Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Choo choo or doo doo - I'm not sure which is right.......

What can I tell you about today that won't get me into trouble with the political correctness brigade? It was a day when we didn't DO that much, but actually DID experience rather a lot.

The weather forecast had always predicted that Wednesday would be the best day of the week, so we had long planned that it would be the day we did a boat trip on the lake. In the end it was the day we did five boat trips and a train journey for good measure. It was also the day that gave us the most laughs so far, mostly at other peoples expense, but it was a day that proved people watching is possibly the most interesting pastime there is.

We had a reasonably early start for us, and caught the boat from Ambleside to Bowness. This is a trip of about 40 minutes, taking in the northern part of the lake down to the mid-way point. The weather was bright and sunny, though there was quite a breeze which made it a little chilly. As we got about half way to Bowness, there was a definite change, and while the top end of the lake was still in sunshine, the further South you looked, the blacker and more threatening it looked. There almost seemed to be a line drawn between the two areas.

At Bowness, we were able to stay on the boat as it was going all the way down the lake to Lakeside. During this stop over, lots of people left the boat only to be replaced by even more, and there were an awful lot of Chinese people who got on the boat. It is an awful thing to say, but it did feel a little like we had been transported to Kowloon Harbour instead.

The three things that became very apparent about out new ship mates were that they have truly dreadful dress sense, almost like a colour blind person had got dressed in the dark - in a charity shop. They seem to have to take photos of everything - any time a point of interest was mentioned over the tannoy, they would all rush to that side of the boat and takes hundreds of photos. The third thing is that they didn't seem like they could keep still, they seemed to constantly be milling about going from one friend to another. It made me feel dizzy.

The weather was now clearing up a bit more, and some of the views of the surrounding mountains were beautiful.

We now arrived at Lakeside, where we left the boat to catch a steam train for the short trip to Haverthwaite. This is only a 20 minute trip, but being on an old steam train makes it seem more special than it probably is.

I had read that there was a restaurant and a museum at the station, so had planned to stop for a while rather than just stay on the train for the journey straight back. It turns out that it was more of a basic cafe and an engine shed, but we did have a superb home made scone and a mug of tea in the cafe, and a quick look around the engine shed proved fairly interesting.

It was while on the journey to the station that the title of this post came about. As the train was pulling out of the station at Lakeside, the driver blew his whistle, "choo choo" it went, and a lady in our carriage with a young child called out "doo doo", and continued to do so every time the driver blew the whistle. We were in bits by the time we got to Haverthwaite, and it became the theme of the day.

The trip back to Lakeside an hour later was without incident, and I actually dozed of for a couple of minutes, which made the journey seem even shorter than it actually was.

Back on the boat for leg 3 of the nautical part of our trip, and we came across some more characters. There was a school party on this part of the trip, and the children couldn't keep still and were running up and down the boat despite their teachers trying to keep them under control.

It would seem that two of the adults in their party were not exactly teachers of theirs but visitors to their school, as at one point one of the children tried to justify why he was about to go down to the lower deck with the explanation "but the Africans are down there!"

We looked at one another aghast, but I suppose he could have said something worse.

Also, on this part of the trip was a pirate looking old man, who decided that the best viewpoint on the boat was his, and he set up himself there for the majority of the journey, and was reluctant to give it up for anyone else. He did make for some good photos of my own though.

The weather was now fabulous, and the views were even better.

Back at Bowess, we had decided that as the tickets we had allowed for unlimited trips today, we would take the boat that takes you around the central party of Windermere and shows you the small islands.

This was on a smaller boat, and only 45 minutes long.

This was full of American teenagers, mostly female, who spent most of the trip talking loudly and discussing which features of their digital cameras they like best. It seems that the "toy camera" setting is the "coolest", and also the "colour swap" one, which meant that this one girl was able to take a photo which made the lake green and the hillside blue. I gather that this one was also rather "cool" or even "awesome" as one put it. I made a mental note to investigate the more inane features of my camera if ever I felt I was loosing the will to live.......

Finally, on the final leg of our trip, we found ourself back on the first boat of the day for the journey back to Ambleside. The sun was now very hot, so we elected to sit inside rather than up top on this part, which may have been a mistake as this meant there was no breeze to take away some of the heat.

We made it back to port with no further adventures, and back onto dry land. We waved the boat off and set off in search of food, ending up at the fish and chip shop not far from the cottage.

Tired after the excitement of the day, full after our meal, we spent the evening chilling out and laughing about some of the stranger events of the wonderful day we had shared.

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