Now I am not a meteorologist but I know this. Rain happens when the clouds get full..gravity takes over and the heavy water falls to earth. But not this rain. This rain was like a monsoon, it was like the rain that started The Flood. It was like God or a giant needed to saturate the ground in a hurry and he hurled buckets full of water on the mountains of the Lake District in a rage.
I parked the car at the bottom of Haweswater and we got out…despite having waterproofs on within seconds we were drenched. The water got everywhere. It came down so fast it hurt your face and stung your eyes and hands. We could see the normally dry paths had been turned into streams and I was wondering why I was here. Then I remembered, to see the eagles. High Street is the only place in the Lake District where they can be seen. But I doubted that any eagles would be flying around today..they would be tucked up safe and warm in their eyrie’s.
Mark kept saying that the met office had forecast that it would stop by lunchtime, but I have a deep mistrust of weather forecasts. I was once in a very flood prone cave secure in the knowledge that the local forecast was for a dry and sunny day. Suddenly my ears popped and I heard a dull roar. Looking back I saw a brown 3 ft high flood pulse coming towards me. It was 7 hours before I got out…
So we hiked up into the mountains, half in and half out of the streams jumping over boulders and slipping and sliding. We could see nothing but the ground before us and a steady waterfall pouring down from our hoods, when eventually Mark, who was map reading announced we were on the summit.
We waited a couple of minutes to catch our breath and then at 12.01 exactly the rain stopped suddenly and the clouds parted just like curtains. Mr weatherman…I take it all back!
I grabbed the camera out of the rucksack and raising it up to take a picture I noticed it had somehow got steamed up…whatever I did I couldn’t get rid of the fog on the lens…so I missed the best pictures ever!
We dried out at the trig point, had a long lunch and then started to head for the car, hoping we would see the eagles below us as we were to pass the spot where they were said to be. But we never saw them.
According the Mark’s map there should have been 3 paths down, but we counted 5, all clearly defined. Anyway the mist was starting to come back again so we headed down (always a plan) and despite getting slightly lost and backtracking a little as one of the paths we were to follow had become a 3 foot deep stream we eventually made it back to the car.
Shame about the photos (I got these but not the ones I really wanted, and these are ‘misty’ owing to a wet lens)…. and shame about the eagles!