Friday, 11 March 2016

Lake District March 2016 Day 1

Today we should have been towing the caravan up to the Lakes today for summer storage at Ashes Lane Camping and Caravan Club Site.  The idea is that while Thomas is at Cumbria University studying Outdoor Studies and living in Ambleside (tough for some!!!) we would store the van up here and try to get up once a month.  It would mean that we would use the van more often, see Thomas and be more able to press on with my campaign to climb all 'The Wainwrights' while he is at Uni.  I have to say I am well behind schedule.  Things have not gone to plan, however, as while the van was being serviced at the beginning of February it caught fire while being gas tested.  To cut a very long story short we have a new for old insurance policy, which the insurance company honoured and we are waiting for the delivery of a new caravan - a Stirling Eccles 510, the current version of our old Abbey Aventura.  Unfortunately the new van was not ready in time so we had booked a room at the very fine Wild Boar Inn just outside Bowness, courtesy of the insurance.  We had a good start, especially with no caravan to hook up and tow, and decided to stop just beyond Ingleton to walk up Twistleton Scar to take the classic photograph of the magnificent Limestone Pavement up here with Ingleborough in the background.  Limestone is a hard sedimentary rock formed on a tropical seabed millions of years ago from the calcareous skeletal remains of millions of living creatures.  Later earth movements brought the limestone to the surface.  Being made of calcium carbonate, limestone dissolves in rainwater made acidic through dissolved carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  Due to the solubilitynof limestone, limestone pavements are associated with some very curious and unusual landforms.  The most characteristic surface feature of limestone pavements is their division into blocks, called clints, bounded by deep vertical fissures known as grikes. Clints and grikes form under relatively deep soil cover where acidic rainwater as well as organic acids from decaying vegetation picks out out vertical lines of weakness (joints) in the rock. Grikes take many thousands of years to form under the soil as the rate of solution is slow. Eventually the overlying soil is eroded away to leave the bare grey pavement.

The walk up to Twistleton Scar was relatively short and we enjoyed wandering across the moonscape-like hillside looking for the ideal Camera shot. It was soon time to be on our way again and before long we were pulling up in the Wild Boar Inn car park.  Our room was excellent and superbly positioned, being right next to the car park with an external door and patio so we had immediate access to the car for unloading.  It was now very much beer o'clock and as soon as Thomas joined us we repaired to the extremely cosy bar for a preprandial snifter before enjoying an excellent evening meal.

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