The weather has been amazing this September and I decided to make the most of it with a quick mini adventure at the upper Derwent above Howden reservoir. I parked at the top. Howden reservoir car park and walked up to the slippery stones and then followed the track along the river. The sky was really clear and there was absolutely no wind. It didn't take before the midges found me. Fortunately I had brought a midge net for my head, unfortunately I was wearing shorts! I walked up the river to keep cool and keep the midges off my legs. By 8pm slight breeze had picked up by the river and the midges had left me alone. No sooner had I pitched the tent than the breeze stopped and the swarms of midges returned! I paced around as I cooked a dinner of cous cous and then brushed off as many midges as I could before unzipping the inner tent and diving in.
Seconds later I realised the inner tent was full of midges! Did I bring them in on my clothes or were the holes on the mesh of the inner tent too big? I searched for a gap they could have sneaked through but couldn't find one. I crawled into my sleeping bag and drew the cord tight over my head. This significantly reduced the midge problem but now I was too hot! I came up for fresh cool air only to be eaten by the midges so I crawled back into the bag. I repeated this cycle over and over till midnight till I decided enough was enough and that I would pack up and sleep in the car.
Packing up took minutes and soon I was walking back along the track bathed in moonlight. It was still warm so I stopped for a nightswim attire slippery stones plunge pool. Jumping into the cold water was the perfect cure for my itching midge bitten body and when I came out I noticed there were no midges to speak of so I blew up the mat and slept out under the stars.
In the morning I was woken by the midges returning to feast on my exposed face so I packed up quickly, shook the dew off my sleeping bag and mat and walked back to the car. I was treated to a flat calm Howden reservoir with mist clinging to the trees on the far bank. A perfect photo opportunity...