Tag Archives: dog

Orrest Head Walk – Windermere

Quite frankly life has been a bit rubbish lately. As noted before, I have been back in the Uk for an extended period of time due to my mother’s illness. Unfortunately three weeks ago she lost her second battle with cancer. I love that word, “battle”. I can imagine my mum fighting off the cells on a horse with a sword, in full armour. She actually said, “stay strong, stand mighty!” in one of her more lucid moments, which added to the image.

So with the funeral “done and dusted” as mum would say, I took my dad out for a day in the Lake District. He stayed in Windermere to wander around while I walked up Orrest Head. This was the first walk ever done by Alfred Wainwright. Coming in from the city he fell in love with the area, I can see why. It really is one of the most beautiful parts of England.

This is an overview of the 5km walk. I think it is fairly safe in most weather conditions..most not all. Here is a link to the Strava entry created by my new TomTom watch. Love my new watch.

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The walk can be found in Wainwrights “The Outlying Fells of Lakeland”, which has shorter walks for the less fit….me, after months of sitting on a chair in the hospice.

This is the start of the walk.

Start of the walk, just north and left of the information centre.
Follow the road up, the start is all paved.


I think it is lovely in all seasons, especially autumn.
This tree stump is along the route and contains coins of wishes.
Of course there are lots of dry stone walls.
The view from a good resting spot. There are plenty of seats along the route for those needing a rest.
It has rained for days if not weeks, so today is a pretty good weather day. It is not the “Lake District” for nothing..where do you think the lakes come from?
Just up here you have to go through the dry stone wall…
…via this swinging gate.
“Thou who has given me eyes to see and love this sight so fair, give me a heart to find out thee and read thee everywhere.”
View of Lake Windermere from the top.
View with plaque and cairn.


The way down the other side.
The houses in the area have to blend with the original style…but this is an original house.
Once the walk is done enjoy the lake and birds. Maybe take a boat tour.
Lake Windermere.
Lake Windermere


If you ever visit England…forget London and travel North!

After the walk and the customary fish and chips we drove north to take in more of the area. Passing through Patterdale and Ullswater, my favourite part.

Also while researching this blog, I found this one written for DOGS!! It is a bit awesome. Since the passing of my mum I have noticed that every single dog I have passed has tried to give me a love. So if you have  a dog give them a hug from me, read this blog and give them a super day out.

Ushiku, Shrines and Puppies

It has taken me a week to add this post due to an incident that happened on the ride, don’t worry I am ok no accident or anything.

For this ride I went down the “inside” bit of Ushiku swamp. It was a lovely ride that I will certainly do again, today was a little rainy so a sunny day would be great. I used the app Strava only and stole the route from a fellow Stravian.

Here is the route.

Just after I set off I almost ran over a couple of puppies that were roaming around.

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They were very cute and young. I stopped and played with them for a few minutes. I had seen them the day before and I rode this way to see if they were still roaming around, they were. Nobody was around to ask about them, but I could see a water bowl. I left them and continued on the ride, I would check on them on the way back.

The ride was along regular roads and passed by typical Japanese countryside. Recently I have seen a massive increase in solar panel farms. They have really taken off since the big earthquake.

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The app was easy to follow and I kept it on the map page rather than look at the stats. IMG_2312 IMG_2313

I saw other creatures on my ride.


One thing I really like about Japan are the mirrors everywhere. Local governments and regular people put them up. They really help seeing around corners and things coming out of drives. At first I didn’t trust them and always wanted to look for myself, but once you get use to them they make you feel a lot safer. You should still look though.


At the turn around point there is a small shrine overlooking the lake.

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Then as I was starting to head home I saw a sign for another shrine. It was up a steep path. I managed to cycle up it and speed up it too. It was short, but I felt proud of myself.

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It would be a great place to stop for a picnic on a brighter day. There are also public toilets here.

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On the way back I thought I made a mistake on the route and was heading on to a highway, but it was just a very busy road. On these roads I would usually use the path as they are often quite wide here and made for cycles on busy roads. But on this road there was a big kerb I could not get up and I must have missed the entrance. I cycled like crazy to get off the road and felt so relieved when I did. On the opposite side there were a group of cyclist. I bet riding in a group feels safer, but by myself I felt very exposed.

Anyway, I went back to check on the puppies. I wasn’t really sure what I could do, I think I really just wanted to play with them. This time there was an old man there and he explained that they were put out of a car and then the car drove away. He was looking after them for now, but didn’t know what do do with them. He then picked up one and handed it to me and said “lucky” in English. I asked “Honto? Really?”, where he replied, “dozo”, which mean something like “here you go”. So now I had to walk 2km carrying a puppy and pushing my bike after a 50km ride. All the while I was thinking, what am I doing? what am I going to do with this dog?

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I didn’t have anything and I was supposed to be meeting some school evaluators an hour later. I threw the dog in my car and drove straight to a pet shop and “tree-hugger girl” and “over-prepared man” helped me get stuff like food, poo bags, leads, collars, a toy chicken and shampoo. It was quite expensive. I then rushed to pick up the visitors, and the dog, now called barnaby, threw up in the car. The old man was feeding them people food. Later that night I gave the dog a bath and found it was a girl and renamed her Juno after a childhood pet.

She is the sweetest thing, it took her a few days to settle in and start to be playful. I had to take her to work each day where the other staff helped look after her. The students adored her. She has yet to bark and falls asleep when frightened. The vet says she is healthy, apart from a few fleas which she has been treated for. I slept downstairs on the couch for a week as I didn’t want her to go in the tatami room. Turns out she is perfectly house trained, bonus, but is in the chewy stage. Tonight she is sleeping at a potential forever home for a trial. There is another possible home lined up next week. It seems very quiet at my house now.