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Travelogue I26

October 20, 2016

The approach to the Lake District gave us ample time to observe that the North, or what the motorway signs dubbed “the North”, was not itself the farthest land in that compass heading. In fact, G. and I joked for a time over the derision the Scots surely reserved for the name. At the sight of a sign reading “Lake District National Park”, we promptly returned our attention to the road narrowing and splitting off before.

Upon entering the park, I was immediately struck by the clusters of human habitation, such as at Pooley Bridge, with church, village and nearly bungalows for holidaygoers. It made me think back to Acadia where I had noted that, as the park’s creation postdated its settlement, the human element was naturally more pronounced than in parks belonging to more remote areas. As it was, Pooley Bridge provided many of the creature comforts than the designation “National Park” might lead a person to expect.

Our car prowled the village’s main street once up and once down until I was able to point out a suitable parking spot for G. The motor at a halt, we crawled out of the vehicle and stretched limbs cramped from the morning’s drive. For lack of better ideas, we made our way to the inn nearest the car and set up shop in the inn’s pub to wait for the beginning of the lunch hour.

Pints of Northern ale in hand, my travel companion and I tried to make sense as best we could of the menu, in an attempt to find a dish at once reasonably priced, filling and perhaps not standard pub fare. On two of three counts, we succeeded. Over a wrap with crisps and chili and toast, respectively, we commented on our fellow pubgoers and the tacky appearance and bewildering logic of an upright, electronic pub game, seemingly based on a well-known television program.

The sun stood overhead when we emerged from the inn and fetched bags from the car to explore the environs. Not one hundred meters from the inn, a stone beach and dissolving quay opened onto one of the titular lakes, in this case, Ullswater. To the right stood a longer, metal quay which, by the look of its banners, offered ferry service to Glenridding at the lake’s southern end. Glenridding way, mountains loomed, snow still visible on the heights. We would not have time for those mountains, so G. and I turned our back on the ferry to stalk the shore eastwards and see whether we might not turn up something in the way of adventure.


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