Feels like home
It's summer and it's rain.
I settle on the Abby Woods Campground. By now I sleep really well in my truck. Is it the fresh air or the unlimited amounts of beer I allowe myself?
30 minutes by train from London Bridge, my main destination over the next 3 days, when I mostly meet Simon a fellow trader and friend who I know from my time in London and Michael and Duncan and Dicky.
So it is 3 days of drinking and talking markets. I enjoy being with my friends but I am dying to get out and start the real thing. The seeing-my-friends-trip has been going on for too long.
Hey this is London! "12 Pints in a Pub and who still stands up goes for a curry!"
Whoever told me that when I arrived in England years ago. But this is hard business and I am too fragile for that so I usually have a hard time keeping pace with the lads, but nevertheless go for a curry or get dragged along by these fellows.
I leave London
on Friday around lunch time for Scotland and listen for one more time to XFM-Radio, "The only Alternative".
Wow! The X-list is on. Incredible! Oasis, Lou Reed, Foo Fighters and Radiohead followed by some Green Day. Puts me in a good mood. As I travel north I make a stop in Roydon for a LandRover chat with Stuart Foley, who himself built my very 6-wheeler in 1999.
Should we have it converted to 6x6? (it currently is a 4x6). The price tag of 4,500 Sterling does not prompt a quick decision. I want to make my mind up while in Scotland. By then I might have had its off-road capabilities tested and thus would be in a better position to decide.
Further north I drive passing rainy Leicester, listening to Radiohead. Later, leaving Leeds behind, with Radiohead still on, I enter the Yorkshire Dales where I spend a crispy cold night near Thresfield. The morning is even fresher, but very clear and sunny and I find myself surrounded by the wonderful, peaceful countryside of the Yorshire Dales.
Later this morning, turning westwards I make my way to Lake Windemere in the Lake District.
The Land Rover climbs the passes of Wrynose and Hardknott at a speed of 6km/h in low 1st gear. But it manages the gradients of up to 30% quite well given it is fully loaded.
I allowe myself a pint of bitter at Wastdale Head Inn at the top of Wast Water, a hidden fantastic lake in the Lake District. And I go through my memories and affections to these locations. I traveled with Irene through the Lake District in 1996 and through the Yorkshire Dales in 2001. I think I should be headed for the unknown soon.
And I do. Via Carlisle I enter Scotland on 14th of August.