We decided that it would be sensible to take the coast road north… it is both unusual and rather nice when ‘sensible’ walks hand in hand with preference. We had seen the snow capping the distant hills of the Lake District across Morecombe Bay and thought that the salt air would be beneficial on that score. And anyway, who doesn’t like the seaside? Particularly in winter when there are no crowds and we had many of the roads pretty much to ourselves.
Had we not seen the third of our triad two days before we would have called him to come for coffee in Don Pedro’s café. As it was, we simply speculated on which one Steve was referring to in his stories as we sailed through Grange-over-Sands and onwards towards our next destination, skirting the snow covered hills.
It was beautiful… perfect in fact. To our left we had the sea, around us the green of the foothills. Close enough to see, but not to pose a problem, we had the high, white peaks of the Lakes in all their pristine beauty. It was just a shame that the engine warning light chose to come on… Given the panic a few days before to get her fixed and the mechanic’s expensively pursed lips with his ‘can’t guarantee I’ve fixed it…’ I was a tad apprehensive. We would see.
What we didn’t seem to have were many places where we were able to stop. The camera rested mournfully on the back seat as I drove the narrow, serpentine road, occasionally breathing my delight at the landscape. We were heading for Gosforth and, just for once, we had done at least some homework the night before, checking that there were several pubs there that offered accommodation. Mid-January we thought we would have little problem finding rooms for the night.
Ha. The best-laid plans and all that… At least two of the three hostelries in the village centre looked as if they had closed at least for the day, if not for the winter and the third looked unpromising of anything other than a drink, in spite of an appropriate sign on the wall. Our plans for a nice, quiet Sunday dinner before retiring to a cosy inglenook appeared to be becoming a bit precarious. Especially with the car dashboard lighting up. Still, it was only mid-afternoon. Gosforth looked like it might know of a mechanic on Monday morning. We had plenty of time. We knew there were other hotels in the village. We could try one of those.
And try we did. Only to be informed the chef was unavailable for food. They did, however, recommend a couple of places just two miles down the road towards Wastwater. They gave us directions and there was a definite preference in the tone, which we duly noted for later.
A wander through Gosforth showed it to be a place of old stone and quirky cottages. We knew there was Viking heritage, a Roman fort not far away and an old cross at the church. We knew little about it other than its existence, but it was this we had come to see. What we didn’t know was what else we would find at there … and one of the things was enough to justify the entire trip and have us grinning like a pair of
lunatics Cheshire cats.