The vague plan of hiking up to Lost Lad today is scuppered by the weather, too much intermittent fine rain and low cloud along with patchy fog. But all is not lost, even if the Lad is, and there is always somewhere to walk around Derwent.
We park in our usual spot, and notice as we drive down that a lot of the smaller car parks now have the dreaded parking meters, though not ours, or not yet! A quick walk down to the centre at Fairholmes and we discover that all facilities are closed as there is work being done higher up the dams which has cut all the power. Ah well, onward.
We cross under the dam wall and head along the far side reservoir.
The blossom is starting to come out on a few of the trees, soon the branches won't be so bare.
This is a pleasant easy lane to walk on, and although there are usually quite a few people doing the circuit of the dam, today we are pretty much alone. The weather certainly has a lot to answer for.
Look for the left hand path that will take us uphill, and we clambler over the stile and onto the track. It starts off steadily, but after a patch of gloopy mud we are climbing. It's a rather lovely, if steep, lane but one thing it does do is encourage us to pause to admire the views (and catch our breath).
Despite having no leaves the trees look superb, their structure seen with greater clarity.
The views more or less in the direction of Lost Lad look as though it might be a bit clearer up there.
But there is general murk everywhere.
We reach the top of the lane and go through the gate next to the wonderfully situated farmhouse. Then another short stretch of uphill (with a fortifying nip from the secret flask to give us encouragement) and we come to some lovely views, and a stone wall to sit against to have lunch.
Today is my 'birthday' walk, so as well as coffee and sandwiches, it is treat time! A small bottle of fizz, mini chocolate pots, and a gloriously large slab of carrot cake (my absolute favourite) make for a very decadent and much appreciated picnic.
As usual after such a lovely feast the temptation is to linger (is a post-lunch snooze in order?) but it is rather chilly so we pack up and set off again across the top of the moor.
There are wonderful views all around, including a good one of the Lad in the distance.
We pass a group of walkers up here, coming from the oppposite direction. It's quite unusual to see many folk up here, and even rarer to see a group.
The incline here is pretty negligible, and as soon as we reach the top we start the slow decent, with Derwent reservoir gleaming greyly in the distance.
We keep the steady descent until we come to the point where the path becomes steep - and the rain arrives in earnest. Deep ruts and runnels, along with loose stones and slick ground mean we have to be cautious, but we soom manage to arrive at the bottom wall and the gate through to the reservoir track.
PC takes a photo just to remind us of the not-so-well signed path that we'll be taking when we next decide to try for Lost Lad.
Naturally, by the time we are on our way back the rain has almost stopped, so we are pretty much dry when we get back to the cars. Hopefully we'll get to walk up to the Lad soon.