9th - 10th September   -     2006

     This will be a definitely 'use your imagination' type of report.   I couldn't escape work early enough on Friday to make the trip North, so I decided to start off fairly early on Saturday morning.    I went and retrieved the screen and seat for the bike - they had been taken off two weeks earlier so that a friend of mine could use the bike over in the Isle of Man.   One screen and dual seat later, and I loaded the bike up.  Just for good measure I had a bit of a cold starting.   There again, I'd rather be outdoors when I  have a cold anyway.    The 212 mile trip up the M6 was nothing to get excited about, the only bit I did enjoy was the climb up through Shap - I'd forgotten just how pretty that bit of road was.  Now if I'd paid more attention to what was in front of me, rather than the delightful scenery, then I just might have spotted the dreaded camera van parked on a bridge over the motorway.  I braked, glanced down at the clock, which was reading around 80 - 85 ish.   Let's hope Kawasaki speedometers are optimistic - either that or the goons operating the camera van were half asleep and relying on the automatic number place recognition software.   The next few weeks will have me giving the postman some strange looks.

    By half past two I had found the campsite.  There appeared to be everything there apart from Drifters.  All out on the run, no doubt.   I set up the tent and promptly cooked something to eat.  My cold was getting even more annoying now, I couldn't do anything without the accompaniment of a running nose.   Just to annoy the sheep, I sat outside my tent and serenaded the woolly backed beasties, aided and abetted by my trusty Ukulele. 


            The lone Drifter                                 A new meaning to sheep worrying

    All this riding, eating and sneezing wore me out to such an extent that I curled up for a nap.   I was awakened by the sound of various Drifters arriving - and everyone telling me what a marvellous run out I had missed.   This is where the imagination bit comes in.   I had to imagine Golden Eagles - Kielder Reservoir - excellent riding roads - good company.  Well - the last one I didn't have to imagine.  

   The next grand plan was something to eat - a table had been booked for half past seven at the Twice Brewed Inn.  Now it seems we had swelled in numbers by at least four - so with a bit of shuffling around, and a bit of encroaching on to the next table we were sorted.  It took well over an hour before the meal arrived, and I'd like to say it was worth waiting for . . . . . but it wasn't.  It was good, it was tasty, there was more than enough of it, but it didn't warrant that long a wait.  The beer was most drinkable, and not overly priced either, though I was a tad surprised when they called last orders rather early.  Not a problem we thought - those who want to come back to the campsite and have a beer are more than welcome - now this is where it gets silly.  There was no way back into the pub once you had left - - - - now this was of no use to the folks who were staying bed and breakfast there.  Bloody strange way to run a pub if you ask me.     Luckily, one of our more "silver tongued" members persuaded the management to see things differently.   

   By midnight the fire was happily blazing away in the barbecue drum, folks were chatting and drinking . . . .  and I had gone to bed - yep, this cold had got the better of me - - - all I wanted to do was lie down.   Next morning was a tad misty, but it cleared by around eleven o'clock.   All that remained was to say my farewells and make the two hundred and something mile trip back home.    I really wish I could have made it on Friday - but work and that damn cold conspired against me..................................still, there's always the next time.

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