We awoke to a beautiful sunny day in the Lake District—a rare treat indeed! I walked 10 yards to the campsite shop and bought some butter and milk and set about making pancakes while Tyler was taking a shower. After having a leisurely early-morning, we decided to stay at Castlerigg Farm Campground for another night. There is so much to see and do here that we really want to take our time and explore the area a little more!
It was nice to leave our home set up as we set off for a late morning hike up the mountain behind our campsite. It was our first hike and we both enjoyed going bikeless and stopping to admire the views. We took a break for sandwiches and pictures in a huge grassy field near the top. We also ended up spending some time practicing Arnis and it was really nice doing stick-work in yet another beautiful place.
After an hour or so, we continued up to the top of the mountain and were rewarded with stunning views of Bassenthwaite and Derwentwater lakes.
Coming back down, we made plans for the rest of the day. We would ride into Keswick (without our panniers!) to buy a pair of pants for me at one of the gazillion outdoors stores. I needed to replace the ones that ripped completely apart. After that we would wander around town, buy groceries, and maybe go to the James Bond museum.
Here is a photo Tyler took on the way down of some lichen on a stone wall. It was even greener than this in real life!
When we arrived at camp we removed all of our remaining panniers, stored them our tent's vestibules and set off. It felt surprisingly bizarre and unnerving to ride my bicycle without panniers. It was too light and felt really wobbly and unstable. After briefly having to learn how to ride a bike again we cycled off and coasted down the huge hills into Keswick.
At some point during the descent Tyler sailed ahead of me as he usually does on the downhills. It occurred to me, while still feeling unstable on my bike, that we had forgotten our helmets. Further down the curves and hills, there was still no sign of Tyler. As I made the right-turn to go into the city center, I figured that he had probably not seen the sign for the turnoff and had continued on to Keswick on the A road. Now completely separated, there was nothing to do except continue on into town and hope for the best.
I had some money in my pocket, so I wasn't helpless or anything, but there was no way to communicate with Tyler. I wheeled it down to the Tourist Information Center that we had visited yesterday, and hoped that he would think it was a good spot too. Sure enough, after a few minutes of nervous waiting, Tyler showed up and we were both very relieved. Next time, we definitely need more planning. We decided that we will always make what-if plans from now on, and if all else fails, meet at a Tourist Information Center if the town is big enough to have one.
We locked up the bikes and wandered around the bustling town of Keswick. It was teeming with hikers and outdoorsy people and every other shop was a camping store waiting to fulfill their every need. After much ado in the dressing room I bought a pair of Mountain Hardware hiking pants. They have elastic cords at the bottom of the legs so I can roll them and cinch them up as capris, and they have all kinds of nice features like zip-up pockets and a cool built-in belt. I hope they will serve me well.
In the town center was a market of sorts; all kinds of clubs were selling food and souvenirs. We bought some chocolate muffins from the Rotary club for a pound. There were also street performers, and we watched a group do a "mummer's play" (not quite sure of the exact definition) about St George and the Dragon. St. George is the patron saint of England.
We sat outside at a cafe and used their internet to upload our photos from the day along with yesterday's journal. After replying to a few emails, we set off in search of a grocery store. We loaded up on supplies, Tyler stuffed them into his backpack, and we biked back "home" to our campground.
Tyler had the brilliant idea of making popcorn. We bought oil and corn kernels at the store specifically for this purpose, and so upon cleaning our campsite and settling back in, he fired up the pot and made us great big bowls. YUM! I love that making popcorn is actually easy for us—we have the perfect pot for it!
While I have been writing this, Tyler has been preparing our dinner. We got some peanut sauce at the grocery store and he made noodles and peanutty chicken. After dinner he left again to practice Arnis, and I washed the dishes and went to take a shower.
I was about to start my shower when Tyler came running in and said that our friends from yesterday, Pete and Reinette, had invited us over for a drink in their motorhome! I abandoned hope of getting clean, and he and I walked over to the camper side of the campground. We had a wonderful evening chatting and sharing a couple beers, and were able to fully admire the motorhome they had saved for 28 years to buy.
Tyler and I never really understood the appeal of "camping" in a motorhome until Reinette gave us a tour. It was beautiful, with lots of tasteful wood panelling, and a cozy, quilt-covered bed in the back. Both duly impressed, we decided that someday we, too, would get our own motorhome and travel around the States in it. After spending at least an hour talking about life and travels, we ventured back out into the night to sleep in our comparitively humble little tent.
Here are some photos of a ridiculously beautiful tree near our tent: