Desmond has passed but left its toll of flooding in Cumbria, and now little Eva is approaching. After a night of more rain, the day improved so I had a late drive up to the Lakes. Consulting my Wainwright Outlying Fells I chose Hampsfell as today’s destination. I now realise there is a ring of limestone to the south of the Lakes and in this rain-soaked month they hold the promise of better walking underfoot, several of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells occupy this region. Having said that there were some muddy paths out of Lindale but once on the fell things improved. This was a land of limestone pavements and miniature edges with paths going everywhere. I chose one that led me to the summit and walked up into a gale, with constant battering I wondered whether any of my photos would be in focus. There were birds’ eye views down to the Kent estuary with Arnside and Ingleborough in the distance. The highest point has an unusual ‘Hospice’, built-in 1846 under the instruction of a vicar of Cartmel as a shelter for travellers. The substantial structure has a flight of steps leading to the roof and an unusual viewfinder, an alidade, which act as a pointer to the surrounding fells. Today it was virtually impossible to stand on the roof let alone line up the views. Back in the calm interior of the shelter I was able to read the cryptic poems displayed on the walls. Above the entrance is a Greek inscription which translates as ‘rosy-fingered dawn’, a phrase apparently used by Homer referring to Eos, goddess of dawn. According to Greek mythology, Eos’s task was to open the gates of Heaven each morning to allow the sun to rise, a romantic idea which could be put to the test by spending a night in here and witnessing the phenomenon. Today I could only view Morecambe Bay to the south and the misty Lakeland Hills in the rest of the compass. I forced my way along the ridge in the gale-force wind in a northerly direction, the Cumbrian Fells in front of me. Dropping off the ridge field paths took me back to Lindale. My only problem was a large bull in one field, I trespassed in the adjoining field to avoid it, I would rather face an angry farmer than an angry bull.
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