We decided to take a trip up to the Lake District on Saturday. This time we wanted to take the Podlings to see Aira Force waterfall in Ullswater. Mark and I went there on our very first trip to the Lake District on the Queen's Golden Jubilee weekend back in 2002 and we thought it would be nice to go back there with the small folk.
The walk to the falls winds through a beautiful wood and leads to a stone bridge that takes you directly over the waterfall. The Podlings were decidedly underwhelmed by the 65ft waterfall, but certainly enjoyed their walk. Right up until Alex kicked his shoe down a steep bank! Luckily it landed on a ledge reasonably near the top or we would never have seen it again. As it was, I had to lie down and stretch myself bodily across the path and even then I was only just able to reach it by hooking it on the very tip of Mark's walking stick. Lily was in floods of tears because she thought I was going to fall to my death! I pointed out that I was never in any danger and I would never put my life at risk for a shoe, but it took her a little while to calm down!
The Podlings were keen to fit in a visit to the woodland playground at Wray castle whilst we were up there, but by the time we arrived it was almost dark. Mark turned on the car headlights so the Podlings could enjoy a quick play in the park. This turned out not to be a particularly bright idea! Time flies when you are having fun, as they say, and what we planned to be a ten minute go on the tyre swing stretched on and on. We finally dragged the children away as we planned to have a barbecue by Coniston Water before starting the two hour drive home. We got everyone strapped in to the car, but when Mark tried to turn on the engine...answer came there none! Yes, we'd flattened the car battery lighting up a children's playground in the middle of the night. We were now stuck in the car park of Wray Castle with not a soul around and no way of getting home. Luckily Mark was able to get a phone signal and got hold of the breakdown company we have a policy with. Obviously it was going to take them a while to get to us, seeing as how we were in the middle of nowhere, so it seemed appropriate to break out the barbecue while we waited for them to arrive. We had an absolute blast in that dark car park! Mark cooked up the hotdogs and burgers by torchlight and the Podlings played in the car and the car park and we certainly made the best of the situation. I think the breakdown man was a little bemused to find our family of six barbecuing in a car park in the back of beyond in the middle of the night!
We finally got home at about half past midnight, rather worn out from our eventful day, with another stock of stories to add to the family 'Do you remembers?'. We have such great times! Life is certainly never dull in our family!
There were lots of tree trunks with coins hammered into them throughout the wood. Lily and Emma called them wishing trees. It is an old custom to hammer coins into old tree trunks for good fortune, much as you might throw a coin into a well to make a wish.
The stone bridge took you right over the top of the falls
Burgers and breakdowns!