Sunday, 9 August 2015

Lakes 2014: Day Ten


Our last full day in the Lakes was forecast to be miserable and soggy with the occasional hint of blue sky in between downpours - and, of course, this was the most spot on weather prediction of the entire trip.

The previous day, while we'd been mooching around at Delgarth waiting for the train, we'd picked up some brochures aware of the forecast for the next day. One stood out as a real contender (especially as I ended up really enjoying being on the coast at Ravenglass) - Maryport. It stood out as it seemed a cute little coastal town which would be nice to enjoy in the dry bits and offered lots of indoor activities (mainly museums and shopping) for the soggy bits. Spot on.

So Sam drove us the 30-odd miles from Wasdale Campsite to Maryport. Bloody Maryport.


The town seemed nice enough when we pulled up; as I noted previously, I do enjoy being on the coast (I think it's down to being so landlocked the rest of the time) - it's a nice novelty. So I was in good spirits to start the day.

Sam's slightly-more-miserable-than-usual expression later turned out to be an omen.


As the heavens began to open again, we toyed with the idea of spending some time in the aquarium, but found it a bit pricey. So we decided to try out the Maritime Museum - but it was closed.

Getting increasingly soggy and miffed, we trudged up to the town centre, reasoning that I could at least get some shopping done (we were moving into our first flat in the following weeks and I had an obsession with being ready to decorate from the off). But we weren't hugely impressed with the shops on offer. Despite one, which looked lovely... and was shut.

We were really keen to check out the Senhouse Roman Museum, but given that we were now soggy and miffed (and vaguely suspicious that it would turn out to be closed anyway), we made a plan: we'd grab some lunch from Greggs, eat it in the car (with the heating on to dry out), then drive up to the Senhouse afterwards.

We ate our food, had a natter, and then decided that we weren't really all that fussed about going to the museum after all and that we'd rather go back to Wasdale and head to the pub. Which we did.

We ended up giving the Strands Inn a try - and loved it. Isn't it always the way that you find your favourite place to go on the last night.



We had some lovely food here - I had the fish and chips, and Sam had the gammon (I think; it was definitely something pig-based), finished our pop, I ummed and ahhed about buying a DVD of Terry Abraham's glorious documentary Life Of A Mountain: Scafell Pike. (I didn't in the end; I wish I had). I suggested we stay for pudding, but Sam had struggled to finish his meal as it was, and felt rough, so we headed back to camp.

It wasn't until the following day that the severe food poisoning from Sam's sandwich kicked in in earnest.

We know it was the Sandwich because later medical tests proved that it was campylobacter (plus he started being mildly symptomatic before he ate anything else - hence why he couldn't finish his food at the pub). I can't stress this enough: It Was Not From The Strands Inn.

But by some miracle, Sam managed to drive us the 183 miles home - in nearly 30c heat, with no air conditioning (which also included us getting stuck in traffic, in direct sunlight, for an hour). The man is a legend.

He even stopped once or twice to let me get some decent shots...






We got back to Shrewsbury later that day - and within half an hour, Sam was laid out, mildly delirious, with what turned out to be a 40c temperature (mercifully, his mum's a nurse and we looked after him until it subsided). It took him over 3 weeks to fully recover.

And that's why we keep saying, "Bloody Maryport."*

But other than that slightly awful end, our holiday to the Lakes was pretty magnificent. It was the longest time Sam and I had spent together, the longest I'd spent in the Lakes, and the longest I'd spent in a tent. The only thing I'd really change about it - other than the obvious thing of Sam not eating a poisoned sandwich from Maryport - is to have a break from camping at least once. It turns out 6 nights in a tent is about my limit before everything becomes uncomfortable and grumpiness sets in.

So then it's a good thing that we're staying in a cottage this time! And there's only 32 days to go.... I'd better get training!

And hopefully this time it won't take me over a year to write up 2015's Lakes adventures.

Flashback: VideoDay 1, Day 2 (am/pm), Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7, Day 8, Day 9




*Disclaimer: I'm pretty damn sure that we just caught Maryport on an off-day, and that if we saw it on a nice day, when stuff was open, and that we hadn't been unlucky with Sam's sandwich, that we'd remember it much more fondly. But that's not what happened, and given some pretty bad consequences that resulted from that poisoned sandwich, jokingly saying "bloody Maryport" is our way of looking back on the start of a very difficult period in a semi-lighthearted way.

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