Glaramara Hike

This is one of my pieces for my creative writing a level and one of my first pieces of travel writing hope you enjoy it.

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1. Glaramara Hike

Opening the tent to the brisk morning air, whose soothing chill provoked even the sleepiest mind to awaken, the day began. Dew covered the grass and tent, little baubles reflecting the low morning sun. Gentle clucking of the chickens that roamed free across the site and the distant bleating of the belated lambs to their mothers in the distance. Mountain sheltered us within the valley, Glorious giants , still tipped with the clouds of morning mist.

 The soft crunching of maps being folded and unfolded as the route for the day was planned, the teeth clenching squeak of rubber, as wellies trundled across the paths around the tent. Clinking of pots and pans, and sloshing of water collected, was swiftly followed by the waft ands soft sizzling of bacon and hot chocolate. The frequent topic of where the day was to lead us, always replied by the map being reopened and the audible skim of a finger tracing the route on the map.

After a filling breakfast, a few complaints of the amount in each rucksack, and with our dog (Archie) on the lead we were ready to set off for the day.

We left the farm heading away from the road, the mud beneath the gate, covered our hiking boots and causing at least the bottom two inches of Archie's usually white legs and paws to a repellent shade of mossy brown. The fields were filled with sheep, causing Archie to tug his lead in curiosity and a whimper as his desire to chase was thwarted, cows served no interest to him as he had been raised around them, but sheep were new (I don't think it helped that the sheep were taunting him by staring at him, unmoving,as he was dragged past).

After the short incline through the sheep field, we entered and enclosed birch forest over a stone stile. Golden leaves littered the floor from the previous year, whilst the new emerald leaves caused dappled sun rays to partially illuminate the path, causing an optical illusion of movement. A small brook weaved between the tree beside us, the iron embellished water painting its bed and banks terracotta red.

Each step gained us height, only the gradient of the ground before us showed our climb. Protruding roots, disguised by the earthy moss and climbing fungi, disturbed our step, yet provided us secure hand hold if footing was lost or the gradient became too steep. Archie ran about our feet, now off the lead due to a secure path before him provided by the lichen-covered, weather-beaten, dry stone wall to the left and the brook to the right. Invisible birds called down to us, their song rising with the sun.

It was about eleven when the trees began to thin, changing from the deciduous birches to the evergreen, pines towering over us. The colours darkened, turning to deeper shades of green and the ground turning from the fertile, deep brown saturated soil, became parched grey clay blending in to the dehydrated pale lichen peppering the pines brittle, gnarled bark.

A gap in the tree, produced a spectacular view. Framed by the trees encircling us, a picturesque scene greeted our eyes.  The dazzling white sail of boats below us on Derwent water, contrasted against the blueness of lake, joined by reflecting the light. It rained at the far end of the basin, colouring the air with rainbows, the mountains finished this landscape, enclosing this secret scene only revealed at this height.

 After consuming all that our eyes could manage, we continued up through the ancient pine, their bony fingers causing shadows , reaching towards the light. The pines disappeared shrinking into small shrubs, a sea of purple heather was all that stood between us and the mountains peak, few trees ventured this high , the only other creatures we saw being a lonely rambler and of cause the most stubborn of hardy sheep always standing above us, their disconcerting faces always glaring at us as we climbed higher. As the gradient steeped our climb began zigzagging up the mountain slope.

Once reaching the mountains ridge, still climbing, boulders and shingles scattered our path, the air began to chill, as the wind threw all it could at us, coats and full waterproofs were swiftly wrenched out of our bags, as rain battered with balls of ice infiltrating even the deepest cracks and fill them with pools of water.

Sheltering from the battle against the storm, behind the huge weathered blocks of stone we stole food into our quaking lips, with hands numbed and shivering from the constant bitter bite of the rain. Lunch was short lived, the pause in our journey had lost the body-heat keeping out the cold of the downpour. So wet to our core we began our journey again.

The mountains rage, caused our wills to reach its summit blunder, as we stumbled through the mists with only a map and compass to guide us, and of cause my fathers wonderful sense of direction, which had guided us many a time( and had just as many times got us lost, maybe even more).

The mists and torrent refused to relent a we scrambled higher, our heads to the ground concentrating on any path we could find , with and upward gradient, in the two feet we could see in front of us. The terrain below our feet  had become water logged, our sodden hiking boots squelched with every step and rubbed on bulbous blisters, grating our ankles.

Soon after the moaning and whining began, our moods had become as sullen as the weather. with our raw feet and deadened hands, the hike had become a trudge, our rucksacks and covers burdensome and heavy due to their drenched state, their water weight adding to our aggravation.

Although the rain had finished its rampage upon us,  the fog still clocked our vision, and with no relief  or whisper of sunlight. Our clothes had become clammy with the heat from our bodies, causing the rainwater and sweat from our skin to mix and evaporate, only to condense as droplets once again when it grasped the chill of the fog.

Another wave of deluge swept across the mountain dampening our spirits to a further extent, even Archie began to cry and shiver, the water now reaching his skin through his thick fur and his collar chafing his neck through the sodden fur.

A cairn appeared to our left through the mist, it showed the early signs that we were nearing the summit. The piles of stones became higher the nearer the summit became, and with the increase towards our goal, our spirits began to rise. Climbing to the top the mist became a haze of cloud gliding across the heather and stone. With the darkness of the fog fading, in retreating tendrils, sunlight banished the rain, and we stripped down to our t-shirts, sunglasses and sun hats replaced coats that hung at the base of our rucksacks, flying in the wind. Our bare arms, warmed by the suns rays, now swung at our sides, as a new determination was awakened with the sun.

 The peak became visible. We raced to the top, wishing to see the view before the variable mountain top weather stole the sight. Picking up a rock , to place on the cairn, on the way. We slowed our pace taking in the views from all directions, a low haze still covered most our surroundings our attentions turned to the top of the mountain.

Steps lead to the summit, inviting us to the top. Huge corpulent rocks, sunken deep into the peat mountain top.  Heather engulfed their edges scrabbling for a grasp on the smooth weathered stones. Fire eaten branches , baring white and black stripes, littered the stones, remnants of the previous years burning.  We jumped the last few step   ignoring the heaviness of our rucksacks. And placed our rocks on the cairn gleefully.

The sunlight had finally burned off all the remaining haze leaving a clear view to behold. Bordering mountains ascended beyond us, the earths hands reaching towards the atmosphere, their fingertips brushing the cloudless sky. These mountains shaped the valley below us, sides of a huge basin, a handful of water residing within, providing for settlements to form as grey blocks dotted the ebony green countryside. A few rogue sheep could be seen, white or black dots amidst the purple and green.

 Little, but a few fishing and sailing crafts, disturbed the water below us. The night sky water formed a coloured mirror of its surroundings, mountains climbed downwards at their bases, only  unsettled by the winds feathered wings as it drifted across the lake. The songs of birds echoed through the valley, the song never ending as the rely of songs sounded, fitted perfectly to the nature encompassing us. Faint bleating joined the chorus. The peaceful scene and song brought smiles to our faces, each of us imagining our own peace but one thought joined us together we were home.

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