England, Lakes District

A week after my last undergraduate class, I arrived in England, navigated from Heathrow to Reading, hugged my good friends Tammy and Ryan, packed a car, got in the car, and rather promptly did this.

Matt and Alyssa sleeping in the car

Tammy, Ryan, Alyssa and I were on our way to a weekend in a camping barn. Camping cabin? Whichever, it was a lovely spot somewhere near Keswick. Rosie and Nicky, friends of Tammy and Ryan, would be meeting us at the cabin, and rumor had it Colette would be meeting us there as well.

All this name dropping makes me think, I should set up some sort of context for what I was doing visiting these people. Ryan, Tammy, and Colette are all friends from my time in Sendai, and all three of them will pop up if you go looking through these archives hard enough. Ryan and Tammy were being kind enough to give Alyssa and I a home base for our time in England, which started with this trip I was just talking about. Back to that!

Or rather, one last interruption, and then back to your regularly scheduled broadcasting.  There's going to be a recurring theme in these posts of my trip to Europe. Seeing as I'm writing about it half a year after it's happened and didn't bother to keep a journal like my trips to Thailand (wait a sec, neither of which I've written up, huh...), my memory's going to be extra spotty.

Still, that's where the photos come in, right?

Saturday in the Lakes Rain District

I do believe we had some amazing pizza after getting in on Friday night, and then settled down for some good hiking coming morning.

This was the view from our camping barn:

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Waiting on the weather

But to be honest, the first day, it spent most of its time looking like this:

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Wyoming has taught me that if it's raining, don't worry, it'll stop in a minute.

... But that's not how things work over in the Land of Grey Skies.

Waiting on the rain
Waiting on the rain - Photo by Tammy

Still, we had come for adventures, and a bit of wet wasn't going to stop us. After breakfast we slowly got ourselves put together and went out to brave the weather.
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Adventuring Out

My, what an adventure we had ourselves.

Not only was the rain pouring, but more viciously, the wind was roaring. We walked into it backwards, or with our heads down to keep the rain and wind from blinding us. There was no protection from this wet. When we eventually made it back to the cabin, I was able to wring out my underwear as if I'd just gone for a dip.

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If we could only lift our faces up to face the wind, you'd see what a great time we were having
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Ryan and Tammy's delight with the weather had them spilling over with offers to hug

Going out was well worth it though - once we made it out of the wind and the rain calmed down, anyways. The countryside there was unlike any landscape I'd seen before, and the rights-of-way paths let us go straight through the pastures nestled in between the hills we were going up and down on our hike.

That night, Colette got in, and we all played cards, enjoyed ourselves, and did our best to keep warm with the help of the fire.  Eventually, the siren songs of fantasy novels made Alyssa and I give ourselves away as the geeks we are. But hey, vacation, right?

Photo by Tammy
Photo by Tammy