Our Travel blog
We walked out of the site and across a marvellous cable foot bridge that spans the broad river Kent, followed the river for a while in the mid morning sunshine and then joined the path of the disused Northern section of the Kendal to Lancaster canal.
The canal suffered from leakage because of fissures in the limestone and the section we were on was formally closed in 1955. Although some of it was filled in its easy now to trace the route and happily for us, the former tow path makes great, level walking. Most of the original bridges are still in place, marking the canal's path like sentinels from another age. Its hard to imagine these remote structures that now span meadows and pastures where sheep graze once crossed busy waterways alive with industrial traffic and even packet boats providing a passenger service.
Sheep now litter the landscape with their busy lambs in tow, in turn both curious and nervous of our presence. We walked with the sparkling river below us weaving around the green rolling hills, the rugged foothills of the Lake District in the distance and the sun shining on our backs. After an hour or so we left the course of the canal and descended into Kendal, pausing for a cheeky al fresco cream tea overlooking the river.
Kendal was a delight. We were particularly taken with the Yards; narrow lanes that run at right angles off the High Street. These are similar to Edinburgh's Closes along the Royal Mile, only in Kendal no one tries to sell you tartan flavour fudge or shortcake with a hairy cow on the tin. What we expected to be offered was mint cake but the only place we saw it for sale was in the Tesco Express in the centre of town. Curious, as the mint and sugar confection, apparently invented after a batch of peppermint creams went wrong and formed a 'mint cake', is the only reason that Kendal is known; at least to us.
Anyway we wandered the town, took a fine late lunch and sought refuge from the sun in the church, with its ornate font lid, a towering wooden sculpture that lifts up by way of pullies to reveal the baptismal font below. We didn't linger as the organist was clearly learning a new hymn or, more accurately, wasn't learning it and there are only so many false starts and bum notes one can take before muttering language that ill becomes a place of worship.
The journey back was hampered somewhat by a recurrent achilles problem that has troubled Alison for a while, but she set her face to its most determined expression and led the way, valiantly making it back in time for us to catch the fish and chip van before an evening watching the Masterchef final with an ice packs applied to her ankle.
And finally we must nominate two people for a mention in dispatches. Firstly the site warden for her cheery and helpful disposition during our trying journey, for running such a lovely site and for being so eager to help. Secondly the post lady in Kendal. We had a card to post and found a letterbox that a curio shop had taken to covering with its wears, so much so that we were uncertain if it was in use or for sale so 100 metres on we asked the post lady, who informed us it is in use but rather than see us retrace our steps took it for us. A small but kindly act carried out with good humour and a willingness to help that warmed our spirits.
Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog. If you don’t know who we are, what we are doing and you're wondering what this is all about you can read up on our project here.