Various bits were explained and we were soon on the water. It didn't take long to get the hang of the kayaks and they were more stable than I had expected.
The wakes of the steamers gave us some fun and it was interesting spotting all our well loved Wainwrights from down at water level. We opted to forgo the cliff jump and make the most of the time in kayaks.
While Patricia went to check what time the centre would shut we explored up the river towards the bridge at Side Farm. We had some fun and it was a different environment to the lake but really it was too shallow and needed some rain.
There was a stiff breeze coming down the valley from the Helvellyn range but the foot controlled rudders let us keep a straight line. We had some wind assistance on the return and the sun came back out in time for our final picnic.
The lake emptied fast although there were a few parties having BBQs on beaches. By 7 we were unloading the kayaks and thanking them for a great day out.
Then we found we were locked in! No problem- we couldn't undo the padlock but we could use a screwdriver and undo the whole thing, drive out and then replace it. Supper in the Glencoyne car park was a simple affair but the midges kept us inside. An early night and a good sleep, ready for our next adventure in the morning.
The kayaking was pre-booked so despite the SLMM venue being announced we were in that valley and not prepared to drive further in summer. We decided that if we stuck to the northern end and the main paths we were not doing anything wrong as we were seeing nothing new and gaining no advantage. We found space in our desired lay by (not a surprise before 8am really) and set off on the most hazardous part of the day - the road towards Glenridding for a few hundred metres. It was a relief to reach the track and leave the road behind.
The sun was out and it was warm. At the road junction we dropped away from the mining cottages down the the bridge and campsite. Then it was a long steady climb up beside Mires Beck and onto Birkhouse Moor. There were few people about and the views were stunning. Unfortunately it was also still and midgy.
Wainwright did not chose the highest point for his peak but it did give good views into the valley. Then we wended our way upwards towards the Hole in the Wall.
Even up here the midges were out! I pointed out all the places I had had MM controls in the past and laughed at my silly error during the Tour de Helvellyn when I missed Little Man. The path was easy to Whiteside Pike and then on to Raise.
We met a few people but I had thought it might be more crowded, perhaps we were benefiting from out early start. We contoured below Stybarrow Dodd to Greenside on a tiny path that is probably wet for most days of the year.
It was soft but dry as was the path out to Hart Side. Another trod took us around the head of Glencoyne and gave us great views to last nights camping spot and Ullswater. By Sheffield Pike there were more people but most were still on their way up. This is an interesting little lump with really intricate contour detail and a rocky path to the col before Glenridding Dodd.