But not just any Lakes Backpack, this was the Backpackers Club long-awaited Treasure Hunt.
The were a few hurdles to overcome before my weekend could get underway: Dad needed sorting, I had some business to deal with, stuff like that.
Nick, No2 son, was supposed to take part in this event with me but a university friend's wedding got in the way. Margaret, aka Beryl the Peril, stepped into the breach and did a handsome job of entering into the spirit of the event – which is a sort of weekend-long orienteering event....but with knobs on.
The basic plan (Plan?? Ho-ho!) is to navigate around as many predetermined locations as is possible and then when at each of these locations, answer a question. The question is relevant to the location so can only be correctly answered when you visit the spot. Cunning eh?
Oh, and there's a wild camp on the Saturday night.
I collected Margaret from Preston at around 7.45am (the one in the morning) on Saturday and we stormed up the M6 towards the Lake District. At least that was the general idea. Unfortunately the traffic gods were against us...big time: the M6 was closed due to a fatal accident. We should have arrived at Skelwith Bridge around 9am, we didn't actually get there until well past 11am. Not a good way to start a (slightly) competitive event.
A mainly dry but quite breezy night followed. The breeze was a bit of a worry because the ground only allowed tent pegs an inch or two into the ground. Sliding the pegs into the ground at a very shallow angle was the only way to hold our tents anything like taught. Fortunately the tents stayed up all night.
We presented our answers to Colin, the organiser and course-planner of the event. Colin must have spent months putting the Treasure Hunt together, he worked really hard to make it such a success.
In spite of my sogginess I’d enjoyed myself. I think Margaret did – the other competitors certainly did. Thanks go to Colin Smith of the Backpackers Club for working so hard to put on such a successful event. Oh, and to Margaret too, her navigation skills certainly helped us complete the route efficiently – and having that extra head and extra pair of eyes made all the difference to our end result.
The next morning I was to fly to Madrid (the one in Spain) to walk a section of the Via de la Plata so I needed to get home to pack. The sogginess of my rucksack contents extended to my (paper) Driving Licence….the same Driving Licence I was to need the next day in order to pick up my hire car in Madrid. Oh well….
Oh, and that fence....23 nails - the bottom left section was only secured by one nail. Go back and check if you don't believe me!
More pictures are here.