The lake district was hard but definitely worth it, the scenery was great and the weather was far better than I expected. Beginner’s luck I guess. The hostel was clean and comfortable and I would really recommend it.
What I also noticed was that it was populated, in the majority, by people I would more readily associate with a three rosette, boutique hotel. I wonder if it’s just the case of “upper class” people wanting to discriminate themselves from the “middle class” people now going to better hotels, and therefore deciding to rough it. “Shabby Chic” I believe is called.
Or perhaps it is just the case that if you’re into sport, like hiking, you’re just interested in a place to sleep and good company rather than stars and rosettes.
On a rather different subject, and for all the people now worried about the accuracy of road signs, the picture below settles the question I posed yesterday. The sign are all the same and they only change the numbers, how dreadfully disappointing.
So what else to say, it was a bit sad to leave Cumbria, but this trip will be full of entering and exiting region and states, the secret will be to continue to make new experiences meet new people and stretch the legs to their maximum possible capacity.
The bit of road from the Hostel to Windermere was super, the lake is glorious and you can feel Wordsworth echoing in your hears as you cast your eyes over the water, the stone walls and the green fields.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. –Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
Getting away, or at least a bit further, from a world defined by things is one of the many ambitions I have in my trip. One that possibly, after forty five year of immersion in consumerism and industry, I will find difficult to achieve, but one that will be worth any effort I put into.
After I left the lake it was a succession of hills and descents all the way to the flat valley that finishes in the estuary becoming Morecambe bay.
Lancashire looks very nice. I realised I was getting into Lancaster too early, for I had arranged to meet my Couchsurfing host (Noel) at around 18:00, so I took a detour to Morecambe Bay.
It was not at all what I expected, in fact it is very nice. I had a late lunch (as I had planned at the 30th mile rather than at the 20th) and then I did a bit of bike maintenance on the seafront. I met a few people and told my story a couple of times and it is now becoming apparent that there is a distinct gap between young people and older people in the reaction to the “I’m going to South Africa” line.
Younger people are more surprised, i think it’s due to the fact that the younger generations are very far away from the colonial endeavour of this small island when traveling on a slow mean of transport, albeit not on a bicycle, over very great distances was an accepted and usual occurrence.
I gave away the last of the business cards I had in the wallet, I have more at the bottom of one of the panniers but I fear they might get used well before I get out of Europe. There is another lot I have foolishly packed to go to Italy but I will use them on stage two.
I have to say, while I was not completely sure about them it has proven to be a very useful device to spread the message. Not sure how much fundraising is due to them but perhaps the next batch will have a DONATE link address on them.