Monday, 10 May 2010
Day 22 Carnforth to Kendal
Today has seen me pass through the half way mark of the walk, in terms of distance. Assuming the walk does turn out to be 900 miles exact (unlikely, but have to assume something) then I'd worked out the exact mileage that was the the half way point. I was hoping that this point would be at least scenic, if not have a bench. The first it just about meet, the second, sadly it didn't. The point will be memorable as it is not far from the M6 junction, to Kendal and Ambleside, I place were I pass quite often en route to the lakes. Sorry lads, your going to be bored of me mentioning that fact everytime we are off for a walking weekend in the Lakes - just warning! Having got to this point, I just took it all in, lay back occupying the whole towpath, and listened to Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars which appropriately was on the MP3, (If I lay here......). Tried phoning my wife to share the news and generally got all "emotional". The remaining distance of today's 31.6km total followed the Lancaster Canal into Kendal. However, the last six miles just followed the canal's old route as there was often little evidence of the canal, apart from a bridge in the middle of a field? And certainly no water. Upon reaching Kendal, I bypassed the YHA, my accommodate for the next 2 nights and 3rd rest day, instead heading for a tea room for cream scones and tea. I was having a half way party on my own. The day or should I say night certainly didn't start that brilliantly, the accommodation I had to suffer was the worst, by far on the walk. I haven't mentioned in detail any accommodation to date. In the last week I have stayed in 2 excellent B&B's, Primrose Cottage at Church Minshull and Little Stubbins, just short of Garstang. Both these places were delightful and the owners could not have made me feel more welcome or done anymore, both made donations and I was even given another pair of headphones having broken the pair from home (4th). Then came Carnforth and the Queen's Hotel, I get angry just typing the name!!!!! I arrived to find it was accommodation linked to a pub, usually ok, but the place was a dive, all the fixture and fittings did not work, were broken etc. The landlady, who introduced herself when I walked in the pub, with her well oiled clientele, showed me the room, saying the tv would need adjusting (liar, it just didn't work). She also declared they were pulling out this week, hence the setting up of a karaoki as I walked in for there farewell party. I dined elsewhere, came back, went to my room with all sorts of noises, most out of tune, voices being broadcast to the world, it was that loud. Upstairs I could not either, watch the last weekend of the football season on the box, sleep due to the noise and the room also faced onto the "light" high street, or even have a cup of tea, NO milk. Around, 23.30 thing quitened down, thank god, I was pulling my hair out by now, or was simulating the act. The last insult was, even thought I made it clear that I required breakfast around 8.00, no one had woken to do it, there was the remnants from the previous nights party food, yuk. I was also to find a female who had probably passed out the night before, in the pub area, I asked her how to get out and discovered the fire exit was my means of escaping this hole. I left what I considered the stay was worth, before finding a suitable replacement breakfast two doors down at the Pit Stop. Here, I brought a snack for the day and filled my flask. A nightmare encounter, best forgot, but unlikely. So I am now ready for my rest day, the canals and the raining canals (yes it did rain this morning) are over until the Caledonia Canal from Fort William. The remainder of England and Cumbria lies ahead. Yes I past it into Cumbria today, however when crossing a motorway bridge I did note the gap between the Lancashire sign on the southbound and Cumbria on the northbound is some 400 meter. So when I was standing between, what county was I in? Is it one of those space/time rips which are appearing all over the place in Dr Who?