnight and is now strapped up with a bandage. Typical isn't it? The first time I've ever had to use first aid, and it's on myself! Still, not to worry, it was a good walk and, although my body is complaining a bit, I feel great. Breakfast on the shore of the lake, this is the life!