Breakfast is served in the Warkworth House Hotel from 8:00 to 9:15 in the morning. We are still in scavenger mode so we made a point of waking up in time for optimal eating. We had freshly squeezed orange juice, cranberry juice, and coffee in a french press. There was a wide variety of cereals available as well as yogurt and multitude of toppings.
In addition to all of this we had all-you-can-eat toast and a rather long menu from which to order a hot breakfast. Tyler had a bacon sandwich, and I ordered the full English breakfast under the assumption that he would help consume it (he did not). I kind of wished we had been biking all day to come home to such a feast, because as it was we really didn't get to appreciate the massive quantities of food. Under normal circumstances we would have saved every leftover morsel in one of our tupperware containers, something a bit gauche for this hotel. I may possibly have pocketed one of the adorable baby jars of honey though.
After breakfast, Tyler went straight to work, and I left to go wander around town. I climbed the hill to the castle, settled on a bench, and read for awhile. I fiddled with the camera until I remembered what was what and then took loads of pictures of daffodils and other pretty things.
There was a sign leading to "Warthwork Hermitage" which sounded interesting, so I followed the path, camera in hand. I was taking a picture of some flower when I heard a strange noise behind me. I turned around and there was a swan landing in the river! A cute elderly British couple walked by, and the man said "right place at the right time, eh, love?"
Further down the path were some random horses (there seem to be a lot of those around here) who were badgering everyone for food. When they realized you didn't have any, they would kind of harumph and try someone else.
Finally, there was the sign for the Hermitage. It was rarely open to the public and was only accessible by boat. I paid my three pounds and John the Ferryman rowed me across the river. On the other side, through a tunnel of arching branches and blending in perfectly with its surroundings, was the Hermitage. Apparently, the Lords who had lived in the castle up the hill kept their own hermit living in the Hermitage, whose duty was to pray to God on their behalf. It must have been quite a stunning home at the time, but now it had a different sort of beauty.
The place was completely covered in lichen and moss. It was carved out of bedrock, the arching ceilings and crumbling walls swathed in rich greens and browns. It was well worth the money spent. After wandering around taking pictures I went to wait for John to row me back to the other side of the river. I shared the boat with a very friendly couple from Glasgow (Scottish people RULE) who told me all about their vacations and where Tyler and I just had to visit on our trip.
Back in town, I stopped to pick up a few groceries and returned to the hotel to make us lunch. Afterward I must have needed rest; I drifted off and slept like a log for three hours. I'm sure I would have slept for three more had Tyler not woken me up. It's nice and all staying in a hotel, but we're already starting to feel restless and cooped-up.
We had to get out of the hotel so we went for a walk and brought our sticks to practice Arnis. We were a bit rusty at first but after a few rounds of basic stick work we started to feel more confident again. We also practiced some of the self defense techniques that Maestro Kurt taught us while a few Japanese onlookers snapped our photos.
When we returned, I started writing this journal entry and Tyler fired up the Whisperlite on the roof of the hotel. Leaning out the window to stir the pan he cooked me a delicious dinner of garlicky sauteed potatoes with a fresh salad. It will be nice to be out in the world again soon.