Following on from yesterdays blog of laying Sylvia to rest after a 10 mile walk around the Lake, I headed to my room for a brief rest and a much needed cuppa……we’d been walking for over 5 hours – and I actually did the walk in a record time since dementia.😇
But 20 minutes later after a cuppa, I was up and out again as Josh had told me to meet him at Cat Bells. I was going to catch the little 77 bus to the foot of the fell, but luckily as I went outside, Catherine my lovely Appletrees landlady, was outside with her family visiting. I met her gorgeous little granddaughter Lily, and at that time she asked me if I wanted a lift as they were just leaving. I didn’t want to be a nuisance but she thankfully insisted, considering what I had ahead of me 😳…
What I hadn’t realised was, I’d have to climb Cat Bells 😳😳…..I hadn’t climbed anywhere in years…..Josh’s dad, Jocky, had had to go to London as his father was in hospital. This meant Josh was on his own so no land rover lift or help up the fell 😳…..it was a case of find strength and a way to get up there or I can’t fly…..and no way was I not going to fly….💪🏻
Catherine dropped me off at the bottom and I decided to take it slowly, small chunks at a time, then sit on a rock and look at the view
Josh had 5 other people before me during the day, so this would be his 6th time of climbing the fell😳. He sent me a ‘pin’ of where we would meet on the fell, but I didn’t understand it and asked him to translate that into words 🤣….the ever patient Josh, did just that.
Chunk by chunk I got higher and higher, foxgloves peppered around the fell side…
The scrabbling bit on all fours was my biggest challenge – as soon as I got there I remembered having no trouble in my previous life but today, it felt and looked like a mammoth challenge; my stick clanking on the rugged rocks as I tried to find secure foot holes; each person that passed me by asked if I was alright, but there was no way they could help me, so I just had to keep plodding on.
Another rest, another piccie on my phone
…..until I got to the bit where Josh told me to wait. I simply sat, breathing heavily but so pleased I’d managed it. Josh was climbing a different path up and I could see his blond hair marching along the narrow path with all the paraphernalia for the paraglide on his back AND he’d done that 6 times. 😳
And here’s our take off point from the ground 😳
He shouted me from below to make sure I’d seen him as I’d actually gone a tad too far. He collapsed on the grass as I’d done
I watched as he deftly unpacked the paraglider gubbins and suddenly. The back pack magically turned into 2 seats, the silk canopy’s, helmets and so much more…….I was in charge of the filming and Go pro and he gave me a quick demonstration and play with it while he was getting everything ready. There was one problem he doesn’t usually have with flyers…….where to put my stick 🤣…..he tucked it in a side pocket and it looked just like he had an antennae coming out of his back 😂
Now my turn – helmet first then a fleece as it would be cooler up high, followed by the harnesses and bucket seat. Instructions were given and quickly forgotten but so as not to alarm him, I asked which was the most important – it was to shuffle back in my seat once we were airborne otherwise I’d be dangling 😳….fair enough, so I’ll remember that one 🤣…
The take off must have looked quite scary for onlookers as I can’t run and you really have to run off the edge🙈……’what happens. If that bit doesn’t quite work?’ I asked nonchalantly🤷♀️
“Hopefully my momentum will lift you off the ground and we’ll just stagger for a while until I get control”……well I least I knew what would happen even if Josh didn’t but at least he knew how to put it right 😜
So the time came. Safety checks complete and with onlookers watching my prediction came true as I stumbled my way off the edge. I’m not particularly heavy so Josh was easily able to get control.
“Shuffle back into your seat” he shouted in my ear
Oooooo yes, I thought….and was soon on what I can only describe, as a comfy armchair. Operating the camera stick, in short. 2 minutes bursts (see I remembered that bit😂), I sat back and simply enjoyed the stunning flight. Floating, then turning and swishing into the wind wherever it took us, gradually climbing higher and higher.
Onlookers below, waving up at me and me happily waving back.. Felt like we could touch the tree tops with our feet at times as we soared and swooped. Then hanging in mid air over the water before swooping back in land again. I was in a flying armchair and loved it ❤️….
The sheep on the high fells were used to Josh and didn’t bat an eyelid as we headed towards them
On the other side of Cat Bells Bassentwiate was bathed in the early evening sunlight
A distinct line of cloud in the sky heralded a change in the wind direction as Josh suggested, after, what turned out to be an hour in the sky, that we should think about landing. He asked where my car was parked 😳🤣…..to which I replied, my legs were my wheels. 🤣
He said he’d land somewhere I knew — on the Lake path where I’d walked that morning with David.
The landing was going to be as tricky as the take off😳, mainly because I wouldn’t be able to keep my balance as we headed swiftly for the ground. As the sheep quickly scattered I landed splat on the grass. Unhooked, Josh gave me a hand and pulled me up..as no way could I get up on my own 🤣
As I hugged him my thanks and goodbye I. tried to get my bearings and realised……amazingly……and poignantly ……that we’d landed near where we laid Sylvia to rest that morning. Josh wasn’t to know how perfect that ending was to the day.
It was now 7pm and I had another 2/3 mile walk home…the evening sun was starting to lower and I had my walk home all to myself, the hordes from this morning now nowhere to be seen thankfully…..I needed peace and quiet and my sole companion was simply nature – perfect.
…..exhausted, thoroughly exhausted, I made my way home trying desperately to hold onto the memories of a truly wonderful day…….finally I DID IT 🙌
Still time for anyone to donate, and for those that have, a HUGE thank you 🙏 last time I looked it had reached over £3,500 – amazingly generous of people….