MANUEL, TAKE THESE CASES UP TO ROOM 102!

I will be the first person to say that a trip to England would have been boring if we hadn’t stayed at a hotel akin to Fawlty Towers.  But never would I have thought it was going to be this soon.  Mrs. Fawlty checked us in and took our money.  We quickly scanned the room and surmised that there was a seniors night out in the lounge.  Firstly because there was a motor coach parked outside, but secondly that there was a ton of raisins siting about waiting for the somewhat less than household named singer to take stage.

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When I say stage, I should have said chair on the side of the dance floor.  A valiant effort but no dice. Voice was not great.  Her song selection was eclectic and by that I mean not great.  Dinner was ok but not much more than very filling.  A Pint of Worthington’s and pint of Strongbow was next and then all was good with the world once again.

As I sit in our room fit for royalty (Queen Latifah), I am reminded that this day was a long one.  This morning we woke with 7 hours of rest.  We took off on foot in the City of Durham and toured the medieval streets and the gothic cathedral.  Simply put, jaw dropping.  If you ever feel the urge to head off and do a masters or PhD this place would suit you down to the ground.  Our tour of the cathedral was awe inspiring.  From there we saddled up in “bluebird” and headed back to the airport to drop the car.  With that out of the away we needed a coffee and a sandwich.  Costa coffee and a quaint butcher shop in Newcastle’s Granger Street Arcade, was a treat.

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We then went to meet old friends and chatted over tea.  This city is old.  Lovely stone buildings and buckets of charm.  From there we walked on to the Central Station for our train to St. Bees.  The first leg to Carlisle was peaceful as we clickity clacked along the rails through pastoral hills and over rambling brooks.

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Sadly in Carlisle we became cabin mates with several teenage mothers and their tribe of troubles to be.  Screams of the un-pleasurable kind permeated the train for the following 45 minutes as we endured.  I calmed my nerves with 2 quite large Belgian apple “cidres”.  Result!  Thank you British Rail for allowing open alcohol on board.

So here we are in Sunny St. Bees.  Tomorrow we walk from Fawlty Towers to the Irish Sea 500 meters away and dip our toes in the water to officially start the trek east. Tomorrow, 8 hours of trekking takes us to Enerdale Bridge firmly in the lake district.  We are praying to the weather gods somewhat intensely as I type.

My pack is too heavy and I may begin to snivel early tomorrow.

Regards’

Mark

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