Monday, 18 July 2011

The Lake District

Friday I turned off my phone and slept in! It was just lovely. Spent the day running errands and then up to the train station to meet up with friends. With my trip to India, and everyone starting to make their way back to the motherland, this was our last weekend together in the UK, so we booked a weekend getaway to the Lake District.
I got to the station early, plenty of time to collect my tickets... except I opened my wallet and realized my bank card was not there. I stood there in shock, replaying the day in my mind, and realized that I left it in the self-checkout at the grocery store - in Wimbledon! CRAP. I went up to the ticket counter and begged the man to give me my tickets, despite not having the card I booked them with. He was very kind, and didn't seem bothered to do me the favour at all *phew*. Luckily I had taken out 50 pounds and figured I could stretch it to last me the weekend.
We all slowly trickled in to the station, most arriving straight from work. The boys grabbed some burgers and we were just waiting on Jan, so we decided to get our seats on the train before it got too full. Then the train started pulling away and we still didn't have Jan. He called me and panted that he had just missed the train and would be on the next one, and hour later. This trip was off to a rocky start.
Sweet sweeet ponchos
We arrived in Windermere and walked to the first pub we came across to wait for Jan. We had to take a cab to the hostel, so no sense in him paying for one solo when he was less than an hour behind us. That evening Christine, Eric and Pat had a little more energy that Josephine, Jan and I, so they headed to another pub after we had checked in to the hostel. While the three of us went down to the dock for a bit, then chilled in the room before calling it a night.
Up relatively early in the morning so we could take advantage of a hot breakfast, we set out on our first day of adventure. It was rainy and a little windy, so the hostel said that they could not rent us "Canadian canoes" - which are apparently quite unstable. We walked down the road and bought ourselves some ponchos. Then we rented row boats down the road and set out on the lake.
In the afternoon we went for a walk in to Ambleside and hiked up to see some waterfalls. They were quite lovely. Later on Josephine and I headed back to the hostel while the others set out to find some caves. They mostly just succeeded in getting very wet and very lost, while Jo and I checked in at the next hostel.
Just after 10pm, they finally showed up, and luckily (for their own well-being) they had brought food to cook us dinner. We all parked ourselves in the self-service kitchen of the hostel while the boys cooked us up some delicious fajitas for a late-night supper.

Sunday morning we were up again for hot breaky. The previous day's hikers were a little slow to rise, but eventually made it down in time. We had to check out, but were allowed to leave our luggage so that we could set out for another walk. This walk took us from Windermere back to Ambleside. It was a sort of 'back road' route through the hills, a little over 3 miles. We had some lovely views of Lake Windermere as we walked along the crag, and even through a forest.
This scenery is the closest I have felt to home since being here. There were actual hills, lots of greenery, and lots of rain! But we didn't let us get it down and made the most of our weekend together. We are all still in denial that we really only have a few days left together. This was a great way to spend our last weekend in England. It really makes me want to show them Vancouver Island and all that it has to offer, since Jo and Christine are from Ontario and, though they deny it, are city girls. Being away from home, friends are your life line, and these girls have definitely been a big part of me getting through this year. We have shared a lot of memories in our relatively short time in England. We have been Wimbledon neighbours, and I will never forget these girls. We are already planning our spring break 2012 reunion, which will possibly include a romantic trip to Niagara Falls :)

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