Narrative Mode: Third-person omniscient
When four friends got together Mr. Todkar couldn’t resist a road trip. He had long wanted to take one, ever since he had arrived in UK, but the opportunity had never presented itself. His dream had finally come true. Lake District he thought would be the perfect place, but with only two days to spare driving to and fro London definitely looked daunting. This of course was not going to deter him and he seemed thoroughly convinced and optimistic. Sadly for him, his wife wasn’t. Like all married couples they finally reached a compromise. They would take the train to Windermere in the heart of the Lake District which would leave them with enough time to do a mini road trip – one day to be precise.
There was nothing un-tourist-like about the trip. Mr. Samel, his friend, woke up religiously at half past three in the morning to make the sandwiches. Euston Station wasn’t far, but after Mr. Todkar’s guarantee of finding a taxi anytime faded, panic set in. The husbands hunted for a taxi while the wives were left with the luggage all by themselves. Finally they made it.
The journey to Oxenholme oscillated between dozing and vehemently discussing the authenticity of motion sickness. The two parties argued passionately if the illness was nothing but a mind game and finally fell asleep. Sleep ironically being a perfect cure for motion sickness! A short change at Oxenholme took them to Windermere, the mother of all lakes.
The first view of the lake left everyone in awe as they merrily strolled past flocks of red-breasted mergansers. At thirty two quid an hour, a self driven motor-boat seemed like the perfect way to explore the charming lake cuddled by mountains. Each one of them waited eagerly to get behind the wheel which involved some rather daring trade of positions. Fortunately, no one fell. Contrary to the excitement in driving the motor-boat, none existed for the car, for only Mrs. Samel could drive. One of them had lost his license, the other had an expired one and the third had a license but couldn’t really drive!
Their final halt was to be at Denton House, where they would spend the night. Denton House a pretty guest house was located at the northern edge of the Lake District in the very small town of Hesket Newmarket. They were in no hurry to get there and were keen on exploring a great deal of the Lake District on their way up.
They passed the picturesque and grand mountains of Ambleside at the base of which stood the Kirkstone Pass Inn, run indisputably by a very lucky owner. They found it rather amusing that the scene reminded every single one of them of the great Himalayan Mountains of Ladhak though none of them had ever been there. It wasn’t long before they were driving along the scenic shore of Ullswater, which in time led them to the Aira Force waterfall. The Aira Beck stream that flows over the waterfall met the lake at Glencoyne Bay and it was here that Wordsworth drew inspiration for his poem Daffodils. The Somnambulist, another of his creations spoke fondly of the region.
Wild streams of Aira, hold thy course,
Nor fear memorials lays,
Where clouds that spread in solemn shade,
Are edged with golden rays!
As the sun prepared to set, the four friends drove down the narrow winding lanes towards Hesket – a little excited by the unknown, a little enchanted by its beauty and a little annoyed by the absence of directions. For when they started, they were unaware that Cumbria was largely a rural county and Mr. Todkar’s trusted Network was soon going to fail them. The network did show its face on and off and with the help of lady luck and some skilful driving they had made it. Or so they thought, for soon they discovered the only pub in town had closed for the day and they found themselves driving again, this time fifteen miles to the south to the town of Keswick in the hope of a late night meal.
The journey to and from Keswick proved out of the ordinary. Paths cut across mountains, much alike the drawings of little ones and Mrs. Samel drove through sheep and horses who failed to acknowledge the vehicle or its horn. They swore to take a different path on their way back, and they did, but by then the sun had left their side and the paths looked eerier than they had hoped for.
When they met at breakfast the next morning, Mr. Samel was determined to eat as much as he possibly could, for when and where he would find his next meal in Cumbria was uncertain. Though they had originally planned to return from Hesket, the proximity of Scotland tempted them all and they set off for Gretna Green.
Gretna Green situated at the mouth of the river Esk was historically the first village in Scotland, famous for runaway marriages. In 1753 England and Wales passed the Lord Hardwicke’s marriage act which prevented couples younger than 21 from marrying without parental consent, but this did not apply to Scotland, which saw hundreds of young couples eloping to the first border village! Till today, Gretna Green is one of the world’s most famous marriage destinations!
M6, A66 and A592 got the four friends to Windermere. It was a trip they would all remember for a very long time to come.
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