M6 SERVICES TO CONISTON WATER - ALMOST
Yet another rainy start to the day. The old Herefordshire saying of 'Rain before seven, Dry before eleven' most certainly doesn’t hold true here. More like rain before seven and lots more rain both before and after eleven!
I thought it wasn't much point rushing off down the M6 whilst it was throwing it down, so once again took my time, and eventually it did ease off a bit so we got underway. I am beginning to wonder if either Strict Lady or I have a malfunction, though at present I am not certain which one of us it is. I switched her off and unplugged her last night hoping she would feel refreshed this morning but she was once again intent on taking me back to Carlisle. So yet again in desperation I phoned Chris – the living and breathing Sat Nav – and he talked me through it and suddenly she was happy, perhaps being a 'truckers moll' she prefers talking to men, if we carry on this way I might see how Bugs Bunny and I get on.
We had only just started out again when a phone call came through from Signature to say it was not sounding hopeful about the scooter hoist. I couldn’t concentrate on being cross and driving so had to pull off at the lorry services to continue, but Phoebe now seems to think that everytime we stop she is entitled to get out. I wouldn’t mind if she needed to do something but once out she mostly stands around looking surprised at all the traffic. Perhaps she hopes that when we stop she will suddenly find herself back at home again. I do feel sorry for her at present and somehow wish she was like many of my other dogs who would have thought all of this was great fun. She has probably led too sheltered a life, but she is a super dog and I do love her dearly.
The day seemed to be improving a bit weather wise and the views of the Cumbrian landscape were wonderful, even though shrouded in misty mizzle. I had decided to go to Windermere then follow along the edge of the lake round the bottom then up the side of Coniston to where the campsite was situated.
The roads are not as narrow as in parts of Scotland, but there is far more traffic, and many of the roads are stoutly edged in rocks or stone walling. All I can say is that I was grateful it was January and it was worth putting up with the poor weather, as to try to have driven Thebus along the route I had chosen during the summer months is something I would NEVER consider doing, even when I am far more confident. Unless maybe I got up in the summer at around 4.30 am - that might work. Otherwise it would be a nightmare of stopping and trying to get past oncoming vehicles. There really are lots of places where there is not room for two cars, no matter how confidently they have painted white lines up the middle of the roads. And I was on 'A' roads! Goodness only knows what the 'B' roads are like
I decided to give Beatrice Potter World or whatever it is called a miss, and Hill Top which was her home is not open at this time of year, plus I imagine I would have needed a taxi to get there, or maybe the bus, rather than Thebus. Interestingly I did pass a double decker along one of the roads, which seemed quite incongruous. Mind you it stopped when it saw Thebus approaching, as did quite a few of the other vehicles. I had put Chris's advice into action on several occasions – he said if the road isn't wide enough for both of you “own the road” and so far it has worked. Mind you it may be that they think it is a runaway vehicle and no-one was driving – as there is no passenger seat and I am really tiny.
The intensity needed in watching the road really meant that I only got glimpses of the scenery, which was probably quite spectacular, and around two'ish we pulled into my very first caravan camping site stopover. It was large, beautifully landscaped and basically set within acres and acres of woodland, very nicely kept, but no-one around. I parked up and hung around in the reception area for quite a while, unaware that now there was someone there, but it was all ok, if rather like the welcome given on the one occasion my Grandparents took me to Weston-super-Mare when I was around seven and we stayed at a boarding house.
There were very few others parked up, and though I had hoped for a view of Coniston Water, it was not to be though we do have some nice trees to look at. Its so annoying that I don’t have the scooter as the site leads down to the lake but its four hundred yards and I will never make it there and back.
Basically now I am here I am just trapped, which really wasn’t the intention. Still I have an internet connection - perhaps I will see if Waitrose delivers up here :-)