Blea Tarn mission

Hot on the heels of our Assynt holiday, we’ve had another cracking little adventure!

These days it’s phenomenally difficult to arrange a night out, never mind a weekend away. The net result of dozens of emails and several failed plans was a general consensus to have a weekend away in the Lakes, and to fish Blea Water and/or Hayeswater. Myself, Stu, Phil and Meg the labrador set off Friday evening after work, calling into Booths at Kirby Lonsdale to buy £90 worth of booze and sandwiches on the way. We arrived at Greenhowe caravan park around 9pm just in time to meet Tom who’d driven up to join us, unloaded our sh*t and walked on to the Stickle Barn Tavern to have a right royal knees up. We returned to the caravan 3 pints later, had a pot noodle each then went to bed. Something has to be done about this, we’re turning into middle-aged lightweights 🙁

Saturday morning. It takes us 3 hours to pack our rucksacks, get showered and consume breakfast. It takes a further hour and a half to drive from Great Langdale to the car park at the Southern end of Haweswater reservoir. You’d think we were getting paid by the hour on these missions sometimes.

The walk from the car park up to Blea Tarn is barely a 2km climb into the hills but we had full warloads on our backs, utterly ludicrous amounts of cr*p. You couldn’t have slid a postcard into Stu’s 100 litre rucksack! Progress was slow and painful for us whilst Meg scampered along effortlessly.  The effort was worth it though, Blea Water is fine looking corrie.

We pitched our collection of tents on one of the few bits of flat ground we could find and got down to some fishing. It’s not an easy place to fish though, either you roll/steeple cast or fish where a gully breaks the ‘wall’ behind you.  There is also a tiny shingle beach at the SE corner which is probably the ‘easiest’ bit to fish from. For myself, a couple of hours fishing resulted in a couple of offers and a rather small brownie to the hand which was very silvery with tiny spots (distinct contrast to all the fish seen in the Assynt 2011 blog). Phil and Stu didn’t fare much better.

Other internet reports suggest Blea Water can fish much better than this so it seems we caught it on an off day. Non-fisher Tom probably had the right idea by going for a walk up and around the top of the corrie. However, any disappointment we may have had was compensated for by the sight of XH558 (better known as the world’s only airworthy Avro Vulcan) over the fells behind us. She was displaying at Windermere airshow which was well away from us but luckily had to go into a very wide holding pattern over Ullswater which just brought her into our part of the Lakes. Gratuitous picture of Vulcan below, taken by myself at an airshow…

Fishing and ‘plane spotting out of the way, we got down to the important business of the holy trinity, BBQ, booze and banter. We managed to get through 16 burgers between us (with a bit of help from Meg the canine Hoover) then fired up a good ol’ stoker with all the wood we’d carted up. A new and welcome addition to the mission was Glen Grant The Major’s Reserve – coming in at just under £20 this whiskey will be on our shopping list again for definite. To round off the night we witnessed a fiery orange moonrise, you bet your ass I wish I’d had my 400mm zoom lens!

Saturday dawned bright and hot. Before breakfast myself and Phil decided to take Tom’s recommendation  and take a walk up above the corrie. The weather was absolutely glorious and the walk was spot on, I suggest you do the same if you’re ever in that neck of the woods.

We even managed to stumble upon a common lizard willing to pose for photos!

You saying that Blain and Hawkins were killed by a ******* lizard?

Our reward for this early morning walk was a spectacular feast of bacon sarnies back at base camp, before packing up and heading back down to Haweswater car park. Oh yeah, and a cheeky pint in the Haweswater Hotel.

Crivens, I nearly forgot to blog the dog! Here is Meg the chocolate lab, enjoying the glorious weather on her way up to High Street!

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