Monday – Another walk down to Waterhead, where we got a Freedom of the Lake ticket which also got us into the Aquarium at Lakeside. I do love a good boat ride. The weather remained grey, and a bit nippy as we chugged along on the water. People are friendly on boats, everyone waving at eachother. More sailboats and fishermen these days – they’ve reduced the speed limit which apparently makes waterskiing not as successful. Though I did see one or two people, on boardy things rather than actual skis. Only time I ever went on the end of the string was either on one of those inflated inner tyres, or one time on a “disco biscuit” – which was not skiing while off your tits, but instead on a round disc thing that you could either kneel or stand on.
The boat stopped to pick up more passengers in Bowness, and then continued on to Lakeside (I think it took about 3o mins from Ambleside, then 40 minutes the other part of the journey). The far end of the lake is home to a steam railway as well as the aquarium, but we kept our attentions to the fishy, furry, and freaky things. This was another re-visit for me, but again, it’s funny how your brain blots certain things out. It’s not a huge place, or particularly amazing, but I imagine it’s a good place to take kids. Lots of interactive things to do. Otters, I have to tell you, may be cute, but they are damned stinky. (maybe all cute furry long things are – like meerkats) I can’t tell you if marmosets are smelly, as they were behind glass, but they are very small, and have great difficulty eating grapes with anything approaching table manners.
After a perusal of the gift shop, the boat came for our return journey. This time we got off in Bowness to have an explore. It’s faring better than it was last time I was there, when several pubs were either closed or looked worse for wear. It’s clearly benefiting from the tourist trade – there were restaurants and bars everywhere. I think it may be a contender for a place to stay next time we go. Easier to get to without a car than Ambleside (though to be fair the buses are frequent and go from the train station so it’s no great chore). While I always hanker to get out in the middle of nowhere, it’ll have to wait until I finally get around to learning to drive. Or else am fit enough to cycle. We didn’t go look at the marina – which is one of my fond memories, going to look at the boats on sale, lusting after – what were they called, Bayliners? Our little boat was hardly enough to make us part of the yachting set – much as the other half likes to goad me about it. We walked up the hill, window shopping, and getting a little something from the lovely deli about half way up which is still there thankfully. On the way back down we made a diversion and had a drink in the “New John Peel”, just for the name, but sadly it didn’t live up to the great music man’s taste. Then – boat back, and an exciting little Charrabanc thing back to the house.
Jamie cooked dinner for us that night – a deliciously sticky veggie risotto. I do like a good risotto – don’t make them often enough. This one had a fair chunk of parmesan to stick to the ribs, om nom nom.