a weekend in rain and wind

This weekend, I went on my first trip with UEA Fell Club – some interesting things probably happened last week, but they are somwhat overwritten by that wonderful weekend in my memory. According to the fotos in my camera, there was a least one sunny day I used to take some nice pics of UEA. Apart from that, I’ll mostly tell you about the weekend: We met at uni at five – I was in quite a hurry preparing my stuff and just arrived few minutes before five. I almost joined a group of people in outdoor gear standing around a minibus, but then realized they had ropes and helmets – that was the rock climbing society, not fell.
The other people with rucksacks were fell people, however – we had to wait for the minibuses a bit, load some club kit and maps from the cupboard and then went off to pick up one the commitee memebers (which are the people organizing the trips) and loads of food. As Norwich is not really in the mountains, we were on the road until half past twelve, had some fish and chips in between and slept quite a lot on our way north. The “camping barn” we stayed in had matresses for almost everyone, two very unstable beds, a loo and a tiny kitchen (say, a room with a microwave and a dryer). Still, a lot more comfort than I am used to while hiking – I mostly stay in a tent somewhere out.
barn
The weather forecast was heavy rain and stromg wind, and for this weekend, English weather performed as expected. After breakfast at about seven, we left for different trips.

lakes1

making our way into the hills

Our group started climbing a hill near a waterfall when the rain began to be serious and I just got my waterproof trousers out before they would have become really useless. Near the top of the hill, we had to admit that the wind was stronger than our plans and changed the route to get down to the next valley. You lad to lean against the wind and I got blown away a couple of steps quite a few time. When the wind was coming from the front, I covered my face with my hand to stop the pain from raindrops striking my skin. It may not sound so to some of you, but that was a wonderful experience. I have really missed that kind of things the last few years, and had almost forgotten how I missed them. We got down the hill, had lunch and walked on beside a lake before turning uphill to get back to the valley with our minibus again.

On top of the hill, we slightly got off the path in a kind of wetland and had to make our way jumping from one island of solid (where you didn’t sink in deeper more than ten centimeters) ground to the next. As we reached the path we knew from that morning, it started getting dark and we should not have arrived at the road ten minutes later than we did. We were all wet from head to toe, maybe not completely soaked following the quality of our waterproofs, but surely wet everywhere. All were quite exhausted, as the walk had been between 15 and 20 km long, including hills, wind and rain. Yet, I wasn’t too cold and we had kept moving all day, so most of us felt really great – and maybe better after changing to dry clothes and having diner, which tasted wonderful, but I am afraid I don’t now if the cause was the quality of the food our our appetite. After an hour or two in a close pub, we went back to the hut to sleep and repeat the fun again the next day.

This one was slightly less rainy, but more windy – we almost (or even literally) crawled over the top of a mointain, ducking to the ground and reaching for the rocks in order to up there. The wind really cut my breath, I could hardly get air into my mouth when it was blowing from the side. We then again abondoned the mountain’s top and went down to a valley, mounting towards a waterfall and coming back a lot earlier than the day before.

Felix_lakes

back down in the valley

As the time switched to winter time on Sunday (and we had started our walks as summer time), we already got back to Norwich by half past eleven, meeting people coming from an LCR party. That must have been quite a funny picture of us in wet and dirty mountain gear and them, dressed up for going out at a weekend…

campus_autumn

zigurrat

UEA's famous zigurrat buildings

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