Well, the weather's turned. Let's face it, it was cold and 'orrible yesterday, today is just colder and 'orribler (and haily).
Have been introduced to God's timpani section during the night where the hail beat upon the van with a syncopation to make Buddy Rich envious, it set the mood for the day.
A late start, beneath the quilts, enveloped in a sleeping bag is a damned sight warmer than the reality of the van, even at 10am!
But a walk beckons; it's about 2.8 miles round the hill (and a similar distance back) to Watersmeet, a spot of sufficient beauty that the NT have a tearoom there. So, waterproof coats, waterproof trousers, waking socks, wooly hats and let's go for it!
Hmm, the OS maps on the phone suggest a long but gentle crossing of the contours until about half way up the hill when it levels out. OK so my map reading is rubbish, it's uphill all the way to the top, some 450' or so above the van! It's a long slog but the exercise combats the wind's chill and the views (when they come) are worth it.
Did I mention the hail. The uphill slog is good exercise but the hail reduces the fun! We reach the top, and it's all downhill from here. We consult the map. It's still a mile and a half to Watersmeet but now on the relative flat. However, it appears to be a very steep descent and the hail will have made the rocks slick. Prudence rules, we'll take the alternate route across the field (the only uphill option, mind!) and the gentler descent back to the van.
A wise choice, it's slippy, terrain Liz particularly dislikes but even I'm slip-sliding away like a good 'un. A fall up here definitely means a helicopter ride! We pick, slide, ease our way down, slowly. Two and a half hours waking, two and a half miles. Exhausting uphill, scary downhill.
Back at the bottom, there's the pub. Rats it's shut! So a quiet afternoon catching up with blogging, reading, knitting etc. in the van. Wrapped in blankets of course.
Warm coats tonight, the pub is also a Thai restaurant. At last the anniversary meal.
And the beer. Gary the brewer hadn't put a foot wrong IMHO, the bitter and IPAs are good, the keg lager better than most, the strong 7.4% IPA powerful and fruity but clean and drinkable. And when I finish this I can end the evening with another stout.
Remember the Joni Mitchell song, For Free? Well Fatbelly Beers aren't free but they ought be up there in consideration for the top brewery prizes, despite the fact that no-one has heard of them!