A Fine Day in the Pilis

My very good friend and climbing partner Istvan (Hungarian for Steve) has birdwatching as a hobby. He frequently goes to take wonderful photographs, not only of birds but anything he finds interesting. I thought he could share one of his recent trips here. As his English is not that strong yet, he asked me to translate and post. The following story and pictures are his work. More “A Fine Day in the Pilis”

Borrowdale Biking

The rock climbing and (mostly) the gardening meant we needed a rest day – our hands and backs were wrecked! Of course a rest day didn’t mean a day of idleness…

Past trips to Borrowdale (in the Eastern Fells) have been either quite chilly (f’in freezing) or ended in near benightment and tears. Today however, we enjoyed more of the glorious Spainish sunshine! 😛

A grey member of a herd of wild horses on Borrowdale
Laetitia on top of the long climb (walk) to near the summit of Breasthigh Road
with Kendal somewhere in the distance behind

On the second long climb up to the summit of Breasthigh Road we were over taken by a group of three Land Rovers crawling up the RUP. This sort of off-road driving has been banned on almost all of the Lakeland tracks, but Borrowdale is just outside the park so it continues here. It does look like great fun, and it’s really quite impressive how the Land Rovers cope with the massive (0.6m) drops and steps in the rocky track. But it’s also more than a little troubling how they churn up the loose ground! At one point on the descent to Borrow Beck the loosened rock, gravel, and stone on the track has been gouged out to create a channel perhaps 2 metres deep and as wide as a Land Rover. Not good.

I can see this track being closed to 4x4s soon if the National Park’s plans to extend their boundaries to include Borrowdale go ahead. Perhaps that’s a good thing?

Anyhow, we had our revenge. Mountain Bikes are way faster than 4x4s going down hill, I blasted past the three Land Rovers on the exciting descent. I could hear the CB broadcasting from the tail vehicle through the open windows of the lead vehicle as I went past, “… there’s a crazy biker on the grass to your left, watch out!”

The Ford of Borrow Beck with much of the winding descent track visible behind

Grown-up Pony Club

As the weather remains a bit dismal and the clouds over the fells look lowering – although admittedly it did not rain today – it is necessary to find forms of exercise other than climbing and fell-walking. (Yes we are still running, got soaked to the skin with freezing rain this week, made us feel like proper hard runners not just dilettantes, maybe we’ll be in the OMM next year….)

Luckily Nesta has two riding horses, as well as a donkey and an unbroken cob, so we took them out. It was ages since I’d used my riding kit, luckily jodhpurs are stretchy.

Jasper is huge. 17.2 at the withers. It is a long way down when you are up there and I do need to use the mounting block to get on board.


Jasper, Loki, Doris, the-other-Anna