Winter walking has its own ambience. I arise grumpily at 6:30 am in the dark. Breakfast gets me going. I only operate at half throttle unless I have breakfast so it is worth the effort. Sometimes when backpacking, especially if having camped and not pre-planned food it is not possible, and for me that is not a good start.
I trudge the fifteen minutes down to Arnside station still in the dark and catch the 7:52 sparsely populated, ancient diesel, which trundles, rattles and shakes its way to Kirkby-in-Furness with a change at Barrow. Kirkby is a request-only-stop, and I panic about getting that organised, but I catch the driver as he boards, and then double my chances by firming my request with the lady conductor.
At Kirkby it is now thankfully light. I take a photo from the bridge of the retreating train, and for comparison, another with that unusual colour setting used by mistake on the last trip.
Long straight stretches of narrow Tarmac get me to Foxfield, all a bit boring. An old bridleway is better, climbing high and going inland to Broughton-in-Furness with views across the Duddon estuary to my continuation of this coastal trek, but although it is bright and sunny distant views are hazy and hilltops shrouded.
I catch up a guy from Grange who has couple of visitors from Brazil with him, so they are getting a good sample of our attractive countryside - it is rarely I pass anybody these days, but this party are just ambling.
Having descended to Broughton I find a convenient bench and organise a planning meeting with myself because I have the feeling I am ahead of my schedule. I dead-reckon the remaining distance and time which unfortunately tells me I have a marginal chance of catching the 14:50 train from Millom direct to Arnside arriving at 16:05 instead of my planned train at 17:15 with a long wait at Barrow and arriving Arnside at 18:43. I hate this sort of thing. When I walked the Coast to Coast in 1990 I remember arriving at the finish at St Bees Head with three kilometres remaining to St Bees and the station for the train home. I had the timetable in my rucksack, but daren't look at it for fear of discovering a possible train time within questionable walking/jogging time - I just didn't want that hassle, but now, back in Broughton I had imposed that upon myself.
Even though I was walking in the magnificent Duddon estuary the views seemed limited and boggy fields were followed by a tedious Tarmac section to Lady Hall, then a long muddy embankment all the way to Millom. I got my head down and marched purposefully and arrived at Millom with five minutes to spare which was enhanced by another five minutes by the late running train.
|These first three photos are experimental If you are interested click photos to enlarge|
1. Normal "Scene" setting - "Sports Mode"
|2. Same photo tweaked aa much as I could in Photoshop Elements|
|Back to "Scene", "Sports Mode" again.|
Long Tarmac out of Kirkby, but you can see distant Lake District Hills are hidden by haze
|Duddon Iron Furnace - 1736 to 1866 for more info:|