Finally ! We get to play with Pod.. Quite a leisurely breakfast then clothes and food packed away in bags and out the front door, everything went into the car and Pod was hooked up at the rear. All done within a few hours and if we wanted to with a bit of fine tuning this could be done in less. This is how we see our future with Pod. Whether it’s two nights or two weeks Pod will be ready and waiting.
So, on this occasion we set off at 10am in the hope that we would reach Troutbeck, Cumbria around 12 as this is the earliest we allowed on the caravan site.
As soon as we left the house the rain started, just drizzle but not what we wanted to see. Once on the motorway and we began heading north it got heavier but this didn’t dampen our spirits. This was Pods first adventure and she was capable of seeing us through anything.
As it was mid-week the traffic as expected was non-existent, cruising at 60mph we eventually arrived just after 12. This journey had worked out at 41mpg.
We turned off the main road and down onto the long driveway. The sites sign was clearly seen and said they were full, as we were there just after 12 we hoped we had a fair choice of pitches to choose from. We went over the cattle grids and down the well-manicured grassed road to the entrance and lodge of Troutbeck Caravan Club site.
Booking in was easy and we were allowed to pick where we wanted to pitch. Once we had chosen somewhere we walked back to the lodge and collected our gate pass with the relevant pitch number attached. We’d opted for one with a westerly view.
As we pitched up it was dry and the sun was trying to break through. Pod was pitched nose in so we could set the awning up with what looked like a promising view of woodland and a glorious sunset. We used Rock Pegs to secure the awning as we didn’t plan on having to do it again whilst here.
Pod and the awning went up like a dream and we were soon set up and settled in so time for a pre-dinner walk round the site and surrounding area.
The reception office staff were welcoming, there was also a little shop for the necessities and an information area with free leaflets on attractions and if wanted ordnance maps to buy.
There were two toilet/shower blocks. Basic facilities but clean. 8 showers, toilets and sinks in each and all in their own cubicle (tested later and the showers were nice and hot). A laundry and play area were also available.
We left the site and walked a short distance to a gravel/stone path. Perfect for a bike ride. Except we are bike less .. For now.
This path seemed to go on for ever, very peaceful taking us through grassy moorland. After 45 minutes and no end in sight we turned round and made our way back to Pod.
The weather was checked for the following day, forecast was dry, cloudy with smatterings of sunshine, so plans were made to tackle one of Wainwrights walks, Place Fell in Patterdale. It was only a 15 minute drive from the site so was perfect.
After Spaghetti Bolognese cooked on Pods two ring hob we settled in for the evening.
With a glass of single malt for one, gin and tonic for the other a battle of Manchester Monopoly began. Finally, just before midnight someone was declared bankrupt and off to bed we went.
After a good nights sleep tucked away inside Pod we woke to another dry day. Sun wasn’t showing her face just yet but we were hopeful, so time for a cup of tea in bed and a catch up with the news on TV.
Rucksack packed with map, compass, food, water and waterproofs, which hopefully wouldn’t be needed, we drove to Patterdale and parked in the car park opposite the hotel with Place Fell looming not to far away.
11.30am we left the car and walked down the main road past the pub and newsagents, collecting Kendal Mintcake on the way. We took a left over a small bridge and began our approach to Place Fell.
On our way up we couldn’t help but turn and look at the views down to Patterdale and over to Striding Edge and Helvellyn somewhere under the low clouds. It’s one of those occasions eyes in the back of your head would be very useful because each step brought a different spectacular view. The walk up was quite steep to Boredale Hause and from here a variety of paths could be taken but we stuck with our original plan and headed up Place Fell.
We took a break and had a chunk of mint cake, at which point we noticed an older gentleman with a small dog in tow walking in our direction. We set off up the near vertical path and became aware that as we puffed and panted our way up, this gentleman behind us was nonchalantly strolling up, one hand in a trouser pocket, the little black terrier on a lead in the other and he was slowly but surely gaining on us.
This spurred us on and after a bit of a scramble we reached the top where we were met by a blustery wind and an overcast sky. Whilst we were pulling on coats and wooly hats and getting ready for the obligatory summit photo who should pop up at the top but the man with the dog. General introductions were done and we learnt he was a local who at least once a week made the trek up this or another like it. He had done all of Wainwrights walks many times and this year was on number 74 of the 214 walks.
Our envy and admiration was clearly seen on our faces which brought a huge wry toothless smile to his face. Envy for having this on his doorstep and admiration for completing the walks and repeating the effort on a regular basis. After he took our picture we wished him well and began our walk across the fell down to Sandwick.
At the bottom we turned left and with Ullswater on our right we walked along a wide gravel path that wound its way round the lakeside. To start there was the gradual incline of Place Fell on the left and 6ft high stoned wall to the right but this eventually opened up to glorious views of Ullswater and a few stoney beach looking access points. After a total of 5 hours walking we eventually reached the car.
After the short drive back to the site boots were washed and rucksacks emptied. Dinner was decided on and eaten in the awning whilst going over our eventful day.
Next, round two of Monopoly and someone, yet again, was declared bankrupt. Good job it’s just a game otherwise there may never have been a Pod!
Sadly, as we were crawling under the duvet in Pod our thoughts turned to the next day and packing up to return to civilisation. Pods first outing had gone very well, two nights were just not enough. Well, to be honest doubt two weeks would be either.