I’m sitting in the most idyllic situation on a Camping and Caravan Club site at Ravenglass on the Cumbrian coast. It’s been a tough hilly day and that may be contributing to just how good the beer tastes. Pasta is boiling on the stove while I do a bit of catching up and Gill is doing her Pilates exercises in the tent. There is a constant chorus of song birds and crows providing audio backing while rabbits and lambs provide visual entertainment. It’s all a bit Watership Downish to be honest. The fact that the sun has shone all day may also be playing it’s part in my general feeling of well being. Just wait for the first blog at the end of a day of persistent rain and it may have a different flavour to it.
We’ve had a great start to the trip with fine weather and nothing to spoil the mood at all. As I cleaned my teeth on the morning after our first camp (well I was flossing actually) I was engaged in conversation by another camper. Within five minutes I had been given his name, address and phone number with a promise of whatever help we might need when we eventually get to South Wales. It was a bit awkward with me standing there holding a piece of half used floss but Mike’s attitude was typical of everybody we have met so far. There are lovely people out there folks, go and meet them at every opportunity.
Our second night was spent with my cousin Jane, her husband Peter (who cycled out to meet us) and their culinary genius of a daughter Emily who produced a fabulous three course dinner. Needless to say there was wine and beer too and heaps of warm and very fun filled conversation. We did it all again over breakfast (without the alcohol) and then it was off to visit another cousin, Margaret in Dalton. We soon knew that we were approaching the edge of the Lake district both from the spectacular views and the huffing and panting as we took in the first hills of what was to be quite a hard day for our unacustomed muscles. Yet another cousin, Veronica arrived and we had a lovely time drinking tea and being shown around the extensive garden by Margaret’s husband Dennis. I particularly liked the story Dennis told of my Uncle Teddy replacing the petrol engine on his cement mixer with an electric one from a washing machine. Now that is recycling.
We arrived in Ravenglass to great drama. Some poor chap has gone missing, presumed drowned and the entire emergency services of Cumbria seemed to have descended on this quiet little seaside village. There were even TV crews, all a surreal contrast to the peaceful haven of our nearby campsite.
For those who like these things we’ve covered about 140 miles so far. I say about, the cycle computer has packed up already so we will be calculating mileage from our maps until we get it sorted. Here are a few pics from the first three days