I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Great Langdale

First at Elterwater, then just beyond Chapel Stile, on the winding road through Great Langdale, the view hits you. The Langdale Pikes in all their splendour. A fairytale fortress towering over the flat-bottomed valley. Impossible shapes rearing up - looking higher than they in fact are. All jags and crags, cliffs and cones, steep-sided gullies. Later, at the right-angled bend where the road penetrates no further westward but zigzags south up to Blea Tarn, you suddenly become more fully conscious of the magnificent girdle of hills that surrounds you: Lingmoor Fell, Side Pike, Wrynose Fell, Pike of Blisco, Great Knott, Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike, Rossett Pike, the Langdale Pikes, Raven Crag, Pike Howe, Tarn Crag... And can that be the bulky crest of Great End peeping out, above and beyond Rossett Gill? It hits you in the stomach. It softens you up. It's simply breathtaking. (My photo shows the narrow road up to Blea Tarn and a sunlit Langdale from Loft Crag, one of the Pikes. The National Trust campsite lies hidden in trees to the left of the picture.)

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