New years day walk: Devoke Water

We decided to go  for a walk on New Years Day. We planned to go up to Devoke Water, a nearly tarn high up in the hills. It has a good 4 mile-ish walk around the water taking in some little hills too. There was snow on the hills above and we were well prepared with correct clothing and a picnic. Sometimes though it doesn’t all go according to plan. The were a lot of icy puddles up there and we explained to the kids about the dangers of ice, but that on the way back (when we could take wet clothes off at the car) they could have a little play on it. We explained that if they jumped in puddles early into the walk we would have to go back to the car because it was so cold, I mean it was bitterly cold!

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Both kids nodded in agreement and understanding and off we went. Tom had what might just be the coldest wee behind a rock he will ever have. Fortunately there was nobody else up there. We walked roughly half a mile down towards the boat house and that’s where it started to go a bit wrong. My son is particularly excitable, he gets very excited, very quickly, and he is hard to calm down. He gets mischievous and stops listening to reason. At this point while climbing on the rocks (and after several warnings and reminders) he decided to jump in a very deep, muddy puddle. Being in snow suits, I wasn’t concerned about the cold with them, but there is only so much protection you can give to your feet. Toms feet were completely submerged and with tears and tantrums we had to head back to the car.

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The stress was eased with a picnic in the car and we figured out a different route back home (I get easily travel sick and the winding roads up there had taken their toll).

Before I explain what happened next, I need to explain the parking facilities at Devoke. There are none. We knew this in advance and knew of a patch of land that was used by walkers and fisherman to access Devoke near the crossroads on the main road. We happily parked up and headed out. Remember how it was very cold and everything was icy? Well the ground was also really firm… when we got there. When it came to leaving a couple of hours later, the ground had softened and with that, our car was stuck. We couldn’t get it back on the path up the small incline. After an hour of pushing and being ignored by other drivers, a very kind gentleman stopped and helped tow us out. Still, determined to make the best of the day (Bob was caked in mud) we decided it would be one of those things we would laugh about later, possibly in years to come. We started on our alternative route back home except we had miscalculated the route slightly causing a running out of petrol/no petrol stations on route kind of problem.

Eventually we made it back safely, but it was definitely not the peaceful walk we were hoping for.

Like I said things don’t always go according the plan…

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