Instinct and timing….

The Lakes are stunning and yesterday unfolded in many unexpected ways.

The coach was an hour and half late in picking us up at the start point and a regular driver left his warm bed to stand in for a colleague that had got confused with his rota. I feel this threw a lot of our group off kilter.

The scenery is breath-taking and with a light dusting of snow everywhere, it had a magical quality about it.

I chose a gentle walk and there were fourteen of us who set off on this one. The rest of our group split up into other groups ranging from those with the highest summits in view, to those who ambled about the shops and had a roast lunch in their sights. It stayed below freezing all day and we negotiated frozen puddles and went past frozen waterfalls, as it snowed on and off. The wind chill was a lot lower than freezing, but we were all togged up and stayed warm, as long as we kept moving.

About halfway up the first hill ascent a voice came into my head saying ‘Double back and find the shoppers and a hot lunch Jane’. I ignored the voice, telling myself that I had set out to walk and walk I would. I asked our walk leader how much further we were going to climb and he replied ‘Just five more minutes Jane’.

Half an hour later we crested the top of the peak and I took the photograph above. As Lake Windermere appeared as a large puddle in the distance I surmised that we had climbed more than the promised 600ft. My fellow walkers confirmed it was at least double that.

Our group started to ask our leader how many more ‘ascents’ there were on the walk. We were promised just one and it was about half what we had just accomplished. For those that know me well I do try and come at things in a light way. Within minutes we were facing another steep accent. I asked what this was called and he replied ‘It’s an undulation Jane’. ‘I would call this a hill.’ I assured him. Undulation my backside, that was as steep as anything we had previously faced and whilst climbing it I twisted a muscle in my groin. The pain was instant and increased with each further step.

I felt that our leader’s interpretation of time, height and terminology was different from mine and some of the other group members. I took a deep breath and caught up with him and let him talk. It turns out that he used to lead groups of teenagers on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. All started to become clearer and I explained that I was injured and needed to know exactly what was ahead of us in time, ascent and scale of difficulty. He was unclear on details and explained that as a Yorkshireman, unless he had a limb hanging off, his Mum had always told him to get on with it. I replied that I rarely made a fuss and needed the facts, so that rather than being jollied along, at 58 years old I could make my own decisions. I know my limits and I was in trouble. Also, the last thing I wanted to do was hold the group up, because each time we paused we all got chilled instantly.

It is one of nature’s laws that water rests at the lowest point, so as we rounded the lee of the summit we were on, this view of Grasmere was before us.

It became apparent that we were headed to the water down below and then climbing the next hill to follow the track along. A few of us asked if the track we were headed for was on a level and we were assured it was. It wasn’t. Having managed to go down and back up again I stood at the bottom of yet another ascent on the track, which was rocky, icy and treacherous. My courage dipped. My left leg was screaming in pain and with tears in my eyes I looked up at our leader and asked if this was the last ascent, because I wanted to turn back to the main road down below. He assured me it was and crab-like I made my way up. At this point another one of our group lost the plot. She openly accused him of lying and started to verbally rant as she walked. I focussed on putting one foot in front of the other and thought ‘Think Jane’. No irony there at all.

He paused to wait for me and I had an idea. ‘Can I look at your map please?’ He happily showed me the map and I made a decision. ‘Please show me exactly where we are?’ He did. ‘That track ahead will take me back to the main road and that is where I am heading. I will find my way back to the town from there.’ I left no room for him to disagree. ‘What is the name of the car park that the coach is parked in?’ I asked. He didn’t know and started to bluff and bluster on directions. Our verbally venting group member then slipped in ‘loopy bananas’ mode at speed and opted to come with me. He offered me his mobile number, but I took the number of another long standing group member instead.

We walked down to the main road and I gently reassured her that she could trust me and I would get us back. As we got to the bottom there was a space carved out of the stone wall and several people were standing nearby. ‘I bet that’s a bus stop’ I said ‘and there must be a bus due’. We checked the route on the notice board and sure enough a few minutes later a bus turned up heading through Ambleside. It went slightly awry at this point, because the bus driver was not local and he thought he knew where our coach was, but it turned out that he didn’t. About half an hour later, there we were two women not at their best, deposited at an unknown bus stop and still not near our coach. Ambleside is layered up a hill with a one way system. My colleague was still venting verbally, as I am sure this was the only thing keeping her going through her frightened state. I gently reassured her and said ‘Walk with me, I promise I will get us back to the coach.’ I remembered the road number from the leader’s map and a sign had flashed by on the bus, so we headed for that. Turning left at the sign we walked down the road and as we reached the bottom nothing appeared familiar. I saw a couple walking with their dog and baby and I asked them. Fortunately, among all the tourists and walkers there that day, they were local. I described how the car park had looked to the ‘Dad’ and amidst all the noise of my colleague sounding off, his eyes locked onto mine and he gave me directions. We set off again and it was at this point that I lied. ‘I can see the coach.’ I told her and I kept saying it. As we finally went down a little lane, what I was saying became true. We changed out of our muddy boots and boarded the coach.

As the rest of the group started to come back on board and asked after us I said the same thing, again and again. ‘I have met some lovely people today and The Lakes are as beautiful as I had hoped. Unfortunately, I chose a walk that was beyond my capabilities.’ My colleague seated a good few rows behind me was still sounding off loudly with a different perspective.

I will return to The Lakes, just in a different way next time.

44 Responses to “Instinct and timing….”


  1. 1 Jackie Sweeney May 22, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Yes! Sometimes the needs of other people get so loud, it’s hard to hear our own needs. Finding AND listening to the quiet inner voice is key.

    Sometimes I feel like I can’t control my inner voice and it can be frustrating. Alexander Casavant shares a similar story in one of her books – The Voiceless Voice, definitely worth the read.
    http://acasavant.com/?utm_source=forums_posts&utm_campaign=backlinks&utm_content=Jackie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 3 smzang March 29, 2018 at 3:35 am

    this just reinforces what I said in reply to your previous post…gentle and wise and lovely too!

    The only time I have seen Lake Windermere was in Turner’s painting. What a rush to read of your adventures and see your photographs.

    Once again, Thank you Jane!

    Hugs,
    Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 5 frederick anderson March 28, 2018 at 5:14 am

    Do you know, I hate group activities for just this reason? Poor you! Not only did you get The Lakes at their most primal but you got a primate for a guide! I hope your leg is better and in future you will reserve visits to Cumbria as I reserve my visits to the Highlands – for June to August only! I am so sorry you had a bad time. I am watching ‘The Pilgrimage’ on TV at the moment; a very enlightening documentary, but the walking part of it makes my toes curl! Hugs, Janexx

    Liked by 1 person

    • 6 Jane Sturgeon March 28, 2018 at 8:10 am

      Thanks Fred, I was very fed-up. My leg has eased and I was back in the pool for Aqua Zumba on Monday. Struggled a bit though. These ‘jolly hockey sticks’ type who come out with phrases like ‘stiff upper lip’ and ‘best foot forward’ elicit the response in me where I want to grab their hockey stick, belt them very hard indeed and say ‘OK, now walk that off’. A few things have piled in after The Lakes and when a misguided soul cut the internet cable to this house on Monday I lost my grace and swore. Imagine! I hope you are faring better up on the East coast? Hugs and Xxx for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 7 frederick anderson March 28, 2018 at 10:32 am

        Well, no-one’s cut my cables yet…what is going ON over there? Rather than coastline I’m just below the snow line and yes, things have improved. The weather has succeeded in persuading the birds, anyway and Honey (dog) is celebrating spring by eating their birdseed and chasing them off at every opportunity. Do take care with that leg – nasty things, legs, and if they tell you you’ve got a spare. don’t believe them!

        Liked by 2 people

        • 8 Jane Sturgeon March 28, 2018 at 10:43 am

          Fred, you are a joy and I can just picture Honey. Marvellous…. The builder looked scared when I faced him. ‘I thought it was an old Sky cable’ he stammered. ‘Don’t think, ask’ was my retort ‘I need the *$”*@* internet to earn my living’. Anyway, back to you safe below the snowline and Honey having fun…I love it. Hugs Xxxx

          Liked by 1 person

          • 9 frederick anderson March 28, 2018 at 10:48 am

            Oh lovely! Everyone should get to beat up a builder at least once in their lives. Honey sends hugs, and so do I. Voluminous hugs, Janexxx

            Liked by 1 person

          • 10 Jane Sturgeon March 28, 2018 at 10:56 am

            Thank you, your kind energy is much appreciated. There was also a deeper cut about a week ago and I am finding an ease with it. At my lowest point I knew I needed unconditional love and reached out to my lovely friends and their German Shepherd. They are kind also and Boris is coming to stay with me for a week after Easter. It got me thinking and I am also starting to offer a dog walking service. Am I turning into a soul who prefers dogs to humans? Oohhh, close call Fred. You will always be in my inner circle though, and Honey. Heartfelt hugs xXx

            Liked by 1 person

  4. 11 Clare Pooley March 20, 2018 at 12:43 am

    I meant to say what stunning photographs you took! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 14 Clare Pooley March 20, 2018 at 12:42 am

    Oh, Jane! What a difficult time you had! Not only trying to cope with severe pain but having to keep your companion calm too! I am sure that leader was terribly at fault. Ill prepared, with no idea how to lead a proper hike. I am also thinking of all those boys and girls taking their Duke of Edinburgh Awards who had him forcing them ever onwards and upwards!
    I hope you are feeling better, my dear xx ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 17 1smiles March 20, 2018 at 12:24 am

    Oh Jane, how unfortunate, in so may ways. I was once lead astray on a ‘walk’ while I was myself sick. I was promised a short gentle walk for fresh air. Like you, in trust I agreed that my guide had my best interests in mind.
    I hope that you recover soon. Many hugs and much love,
    Jeannie xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • 18 Jane Sturgeon March 20, 2018 at 9:34 am

      It’s interesting Jeannie, because I think it helps us to trust ourselves more. In the last twenty four hours the opportunity to step towards a new job and back into a past relationship have both made an appearance. I listened to my own instincts and stepped towards neither. I love you with hugs. xXx ❤

      Like

  7. 21 ianscyberspace March 19, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Oh my, that brings back memories of another place and another time. We were up on holidays on one of the high mountains of India and arising out of the plains below us was an extinct volcano core that towered about to our level. We decided to climb it and made our preparations to travel down to the plains by car and make the climb. My youngest daughter pled to go with us and I said no, but her elder sister was going so the young one put on a performance. Georgine said why don’t you take her? So that’s what eventuated, wives are very persuasive. 😉 To cut a long story short when we had to make our final climb it was very steep and loose flint stone. Little one couldn’t handle it. So I had to make the final climb with her on my shoulders. It took me a day of rest to recover from that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 23 Al March 19, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    I would have titled this “A walk with the devil” but you know me. It is incumbent on a tour guide to know his group and give fair warning of any difficulties that might crop up for a given group. He failed at this.

    Glad you had the grit to get to see so much of it anyway and especially impressed with your venturing out on your own. I’ll bet you learned some new words from your traveling companion, eh?

    The photo at Grasmere is exquisite!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 24 Jane Sturgeon March 20, 2018 at 9:28 am

      Chuckling, my Bro. No she didn’t have any new words, but got stuck like a record in a groove. Pure fear. I’ll return before long and I feel it will be a very different experience. ❤ for you xXx with healing hugs xX

      Like

  9. 25 davidprosser March 19, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    I’m so sorry the walk left you in such pain and then with a colleague who was obviously mentally distressed. But, I note you did not let any of what happened detract from the beauty around you. You’re a star Jane.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • 26 Jane Sturgeon March 20, 2018 at 9:22 am

      Oh David, you are kind. I think it was my teenage years in Africa that showed me much. I hope you have the same sky that we do here today. It’s bright blue with a few wispy clouds, airplane trails and a wonderful light. Sharing all that with you while wrapping you in loving hugs Xxxx ❤ Xxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. 28 grandfathersky March 19, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    What came immediately to my mind was “Stickeen” by John Muir about his little dog and their trek on a glacier – I am sure you will love it. Glad you prepared for this journey – warmth and hydration above all things is vital. Sometimes to ignore the small voice allows us to find our limits, not a bad thing, but can be trying times. Going forward when in pain though is dangerous. I have turned round as the sun was setting, when wanting to press on. Muir’s lesson of spending a night “dancing on a glacier” now ever present in my mind.
    The sights were worth the pain though, gorgeous countryside. Did you know there are Pillars of Hercules between the UK and Ireland – There are legends that from there is were Atlantis lies … Glad you are home safe! http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/11673

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 30 tornadoday March 19, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    What a lovely trip, my dear Jane…..and even at its worst, it gave you memories you will treasure a lifetime………..

    Once, almost 30 years ago, I embarked on a canoe trip down a river I thought tame only to find that it was not. I recall clearly the son of a friend repeating to me over and over with each crest of the next (and next) great ravine, ‘we’re going to die, aren’t we’. 😀 We didn’t, and those memories are just as sweet as was the dry ground when we finally climbed cold and damp from the river. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 32 ShimonZ March 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    It seems to me that you handled the situation with great courage. I wouldn’t say that the guide lied. This is just the way of optimists, the path always seems much easier at the beginning, and as they progress each turn promises more fun. But it’s in your interest to study those maps before you sign up for such a trek. All the same, you did share with us a beautiful view which I imagine brought you some inspiration and will be remembered. So good to read of such a hike. I haven’t done the like for quite a few years now. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • 33 Jane Sturgeon March 20, 2018 at 9:10 am

      Thank you Shimon. I ought to have asked more questions beforehand. I thought of you yesterday as I signed up for a Creative Think Tank at a local art gallery. They are holding all sorts of taster sessions on things like wood carving, mosaic, rug making from re-cycled t-shirts, willow basket weaving, textile creation and dying and all sorts….of yes and free embroidery. All the full courses are held somewhere on this Peninsula and I am so looking forward to it. It reminded me of the art collective near you. Hugs for you. Xxx

      Like

  13. 34 bitaboutbritain March 19, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    What a shame you were misled; it is possible to see the Lake District without someone behaving like Sherpa Tenzing – hope it hasn’t spoiled it for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 36 Aileen March 19, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Really thoughtful and really interesting – I was carried with you, misgivings and all…amazing how you kept your cool. AND you didn’t, bless you a zillion times, add on any tacky crap about how it was all worth it, despite the gorgeous pics. Because that’s not the point, is it?

    Thanks for that.

    xxAileen

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 38 pensitivity101 March 19, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    oh, and did you sample the Kendal Mint cake?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 40 pensitivity101 March 19, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    So sorry you found it so difficult. I must admit our trips have been in a car as Hubby has mobility issues. We have fond memories though of being mistaken for the food wagon by a flock of sheep and also taking thousand of pounds worth of computer equipment down Hardnott Pass.

    Like

  17. 42 John W. Howell March 19, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Breathtaking view, Jane. Sorry for the misadventure and your colleague.

    Like


I love to hear from you and having different perspectives are what this is all about, so feel free to let me know what you think. Please be aware that if you follow, or comment on my blog or an individual post, WordPress.com will store your email address.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,512 other followers

Categories

Follow me on Twitter


Life, more than existence!

Death is not an option, living is. Choose to live life fully!

Random Thoughts

A thousand thoughts

Photography in Oman & UK.

David A Lockwood.

Be Wholly

Health and Wellness for the Mind, Body, and Soul

Chaotic Shapes

Art and Lifestyle by Brandon Knoll

Bespoke Traveler

Immersive Tales for the Curious Traveler

59 and above

BLOG and BE

Stephen Page

Author: The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

WISDOM STORIES TO LIVE BY

Life will go on as long as there is someone to sing, to dance, to tell stories and to listen — Oren Lyons

Yeah, Another Blogger

An Arts-Filled, Tasty And Sometimes-Loopy Jaunt Through Life

Sheila Scorziello

Growing in Grace and Wisdom

Baydreamer

poetry and tidbits by lauren scott

The Uncarved Blog

Ken Chawkin's articles & poems: Transcendental Meditation, consciousness & enlightenment

Just an Everyday Housewife...

the life and trials of a menopausal lunatic

Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

Arts + Cooking + Dancing + Joy + Writing + Tales + Tails

Two Trails One Road

Life is an Adventure

%d bloggers like this: