by Christian , published on July 29, 2008

distance: 93.75km
duration: 9h 18min

I managed to keep up with my plans and arrived at Windermere/Lake District today. The landscape was already looming promising on the horizon, big mountains standing tall(Big not as in alps but big as in flatland).

The way was pretty hilly again but i've build up quite a good condition now and its not as hard as in Windsor a week ago(Though straining).
However, a few kilometers before i reached the lake a heavy thunderstorm caught up with me and darkened the sky and i had to get out my raingear in the strong wind, just before it started pouring heavily.
I tried to find a backyard of a house at the lake to place my tent but everyone i asked refused my request. So i changed my plans and went back to the village to get something properly(=carbo-loaded) to eat with the plan in my head to stay at a boathouse where nobody answered the door and where the lawn was hidden from sight. However, i was not to eager as britains are superparanoid(CCTV everywhere, even in the countryside) and it would not have been fun to take down my tent under police observation in the midst of the night.
After my dinner, rain had regained in strength again, i was feeling already a bit soaked as even very good raingear doesn't help against moisture, i was on my way to that abandonded boathouse, feeling pretty desperate, when all of a sudden a pickup truck stopped in front of me.
A young guy jumped out and asked me if i needed any help or if he could give me a ride somewhere. First i refused his offer thankfully but after a second of thought i went back and asked him if he knew a place where i could spend the night(Actually i had on my mind that he might have a backyard somewhere). It turned out he had been on a 6-month cycletrip in New Zealand recently and was staying at a friends place, but he knew a place close to the village he wanted to show me. We put the bike on the back of the car and after a few hundred meters he stopped and pointed to a small path that was close to the lake. When he left he gave me a bottle of dark ale, as he was working for a brewery(Thats why he had the pickup in the first place). The place he showed me is a nice ground right next to the lake, more or less a park, but it is common ground and therefore i should have no issues, at least he told me. I had my daily shower in the lake today and it was friggin cold, but i'm confident again. I had already lost confidence in this trip but this guy really made my day and gave me back my interest in adventure and that it basically makes sense(Even more when you meet the right people).


by Christian , published on July 28, 2008

distance: 107.11km
duration: 10h 32min

Today i went pretty far and bet the 100 km barrier for the first time. Unfortunately i decided to go via Blackpool and after the not so pleasant industrial high-traffic outskirts of Manchester it was quite disappointing to see SUCH a place where i expected a nice coastal town. The first sight of the irish sea indeed was pleasant but soon the coastal road changed into a devastating plasticworld. They had huge shells, mermaids and octopuses made of plastic attached to the lightpoles(Just like very tasteless christmas decoration), the seaside buildings where housing casinos and gambling halls, there where rollercoasters and other yearmarket-attractions for about 4km along the whole coastal side of Blackpool. Everything was advertised with huge letters and all the fassades looked just like the new viennese prater, ugly as hell. In one word: Plasticworld

I have no clue how people can enjoy their holidays in such a place... 4kms of casinos, fun fair and plastic
Seriously, wtf?
As the concierge at a big hotel where i asked for the way told me that it would be like this for the whole coast to the north i tried to escape from this place as fast as possible and after an endless straight countryside road i finally found a campsite which also allows tents(Three others i had passed by earlier where for caravans only). This place is actually a farm but its pretty cheap(5£) and as there are showers i didn't want to go further(i planned to go to a lake i had seen in googlemaps but this would have been another 20km).
The other people on this campsite seem to be not the wealthiest and educated fellas from leeds and manchester, at least judging by their behaviour(beeing drunken in front of their missbehaving kids) and their sluggish pronounciation(Yes, i don't care about pc). Oh well, tomorrow i'll enter the Lake District, hope its not a too touristic place.


by Christian , published on July 27, 2008

distance: 0.00km
duration: 0h 0min

The nice thing about long distance cycling is that you see places where you would never get by other means of transport or recognize as you rush by too fast. But this also has a drawback: you see places where you would never get or recognize as you rush by too fast. Ugly places, boring places. I had plenty of both in the last few days. The landscape after the Cottswolds didn't change much, small hills, fields, worthless, desparate country towns. As i expected this to continue to Liverpool/Manchester and i recounted that i'd rather spend my short time relaxed in the Lake District and Scotland rather than rushing through central England and Scotland in the end i decided to jump into a train in Kidderminster and go to Manchester (It was a 50/50 decision between Liverpool and Manchester but the train to M. was earlier and the clerk at the station said he likes it more).

It was a painful decision as i would have loved to go all the way to Edinburgh on my own and it means to give in, but it was the reasonable decision as i also have to take care about my mental health and rushing everyday without rest to reach the goal would not have been wise.
So i boarded a crowded train via Birmingham and saved about 2 days of cycling. Manchester was a nice and surprisingly quiet place. It obviously is a smaller and less hip place then London(I guess nothing in the world will beat London from my Point of View anymore) but i met some welcoming young people in front of a pub and enjoyed the social.