DAY 5: Hiking, Boating and Badgers!!!
Began the day with a full English breakfast, something I longed for since our first morning in England. I had the works (no black pudding though) and some tea. If we had this in America, I’d be a major “breakfast head”. This stuff makes even Lucky Charms suck in comparison (I know!! Crazy,right??) But it’s true, this shit is good and best of all…We get to eat it tomorrow as well!!! I’m so pumped!!! Some kids at the table across from us were going “sausage crazy” with their constant asking of “where all the sausage is”. I chuckled, but I probably sound similar raving about how much I like “back bacon” (our streaky stuff is going to suck when I go home.)
We headed to town to catch a boat to take us hiking. We boarded “The Princess Margaret.” When the captain boarded the ship and began to start the engines we heard a funny exchange on the walkie-talkie that follows like this (read in British voice):
Boat shop Lady: “Hold on you got 2 more coming!”
Captain: (seeing people running) “I see 2 people running towards me now”
Boat Shop Lady: “Well that’ll be them then wouldn’t it?”
For some reason it sounded funnier than it does on paper.
We boarded the front of the boat, which while great for photography and video; it’s wetter than the Shamu “Splash Zone” at Sea World! Here’s what I mean:
Once departing from our boat, we began our hike/walk across the lake. It was mostly gravel but a few places brought you back to nature and on one particularly wet and muddy spot, Josh got his shoes really mudded up! So to blow off some steam, he went on ahead of us. Having not used my video camera since coming over, I decided to break it out today. So that my shots won’t all be scenery, I improvised a few camera angles that I learned from the camera guys at KTXS-12 when I worked there and had us do seemingly silly things that’ll look good on camera. I regrettably did not tape myself posing in a hollowed out tree, mostly due to the fact I got stuck and had a real “Winnie the Pooh moment.” Anyway, I did some crazy things to get cool angles like resting the camera on the ground to film our feet walking by, resting it up on a tree branch to get us overhead as we walked around a bend, seemed stupid at first, but it’ll be so Tarantino-esque once it comes together!
The trail was really beautiful with great views of the lake and its islands, as well as the mountains that surround it. We met some really nice people and dogs, including a pack of Golden Retrievers, one of which carrying an entire tree branch in his mouth….he seemed really happy as would any male with “a big stick.” There were a few moments to take photographs, such as some giant wooden hands, the aforementioned hollow tree I got stuck in, and then came a moment that ruined all the fun we were having….There was a child, at least 6 or so, nude in the lake edge…What.The.F**k????!!!!!! I could brush it off as saying “oh it’s a weird European thing” but the kid was easily 4 feet or so making the child too tall to get away with that naked rebellious thing that toddlers do, but this was waaayyyy past that! You don’t see that in the USA on count of all the pedophiles. We put on the “blinders” and tried to get the hell out of that area as quick as possible as staying there any moment longer will probably put us on a list that we would rather not be on. This event tops “Brad’s List of Things I Hope to Never See Again….EVER!!!”
We found Josh again about a ½ mile later. As we passed through a fern forest, I hung back and had Stacey videotape me “being a Velociraptor.” I basically ducked into some bushes, popped my head up and stalked around snarling through the ferns with “dinosaur arms”…it’s funnier than it sounds. By the end of the trail, we crossed a great marsh where many Lord of the Rings references were had, as well as assigning our Lord of the Rings counterparts. I was Semgol/Gollumn guiding the group through. Stephanie was Samwise Gamgee, it was Stacey’s turn to carry my backpack, so she was the “bag bearer” so she naturally was Frodo, and she suggested that Josh be Merry or Pippen to which he argued that they weren’t even in that part of the movies or books! Then he and Stacey started talking about Nazguls and I tuned them out.
We had lunch at High Lodore Farm Café, nothing fancy really, just some sandwiches and tea, but after hiking, that’s all you’ll really want. While eating, I convinced everyone to indulge me by letting me film a few moments of us eating. During lunch, I noticed some blackberries growing on the stone wall and ate one. It might have been the best blackberry I’ve ever eaten, unless of course it wasn’t a black berry and the deliciousness was just the toxins working their way through my system. I thought it’d be funny if this was just a beautiful trap to kill all the dumb American tourists. I also kinda felt bad that I might have stolen berries from someone that may harvest them and sell them for a living…hmmm. In retrospect, I really shouldn’t just eat berries off stone walls, it’s kinda dangerous!
After lunch we hiked a little further up to Lodore falls. This was a great site and best of all, there were no boundaries, so we could climb the rocks and get as close to the falls as we wanted to. Hopefully, our pictures and videos turn out great! I did see a necklace under some rocks, but deemed the water too cold to retrieve it, but I couldn’t help but think “what if someone else finds it and it turns out to be some awesome medieval necklace…like a queen’s necklace that’s worth millions?”…..I’m going to get mad if I read something online when I get home about some tourist finding it and becoming rich. It looked plastic, but you can’t help but ask “what if?”
Having nothing else on the agenda, we caught the next boat back to Keswick. This time we sat in the back, where it was decidedly drier. On our way to the car, we passed a poster for a play with 2 naked asses. Upon closer reading, the play involved nudity and sexual situations; something that the plays in America that I’ve seen didn’t have.
We went into town and checked out a market. We saw some homemade cheese, soaps and crafts. Stacey and I went into a chocolate shop that had chocolates ranging from shapes of hammers to mice to cell phones to other random foods. After the market, we decided to revisit Dog & Gun for Wi-Fi and drinks. Josh and I had beers and the girls had their usual Pimm’s. For dinner, we loaded up on Cornish pasties (shops closed at 6 so we packed it up for later.)
We headed back to our Hostel where we all did our own things for the late afternoon. Stephanie explored the grounds a bit and Stacey and I did the same a little bit later and Josh hung around for the room then he headed to take pictures of the lake. The hostel had a pretty cool trail leading up to a little waterfall. On the hike up to the waterfall, I kept brainstorming ways to have some “alone time” with Stacey, but decided that it would be too hard to separate from the others so I dismissed the idea. Up the trail a bit, we found a sunny spot to relax. We sat on our rain jackets and leaned up against a moss covered rock and tree. With the moss as dry and thick as it was, I found it extremely comfortable and soft enough to use it as a pillow and fell asleep for a little bit. Before giving into the softness of the moss rock, I told Stacey how relaxing it was and how it was softer than the pillows in our hostels and maybe due to the funny badger warning signs we saw earlier, I thought of how perfect it would be if a badger snuggled next to us and curled itself into a “badger-ball” and took a nap. Of course it’ll have those scary badger teeth, but the teeth out wouldn’t mean death in this case, but instead, it’ll be because the badger is smiling…..wow I’m missing our kitties. Either way, I imagine the badger would look like this:
The rest of the evening we ate our pasties and talked about how we saw that our hostel was for sale and whether or not the person that buys it will keep it as a hostel or revert it back into a manor. We also played a card game of Egyptian Rappu (aka Egyptian ratscrew, Egyptian Rat war, and a dozen other names), whatever you want to call it the important thing is that I won!
We ended the night by watching a very terribly edited TV showing of X-Men: The Last Stand, in which commercials will randomly cut and sometimes the audio would be off track. After the movie, we went to bed. Tomorrow puts us in Scotland, but it also gives us our longest drive of the trip to date….at least a good breakfast awaits us!!