The Satnav and I fell out again. It was now late afternoon and I was on my way back from Cathedral Quarry. There was no rush, but I had stopped to chat to one of the locals in Little Langdale and I didn’t have a lot of spare time to drive to Castlerigg stone circle, which was my location for sunset. My knowledge of the area was vague, but I was sure I had passed a sign to Castlerigg on my way in to Keswick the previous day. I was pretty certain the lane led directly to the parking area. Although narrow in places, it seemed to be a standard country road. So why had I been led out of Keswick in the other direction? I was sure I passed the turning to the A66, but I didn’t trust my memory and the thought of getting stuck on a busy road with the sun rapidly setting led me to rely on my little navigator friend.
A couple of miles further on, I was directed to turn sharp left up the narrowest lane I have ever seen. Surely not? I pressed on until I found a place to turn round, but the Satnav was adamant. Turn right it said, so I did. I found myself on a lane, about a mile long and with almost no passing places. My little Smart car isn’t that wide and yet there were only inches of space on either side. I met a few walkers who found it amusing. (Although they didn’t find it so funny when they had to cram themselves in the shrubbery to allow me to pass). I waved my thanks, but with fingers firmly crossed in the hope I didn’t meet something further along that would require me to reverse back past them again.
Thankfully I didn’t come across another vehicle and eventually I reached a T junction which was directly opposite the parking for Castlerigg. My homework had proved right in that I wasn’t to be alone at this place, as there were quite a few cars there already. In fact, by the time I had walked up the short hill to the stone circle, I could see there were nearly twenty people, either standing or wandering around. Getting a photograph without anyone in view was going to be difficult.
As it turned out, that wasn’t my only dilemma. It wasn’t a problem as such, but as with the other locations on my trip, people gathered to watch the sunset were a friendly lot and they wanted to chat. A couple wandered over and enquired about the names of the local fells. I couldn’t help, but we got talking anyway and I soon realised that setting up my equipment was going to be awkward. I had a mind to catch the sun as it moved behind a tree, but my reluctance to offend my new-found friends meant I missed the best light. For once I really didn’t mind, but the sky was beginning to turn a lovely colour and I simply had to get something before it was too late.
In the end I moved a few feet to the right and waited for some sheep to wander in for added interest. It was all I was able to get at this beautiful location as I had no luck at all the following morning. Once again the place was heaving with people, but this time they were all serious photographers with no intention of talking. I found a likely spot, but someone quickly got in my way and feeling somewhat intimidated, I packed up and left for Buttermere, ignoring the Satnav until I was well away from Keswick.