1.03.2009

Tuesday, January 3, 1989

An Unrivaled View of the Lake District ...

Woke up for an 8.30 a.m. breakfast (a good, hearty English one!), paid our £10 bill to the kind folks at the Lynwood Bed and Breakfast, then J.P. and I were off. Money is getting scarce, and a cashpoint machine was nowhere to be found in the Lake District, which could prove troublesome.

So after buying a deck of "Lake District" playing cards as a souvenir and scurrying around town, J.P. was able to get £10 out of a Barclay's cashpoint machine... although it cost him a ridiculous £1.50 to do so. Then we were finally off for some sightseeing.

We first followed a footpath that, according to the sign at the start, promised us an "unrivaled view of the Lake District." Well if it's unrivaled, then it's the view we want.

Indeed, it did provide us with quite a picturesque image of the Lake District. There was a light fog that misted through the valley and provided us with an interesting atmosphere to enhance our "unrivaled view." (For awhile, J.P. and I used "unrivaled" to describe nearly everything we encountered.) Good pictures here.

We continued to explore for awhile, looking at sheep and pretty landscapes (waterfalls, sheep, trees, more sheep). (Photo left is of sheep doing sheep things.)

We also had a most interesting encounter with a mule, and when we strayed from the trail for a minute, I caught a glimpse of what I thought was a deer. Turns out it was actually 3 deer. Unfortunately, they ran off before I could snap a photo of them. It still made my day.

We walked back to Windermere where we grabbed some pub grub, then made an unsuccessful attempt to visit Grasmere, where William Wordsworth lived and where my class trip visited the previous year. When that didn't work out, we walked around some more, saw more sheep, then found something labeled a "Public Trail."

But was it? All we found was mud, horse manure (or some kind of manure, anyway), and a fence enclosing a private farm. So we snuck out with manure on our shoes and snapped a picture of the "trail of no return."

At this point, it was time for us to depart and prepare for the next leg of our journey. So we headed to the train station, unloaded our luggage from the locker, and caught the train to Oxenholme, satisfied with our journey to the Lake District. Our next stop, Manchester, where we were planning to stay with Liz Ortega.

But our plan hit a snag when I called Liz from the Oxenholme train station. It seems she was having a bit of a row with her parents, and she didn't think that we'd be able to stay at her place. That could definitely pose a problem for us.

Well we caught the next train to Preston, where we sat in the "cattle car" once again, and then from Preston caught our last train that took us to Manchester. Once we got to the station, I called Liz again, and she had some good news for us. She said we were allowed to stay in her brother's apartment, since he was in Holland at the moment. Good break!

So we hopped onto a very crowded bus and made our way to Ashton-Under-Tyne, where Liz met us at the bus station, after which we all went to McDonald's for some dinner. Then we caught another bus that took us to her brother's flat, then unloaded our gear when we arrived. Since the heat had been shut off, the flat was rather chilly inside.

The three of us sat inside and talked for a bit, during which time we opened up one of our bottles of wine. When Liz left, J.P. and I played some cards... "Blackjack," of course (not the "21" variety most commonly attributed to this name; the British version.) It's a game we played a lot back at The Grange Halls.

We played for awhile in a bit of a giggly mood (partially because of the cold room, partially because of the wine), and midway through we decided to mix it up a bit and play some Gin Rummy instead of Blackjack. However, after the cards were dealt, we both apparently forgot and just started playing Blackjack again. We both had a good laugh when we realized what we had done.

Finally went to sleep around midnight.

2 comments:

John-Paul said...

I had completely forgotten about the Liz Ortega incident...although I do remember riding in the mail car a bunch.

I still have, and occasionally use, the pipe I am smoking in the Lake District photo. It was bought in Inverness, although it says "Made in Czechoslovakia."

Rick Reitz said...

It's amazing what I've forgotten about until I take a look through the ol' journal. I also completely forgot about staying in her brother's apartment. Man, talk about trust! "Hey, there are these two American college students I know. Can they stay in your apartment while you're not there?" People were way nicer to us than they probably should've been, and God bless them for it!

That was a great trip we took 'cross Britain... one of the coolest times I've ever had.

Hope you take a puff on the ol' pipe for it's anniversary!