#61: Green Hows Tarn

On Friday Charley and I headed down to Green Hows Tarn near Greystoke. It was a pretty long drive to get down there and the rain seemed to be steadily settling in. I’d never been there before so wasn’t sure what to expect. There is a track marked on the map from the road, but when we got to it there was a gate across it and signs saying ‘Private Land’ and similar unfriendly things. So we drove on a bit further and luckily found a little car park right at the end of the tarn. It was deserted apart from one vary fancy, bright orange sports car.

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We sat in the car for a while, getting changed, chatting and looking through the windscreen at the grey sky, the dark water and the rain. Eventually we ran out of excuses to stay in the warm, dry car and hobbled our way barefoot across the gravelly car park to a little path that headed round the tarn. It’s obviously a popular place for fishing and there are little jetties built at intervals all around the edge. We walked as far as the last but one jetty and looked down at the water.

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I always try to swim for a couple of minutes before I look at Archibald to see what the water temperature is – somehow I feel that if it’s really cold I’d rather find out for myself than by looking at the temperature before I’ve even got in. However, on this occasion I accidentally dropped Archibald off the jetty and so saw the temperature as I bent down to get him before I’d even dipped a toe in the water. Luckily it was 17 degrees so I knew I’d be ok.

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It was pretty weedy as we set off which wasn’t very nice, but we quickly managed to get into deeper water where we could swim more freely. The rain wasn’t as heavy as it had been, just spitting down (it always seems to stop when I get in the water!) and it wasn’t too cold. A couple of dog walkers did wander past and give us some very funny looks but we just smiled and waved.

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We swam back towards the car at the far end which didn’t take us long as it’s only a small tarn but we stayed in the water for a while longer, playing around with the camera, taking underwater pictures and Charley showing off some of her synchronised swimming skills.

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It turs out that Charley is more buoyant on one side than the other – she demonstrated this to me by floating on her back in the water. While most people would just float happily in this position, Charley slowly starts spinning to one side until she is face down in the water which is something I’ve never seen before!

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We climbed out next to another of the little jetties and hurried to get changed into warm, dry clothes. It felt so good as we drove off to put the car heater onto full heat and aim it at our feet. As we drove towards Grasmere to watch Dawn play a solo gig the rain started to hammer down again. We sat in the car and sang songs at each other and enjoyed the feeling of being warm and dry.

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