Day 33 30-05-2014 Fri Bowness

An easier day today, thank goodness. We had only two goals: to see Castlerigg Stone Circle at Keswick, and to view Coniston Water from a steam gondola.

Day 33 route mapWe cheated a little at the stone circle by driving right up to it (most people do a 6 Km circuit on foot). It’s a brilliant location on a half-height hill with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. This stone circle is alleged to be older than Stonehenge, but it is smaller in diameter with much smaller stones. Still, it’s a much more impressive location.

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It’s been a real delight driving along the road to Keswick – you get great views of the mountains. On the way back, heading toward Coniston, the GPS did its usual trick and took us via the narrow, twisty, undulating, stone-wall-lined back roads. This was intense and exciting driving.

IMG_5421 IMG_5424 Mountain pano from BownessThe steam gondola cruise on Coniston Water was an unexpectedly enjoyable experience because it was so gentle and quiet. This was a one-hour trip around perhaps half of the lake, making several stops along the way. The commentary by the skipper was informative and he gave us the tip to visit nearby Tarn Hows, bequeathed by Beatrix Potter to the public (National Trust). She is a big name in this area. Also Malcolm and son Donald Campbell. Not to forget Tennyson and Wordsworth.

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fuel is compressed sawdust
fuel is compressed sawdust

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the steam gondola
the steam gondola

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Tarn Hows is a small upland lake with a 2.5 Km walking track around it, with views to the surrounding mountains. It was a nice way to end the outing.

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look! an iron bark tree!
look! an iron bark tree!

IMG_5483 IMG_5485 IMG_5494 IMG_5495 IMG_5497 IMG_5508_crAfter a pub dinner back at Bowness, the mild evening conditions prompted us to walk down to the lake (Windermere) to take in the atmosphere.

IMG_5523 IMG_5536 IMG_5538Technical note. Yesterday I wrote a lengthy diatribe about parking meters. Today we encountered the future in parking lot payment technology. Cameras read your number plate as you enter the car park, allowing you to park and walk away without doing or pre-paying anything. On your return, you enter your vehicle’s registration number at the pay machine. Gratifyingly, it even has type-ahead. You then pay an amount commensurate with your parking duration. I like it.

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