Catching up: the Lake District

Trip Start Sep 10, 2008
Trip End Sep 29, 2008

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sorry for the somewhat psychotic order of these entries - a bunch of them went into draft mode and never got published, and I've had a terrible time finding both time and locations for Internet access to update it all.  So...where was I?

Keswick was just lovely.  The Crow Park Hotel is charming.  Our view was spectacular - over Derwintwater (lake) toward the fells (mountains).  As I mentioned, it reminded me of the Great Smoky Mountains, which I saw as a kid with my dad and brother.  The town is small and charming.  Many of the tour members - inveterate hikers, many of them - went up to the hills to go hiking.  One of our few rainy/drizzly days so far, so I was in no mood to go for a walk, esp. after doing Hadrian's Wall the day before.  They came back later with hysterical stories of lost trails, stiles, mud, and more mud.  So glad we didn't go!  Catherine and I did some laundry, I wandered around the town and had lunch with two other single gals on the tour, Vicky and (the other) Catherine.  I call her Catherine2 in my head.  We have two Donnas, two Catherines, two Pams, two Susans and two Bobs.  Crazy!  Catherine2 is actually married, but likes to go traveling with her friend of 40 years, Vicky.  They're both in their 50s, like Catherine1.  I'm the youngest on the trip, as usual, which is fine with me.  I love the company of 50- and 60-something folks - they have a good perspective on life and don't tend to fuss a lot. 

While having lunch with Vicky and Catherine2 - outside in the rain, huddled under a small overhang - we were joined by three very handsome 30-something men from Bristol, with whom we started talking politics.  Well, first the weather, then 'where are you from', then politics.  The natural progression :)  Turns out C2 is a Republican (she and Vicky are from Houston), but we managed to both give our perspectives without too much confusion.  After V and C2 had left, the guys asked me further what was going on with the Obama campaign.  I gave them what news I had, from my work with the Dems in Iowa.  Folks over here are genuinely frightened that McCain and Palin will get into office - they're financial sector is melting down just like ours, and they have every reason to fear any continuation of the last 8 years of nonsense and fraud.  They believe Obama has the least chance of getting all of us (our countries being so intertwined, as I realize more and more) blown completely to Hell.  Can't say I disagree with them.  I gave them what encouraging words that I could and went on my way to the library. 

It was fun to walk into the library and realize it *felt* just like a small town library.  They had a number of internet terminals, and were very pleasant about my using them.  It's a tourist town, so they're clearly used to it.  Very nice.  I was able to print out a neat article my friend Candy had sent me written by Rick Steves himself on eating in Great Britain.  Several of the suggestions will come in handy in York and Bath! 
Both nights in Keswick we ate as a group in the hotel.  The food was not much inspired, but it was pleasant, and it was nice to spend time with the group.  I keep sitting with the funny folks, which is great fun.  The hotel's proprietor (? I think), Ian, is a nice young man in his 30s.  Catherine and I ran into him on the way to the launderette earlier in the day.  He had his daughter with him - she'd just turned two.  Very cute!  He was walking with his 'partner', a woman, and she was pushing their 12 week old son in a pram.  As he said, now we know why he often looks exhausted!  It's interesting how many people over here don't bother to get married.  They have better legal protections for non-married couples, so have less need to, and of course the National Health system means they don't need to marry to get insurance. 

I can't get enough of the scenery here.  I'll try to upload some pics later, but I find I spend all my time uploading pics, then don't have time for typing, so I'm going to try to get caught up first.
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spinsterspal on

Northern Wales?
Louise, Give us a word or two on norhern Wales. I love it there and I'm eager to see what you saw.

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