The UK – The Dales

Its a little over cast today.

A good typical English day.

We make the most of another quality morning shower and rug up, to explore the last of the city that we can.

There is this random castle-like tower randomly on the way to the city from Bri’s place. I ask Bri what that is about, and turns out that Helen (Bri’s house mate) had a rellie of hers who was locked away in there for around 6 years or something.

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It was a little hectic.

Its not the kinda spot that you would want to be locked up for 6 years.

Nowadays, those kinda prisons would be bulldozed for being inhumane. Back then, it was as common as a trip to school.

Bri strategises with her house mates as to where we should go. We follow a trial along the river, which when it floods, it properly floods. You think that Kalgoorlie is bad when the water starts to sneak into the shop fronts? That is nothing. There is a reason that the houses along the river bank are a good couple meters high. Not kidding.

We walk and decide to hit the rest of the city walls that we missed the other week. We stumble along and start whistling to punters we can see vacuuming their houses. None of them pay any attention to us, but its the thought that counts. Bri keeps trying to flip us the bird in the photos, but is largely unsuccessful, except for one photo that Bec snapped on her phone.

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Bri is super happy with herself, and even moreso that Bec will stumble across it one day, and there she will be, pointing her middle finger to the sky. Haha. Love it.

We take the steps down to this little bike cafe, where they will repair your pushie for you, while you tuck into for a coffee and a muffin or something. One thing Bri points out that neither Bec nor I can understand is why cyclists tend to get their jollies from coffee? Everywhere you go, its a thing. You go for a cycle, and it is like 1+1 that you have to have a coffee at the end of your ride. What is that about?

Its almost cult-like.

I’d noticed it, but never really thought much of it.

She has a valid point though.

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A bike cafe

We walk the rest of the wall until it leads us back to the city. I’m a touch disoriented, so I am surprised when I get to see the Minster again. The perk of being with a (semi) local is that she’s already done the tedious work of filtering out all the crap places to eat, shop and drink. Now, we as the tourists can come in and reap the benefits. Thats what I am about.

We head to the coolest of cool shops.

We have some family birthdays coming up, so we are on the hunt for a few things that tick the right boxes for them. Bri susses us right out and takes us to this one shop which we would be able to nick sooooooo many ideas from. Its the coolest of cool shops. I’m not really a useless book person, but there are so many useless books here that I would spend so much money on.

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So many useless books. Some good, but largely useless.

Its time for Bri to head to work again, so we make our way back to her house, because we need to get our crap out of there, so that we can get on our way, and so that she can have her house key back. Just as we are walking back to her house, I look to my left, and I see a place that says board games down the alley.

Its a tiny alley.

For a bit of back story, I spent a good amount of time yesterday trying to find a place that sells dice, so that we can play Perudo (the game that Gez and his dad taught us the other night). Pretty much all you need is 25 dice. Its 5 per player. I got sent on a wild goose chase yesterday, and it didn’t matter where I went, nobody had a decent solution for me.

I head inside, and its all like Warhammer and stuff.

Perfect.

I ask the guy, “Mate, you got any dice?”

“You mean like these ones?”, and directs my attention about 10cm to the left.

“Yep. Thats them. How much?”

“9.99”

“I’ll be back”

I run outside and nick Bec’s card, cos she has the only one that is working at the moment. I come back and the dice are gone. I have bene gone for about 3 mins. The bloke looks at me sympathetically, and says “Someone came in just after you and bought them”.

“You have got to be taking the piss?!”, I reply.

He looks at me smugly, and lifts the dice from behind the counter.

My instant reaction is, “Oh you’re a dickhead ay”, but with a quality smile on my face. He cracks up and has a good old laugh about it all. Stitched me up real well.

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Finally, I have the dice. We are going to become Perudo pros now.

We have to head back to Bri’s place now. We collect our stuff from Bri’s joint, have a quick goodbye session and part ways. We have clean clothes and clean skin. The world is a beautiful place. So many people have told us that we have to check out the Dales, and the Lake District. So, we decide that we will pass through the Dales on our way to the Lake District. Nobody has said a bad word about the Lake District, and every time we mention it, people give us a bit of a “Oooooo”, which is a really good sign, generally.

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First things first, though, we head through the Dales, which is the English farming area. Coincidentally, it also is home to the the famous Wensley Dale Cheese Factory, made famous by Wallace and Gromit. We head to the factory, where we are hoping we can tuck into some of the cheeses, and we find out that where we have spent ages driving is actually just the manufacturing area.

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Everyone was giving us odd looks as we walked through where the forklifts were operating, and funnily enough, it actually makes sense now.

We get the new directions from the receptionist, and get on our way to the right spot. When we tell her that we were headed to Lakes, we were again, met with “Oh. You will love it”. Another good sign. She points us in the right direction and makes sure we are aware of the best ice creams in the region.

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Ice Cream Time!

We get our notes and get on our way.

By this time, we are deep into the Dales. The thing that blows me away the most is how randomly towns will pop up in the dales. You will literally just be driving along, and then Bam! Out of nowhere, you are literally driving into a town. There is no warning. You just come over a hill, or turn a corner and there you are. Its mental, and I’m not talking about mum & dad’s place. This is a proper town with pretty much everything that you need to live. It does my head in.

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The other thing, which is equally as impressive, as it is, surprising is how good the truckies are here. The roads are not the biggest, and most of the time, its comes down to the bigger vehicle having right of way. These roads look like they should never be busy, yet trucks will just rip along, and come around a corner at full tilt, but always under control. Seriously impressive.

Anyways… The afternoon is well underway, and everywhere we look, there are various farm houses and landscapes, all of which are in their own way unique, and stunning. I never expected to really think much of the british countryside, but this is really gorgeous.

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We follow the directions, and while we are on our way to the other Wensley Dale spot, we pass by the Ice Cream shop that we were told we must have. Its pretty un assuming, but equally as tasty. We scoop up (no pun intended) our ice creams and keep moving.

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We are about 20 mins out of the town which has the Wensley Dale Distribution centre, where you can do the tours and taste the cheese etc. As we are heading there, the golden hours start setting in, and they set in bloody brilliantly. The tones and hues across the hillside is utterly magical. The golden light meeting the green rolling hills is utterly photo worthy.

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We pull into an off road and I begin snapping.

Bec is handy on the phone, getting the shots we can actually use, while I am running around like a tosser with my camera trying angle after angle till I get the right shot.

We are totally happy with the shots.

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We keep moving to the town for the cheese, and Bec is getting more and more excited. We finally reach the town, and the lights don’t seem to be on all too much. We keep driving around, and there seem to be less and less signs of life at the Wensley Dale Cheese Factory. To our dismay, we find that they had closed about an hour ago.

Bec is genuinely so gutted that we didn’t make it, so much so that she is nearly a little teary. I feel so bad, but to be honest, its they had shut so long ago, that stopping for photos really wasn’t the reason we missed it. Nonetheless, I tell her that I am sorry. I don’t really know what else to say… I know she was dead keen to check it out, and now, nothing.

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We head back to the area where we stopped for the golden hours to collect the shots that I missed before. Bec is out and sending a video to Issy while I am taking pictures. It comes up in regular conversation that we miss her, and we can’t wait to get home and hang out with Issy and Emerson more hey. I found out that Issy actually likes Jethro now, which is a bonus. Took long enough.

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We continue to the Lakes district, which isn’t that long.

By the time we arrive there, it is well and truly dark, and you can tell that it is rich-ville around those parts, because everywhere is paid parking and they have machines which scan you numberplate as you drive into the public car parks.

Wankers.

There really isn’t an easy place for us to park up for night.

But!

Not to be out done, Bec and I find ourselves a members-only car park which is super quiet for the evening, and tuck ourselves right in the corner, so we are as most out of the way and in the dark for the night.

We win.

We sleep.

Its been a beautiful day.

Come back tomorrow,

Billy

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