Dramatic sunset for the last night of High Summer in Cumbria. We’ve enjoyed a week of clear blue sky and full sun with air temperatures up to 30°C; now change is in the air, though happily it’s not yet autumn.
From hay bales in the golden fields to heaps of black plastic rolls, the traditional farming work of gathering hay now brings a menacing visual image to the contemporary summer landscape.
Walk through this woodland enjoying the lateral light and dappled shadows, the foxgloves and the thistles; then breaking out to open moorland for a wider view. Brundholme Woods is between the gorge of the River Greta and the slopes of Latrigg, near Keswick.
Mega brill ride round most of the main road passes of the Lake District plus a couple of lakes. These passes are steep (20-30%) and most are single track roads with passing places through open moorland with sheep grazing. So different challenges to the passes in the Alps and the little bike does them well.
This was the route of my tour: starting at Keswick and Derwent Water, then Honister Pass (25%, 356 m.) - Newlands Hause (333 m.) - Whinlatter (318 m.) - Blakeley (Cold Fell) (293 m.) - Hardknott Pass (30%, 393 m.) - Wrynose Pass (25%, 393 m.) - Kirkstone Pass (20%, 454 m.) - Great Mell Fell (343 m.).
Cloud on the highest peaks so we headed up Wasdale, then the steep path up Bell Rib to medium height peaks Yewbarrow (627 m.) and Stirrup Crag (616 m.), with views over to Sca Fell, Mosedale and a number of tarns as well as Wast Water below.
A bit of a scramble down Stirrup Crag to Dore Head and then a pleasant walk down alongside Over Beck with Brimfull Beck joining it bringing water from Low Tarn, that we had seen from the ridge.
Nearly down to Wast Water and the clouds cleared over Sca Fell, showing the two distinct peaks Scafell Pike (978 m.) and Sca Fell (964 m.), England’s highest mountains.
Thanks to Samuel for a great day out together
Château Beau-Site, St Estèphe, 2000. Cru bourgeois exceptionnel.
Syrupy is the first word which came to mind on tasting this wine. Nothing wrong, a fine aged claret from the village of Saint-Estèphe on the banks on the Gironde estuary, but it was a little unexciting and now maybe slightly past its peak, now nearly-too-old. Château Beau-Site is a distinct appelation in the Médoc area, so more specific than a Médoc. Château Beau-Site is one of several vineyards in the area owned by the Castéja family, long-time négotiants of Bordeaux.
The wine had a pleasing complexity but oxidised fairly rapidly in half an hour or so after drawing the cork (which had split), but by then this fine claret had been a worthy accompaniment to the leg of lamb which I had roasted for our Easter Sunday dinner and some Stilton cheese.