Well after waking at 3am grr, finally had the mini packed and set off for The North at 8am. I decided to rely totally on trusted satnav as Emily very kindly helped put in all relevant postcodes yesterday. Many people had suggested I make sure to take Toll Road. Satnav had other ideas however. It suddenly informed me of a better route so I sadly watched sign to Toll Road sail past me to the right. Hey ho! Then proceeded to join some heavy traffic and the drizzle set in.
Anyway, have made good headway at 10 am and arrived at Keele Services for a welcome break, all tensions behind me I hope. Nearly halfway to the Lakes I believe….
12.30 and have arrived in Cumbria! Heavy traffic all the way. Where the heck are they all going?? Dot says “to the Lakes, to leave all their litter!” She has advised me to avoid service stations which are frequented by people from the B cities in the north. I’m just having a quick lunch stop – sandwich in the car at Kendal Services and a trip to the loo to stretch my legs, then will proceed with the final 60 miles to Gosforth. Turned off the busy M6 and into the Lakes, the dramatic scenery I always remembered falling away each side of the winding road, walls built from dark stone cobbles and hillsides dotted with shaggy grey Cumbrian sheep. The weather had taken a turn for the worse as I squeezed passed coaches way too big for these roads.
I finally arrived at Dot’s at five past three. As always, we just took up where we left off (at the Crisalida Retreat in Spain just 18 months previously) and chatted continuously until it was time for wine and dinner. An early night was welcome after that long drive – 250 miles!