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More on that holiday... - Songs of innocence and of experience [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Douglas Spencer

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More on that holiday... [Sep. 14th, 2008|09:29 pm]
Douglas Spencer
[Current Location |54.4533,-3.0172]

Still here. Still no mobile signal. Landline phones down last night. Still got wireless in the hotel bar, except during the powercut this morning.

Yesterday we were going along one of the really small roads which hang onto the edges of the valleys half-way up the peaks when we found half a tree blocking the road, a few yards beyond a very tight bend over a narrow bridge with the safety rails twisted and broken, necessitating a short spell of reversing followed by a 2n+1-point turn with mother leaning out over the gap and shouting when one of the wheels was about to fall into the chasm. After this we did the most entertaining bit of driving ever. I'd link to a Google map, but it's too complicated -- find Eskdale, and follow the road up the valley to the north-west until it turns to the right away from the river and up towards the pass... a gradient of 30%, which I've never seen before on a real road, and some seriously tight multiple bends. Oh, and about forty people coming in the opposite direction on teeny-tiny scooters in the Lambretta stylee. Lots of fun.

Today we went to church in Grasmere, where I met an old friend of Julia's to the amazement of both of us. I told her that Julia was buried in Essay Hell and I'd pass on the word. And then we went off to a small farm on the other side of Keswick where Mother's boss from the early 1950's used live at weekends, commuting by rail to Reading University for weekdays.

I actually got a usable mobile phone signal whilst parked at the farm gate there. Hurrah! It's gone now.

More later.

[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2008-09-14 10:00 pm (UTC)
That sounds like one of those passes... the Hard Knott or the Winnats or something like that. I slogged up one of them on foot carrying a pack when I was 18, and ran down again, without pack, to fetch water for a couple of elderly Australians who were perched at the top where their hire car was pouring forth steam.

Did it in the car a couple of years ago and it is much more seriously scary... and that's without the reversing.

Well done on being alive.

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[User Picture]From: pigeonhed
2008-09-14 10:51 pm (UTC)
That 'really small road' was a major thoroughfare of Roman origins. There's one notorious bend you may have experienced where the severe climb combines with a tight, second or even first gear acute bend. Trying to keep enough power on to avoid stalling whilst negotiating that one is a test of any driver/car.

Grasmere Church is lovely isn't it. And fresh gingerbread right next door too. I like Grasmere as a whole in fact, and pop up to Dove Cottage and the Heaton Cooper Studios quite often.

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[User Picture]From: julia_winolj
2008-09-15 10:16 pm (UTC)
Are you still there? I'm still here - just.

Looking forward to 4pm tomorrow with a layer of dread felt-tipped onto my soul - aaaaargh! 3 mini-disasters today - urk!

Love you loads and loads and loads.
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