Day 8: We woke up early so Alex and I could catch a train to the Lake District. Mr. Butcher had one more thing for us to try: malt loaf. It’s like a raisin bread but much more sticky! I liked it (I’ve liked everything!) We had to say our goodbyes which was so sad, it’s been so nice staying with them and they were all so fun, welcoming and generous. Being with them will definitely be a highlight of this trip.
We were SO excited for the Lake District. So far we had been in cities and towns and I could not wait to see some beautiful scenery and relax in nature. This was honestly one of the places I was most looking forward to and wow… what a letdown. I don’t even know where to begin with this place. We spent one day here and this will probably be the longest blog post yet. Grab a snack and get comfy.
The first person we met in this town was our taxi driver, Bob. Bob became our new best friend and the only person I liked in this town. He was such great conversation in the car (he loves that Americans say “whatever”) that he even gave us his card in case we needed anything else. This plays a pivotal role in this story later.
We arrived at the hostel where the workers were incredibly rude but they couldn’t ruin our excitement! We packed our little bags with all of the food we bought from the grocery store for a delicious cute picnic on the grassy hill of a mountain overlooking the huge lakes (this is far from what happened.. I’ll get there) and set off on a walk around the national park. Following our paper map we were in awe as we looked out on the scenery and I was literally so excited to be here.
We came across two older men and a dog who told us we just missed our turn and to “follow us! We’ll show you where to go! It’s not far from here!” …mistake #1.
We climbed steep gravelly hills up and up for what felt like forever and all I could think was “where’s the damn lake?” We could see it from our hostel but of course we wanted a closer view. Actually, THAT was mistake #1. We separated from the men because they were honestly too quick for us and Alex and I were huffing and puffing up these hills. They told us we could turn around and walk an hour back down, or keep going the 20 more minutes to the top and walk an hour back down the other side. Well, we already had come this far, we might as well make it to the damn top right?
Well, by some godforsaken miracle we did make it to the top. We battled muddy puddles and precarious rocky paths in our ill-suited footwear (remember, we planned on going for just a nice stroll) on the way up. At the top, we were hit (quite literally) with what I can only imagine tornado winds feel like. So cold and windy I almost lost my hat, our faces were windburned and we were literally almost knocked over many times.
The trip down wasn’t much better. I’ve hiked before and I always think going down is scarier. It’s much easier to lose your footing and fall.. which I did, twice. Right on my ass. Alex and I both slipped and ate shit on our trek down as we were still trying to battle the ridiculous winds. Many a tear were shed out of anger, pain and sheer delirium. Our “picnic” never happened and we were hungry, in pain, wet (it started raining) and so unhappy.
We slowly made our way down this damn mountain, where our final leg was to pass through a field of sheep. Literally. There was no fence, we were walking straight through their territory and just hoping they would pay no mind to us.
We finally made it! Off the mountain and onto flat ground! I could’ve kissed it I was so happy! Buuut we were on a strange road with no civilization in sight and no idea where to go. Way to kick us while we’re down! With my injured foot throbbing and our shaking legs and ankles, we walked 3 MORE MILES (after our 6 mile hike….) until we ran into the first cafe we saw and immediately called Bob. Sweet, sweet Bob. Thank heaven for him. We sat with our Americanos feeling so sorry for ourselves when finally Bob came to our rescue and brought us back the 5 miles we had left to go to the hostel.
We walked in. Threw our bags down. Ate our now sad picnic on the floor of our room. Showered, washed our muddy clothes and climbed into a bed to thaw out. Screw this place, we vowed we wouldn’t leave our room the rest of the night. The one time we did was a bad, bad choice..
About 5 seconds after this photo ^ was taken (of us looking completely disheveled) we had one of the most terrifying experiences. Our roommates weren’t around and we just had to run downstairs to grab our laundry from the dryer so we left without locking our room door. A strange man was wandering around our hall and we said a polite hello and his odd response was thankfully enough to alert Alex that something might not be right. She said, “hey, I forgot something in the room” and we both turned back to find the man now lingering outside of the (unlocked) room he just saw us come out of. What the heck. We walked in quickly past him and stood there just waiting, freaking out a little as we heard his footsteps pacing outside our door. Suddenly, he tried to open. our. fucking. door. We quickly slammed and locked it. Our hearts were racing a million miles a minute. He saw us go in there, for what possible reason could he be trying to come in?! We were so freaked out we called down to the front desk and had an employee come escort us out of our room.. and that was the very last time we left that damn room.
Come to the Lake District, they said! It will be fun, they said! …….