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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 14
Day 1 Maryport

I've been off-line lately but am back on now. Up at 7:00 - 8c and it will be a little cooler today. We got some rain overnight but I expect it will be After I finished  a nice breakfast I had a talk with a fellow who had just finished the Hadrian's Wall walk from Newcastle to Bowness on Solway. He started on Monday and finished Friday night. That is 82 miles in 5 days. He used a company that carried his gear from campsite to campsite and provided the tents. He had very sore feet and even though he wasn't in the best of shape he deserves credit for accomplishing it. If I haven't said so already and at the risk of repeating myself, the idea of doing long walks such as this has stopped being what I think is a good idea. Some of already think I am mad to be troweling in the dirt whether it be for dinosaurs or artefacts so I am sure you will agree with me in this.
My laundry had been all done and neatly folded by my landlords so packed my bags and basically everything still fits. I say basically because I may have to wear a few extra things home.

I went to church at 10:00 and it was like attending a high mass but it was very tortuous because the organist was on hols (British) and while a capella sounds like a nice concept their are many different ideas of tempo and when they don't converge it can be quite painful to listen to. Sort of like O Canada at Rotary some days. The priest could have been mistaken for Friar Tuck if had on brown robes but he was very nice. The church was pretty full and people were friendly

When I paid for my rooms at 40 pounds per night I certainly didn't mind the extra 5 pound fee for the laundry. Said goodbye to Yvette and Norman and Jack and George and took myself and my luggage off to the train station. I am super pleased that I extended my stay here in Carlisle. Here's a picture of Yvette.

I got to the station early and was able to board at 1:50 for the 2:10 departure. It was nearly full and we went through some lovely countryside again. I spent my time doing some puzzles in the paper I had bought before departure. Arrived in Maryport and there was Mark Potter waiting to pick us up. Six people had come on the train and he could on;y take 3 + luggage so I offered to stay back with two undergrad students, Davis and Elliott. They were nice lads. Mark was back in 25 minutes and collected us.

He dropped me off at the Ship Hotel and I could see perhaps that it may not be up to my usual standards as a couple of letters on the fron of the building had come off and it now read Hip Hotl. I met Steve the landlord and for it being a Sunday there was quite a crowd in the pub.

Steve showed me up to my room and explained the operations of the pub/restaurant. I have a key to the outside door which I am to use in the mornings because he and his wife Val aren't around until 8:30 and I will be gone by 8. I could have breakfast there but in the school of how not to run a hotel according to Steve it would not be served until a minimum of 8:30. Talk about Fawlty Towers. By the way the pub and restaurant only open at 7:00 but not on Monday. Incidentally the Cod Father fish and chips shop across the street only opens until 5:30 most days (never later) but on Tuesdays they close at 12:30. For crying out loud they hardly even got open before they closed. There were only two guests there and the other chap Bill had stayed there before although I am sure he is a rare individual who would stay here twice on purpose.

Here is a picture of my room - note the bunk beds. Also the guest lounge where I can relax because there's no one else there. I have eaten a sandwich and had a pint that I brought with me. It's quite relaxing because the TV doesn't work.

My Buddy Bill

The picture on the left shows the Solway Firth between England and Scotland. Note the 60 windmills
It is a pretty sight right out my window. As you can see it is very tidal but the rise is very small due to the slight slope.

Also in my room is a chest of drawers so wobbly that if I pushed hard on it I am sure would fall down. The bath room would be shared if there was anyone else here but as it is I have it to myself. The toilet is in a long room of its own and the tub/handheld shower is in a separate room. The first morning I tried taking a shower I nearly either scalded myself or froze myself as it is impossible to regulate the temperature. The slightest movement of the cold tap shuts off all the hot. I am sure the thermostat on the hot is 200 degrees. Needless to say it took some ingenuity and did not include standing up for this tortuous event.

There are some good things about this place, the first being that I was finally able to unpack as I had been only 2-3 days any one place before. Oh yes and did I mention there was pub downstairs. I was pleased to find that they had Yates bitter on tap. I was broadly introduced by Pauline the barmaid and had a brief conversation with a few people.

I headed down the road to buy a bottle of water for the dig and picked up a couple of small bags of chips and some licorice. I crossed the road on the way home and walked a short while on the beach which is beautiful. It has coarse brown sand followed by a layer of rocks and then mud where the tide had gone out. It reminded me of some beaches back home.

I couldn't get on-line because Steve in trying to connect me to his Cloud account (no WiFi here) ended up blocking my phone so I'll have to wait until I get to the Senhouse Museum to see if I can connect there.
I went downstairs to the pub at 8:30 pm. A good size number from our crew were already there. I met Mark, Ian, Tony, Antonio, Skylar, Brian, David, Elliott, Amy and Sam. Bill came in about 9:30. The organisers were buying rounds so I had 2 x 1/2 pints of my favourite. I really enjoyed talking to the team and as I was the only stranger there was lots of conversation. There are lots more to meet tomorrow.

Steve has put out a sandwich for me for breakfast - yes breakfast! I'll explain more later. I arranged to meet Bill at 7:45 for a drive. At the end of the night some emails are coming through so that is good but I still didn't have full internet access so couldn't update my Blog. Up to the room at 10:30, brewed a cup of tea and had a scone. Read for a while and then off to sleep.



  1. Oh My! I see there's room for the girls and I to come stay with you in that room. They LOVE bunk beds ;) This is why you and I can't make travel plans together...that place must have negative stars! And I'm nervous about 3 star places! I love your good spirits as you write about wifi, no breakfast, no phone, no fish and Julie...

  2. Is that the only place available?!