I’m not lost, I’m adventuring…

I’m a meandering kind of adventurer; less Bear Grylles and more Winnie the Pooh.

During a recent work trip in the UK, a day off appeared and it was time to go adventuring.  The waiter at breakfast overheard me tell a colleague I might visit Ilkley.  She approached me across the pastries and fruit to suggest Haworth would be better; she said it was her village and it was nicer than Ilkley.

She wrote down the directions.  It all seemed clear enough:  ‘Catch the train to Keighley.  Walk up the high street and at the L bus stop, catch the bus to Haworth.  Smiley face.’

I’m a sucker for a well-drawn smiley face, so I changed plans and ventured forth to Haworth (Bronte sisters country).

I boldly caught the train.  Once at Keighley I confidently strode up the platform.  The High Street, I was certain, would be proud and obvious.  The L Bus Stop would have a bright, clear sign.

It wasn’t, and it didn’t.

The station was on a busy road with several offshoots.  I glanced in all directions and decided – with no evidence – that turning right seemed like A Good Idea.  Surely that way lay L Bus Stop.

It did not.  I found a bus stop which said ‘M’, so I assumed I was close but I was venturing further into a part of Keighley which was clearly not central.

I purposefully turned and headed back toward the railway station.

I was a bold, fearless adventurer.  I was not lost, I was merely exploring options.

Thirty minutes later I’d passed the train station, turned up a busy-ish road, discovered no L Bus Stop, turned back, and eventually found another bus stop marked ‘M’.  There were many ‘M’s, but not an L to be found.

I don’t normally do Asking For Directions, but I was nearly 2 hours into a journey which should have taken me 45 minutes.  I got on the next bus and – assuming the pronunciation was phonetic (not my first mistake for the day) – asked the driver how to get to Haworth.  He looked at me blankly.   I repeated slower and firmly, “Hay-worth”.  Silence.  “Hayworth?” with a question in my voice.   No response.  I dug out of my pocket the wrinkled paper with smiley-faced-directions and handed it to him.  His face showed recognition and slight frustration, “Oh…Howith.

He gave me  a list of directions in rapid succession, nodded me out of his bus, and drove off.

I stood bemused and befuddled (very Pooh-esque), staring at the departing bus.  A kind and mildly amused gentleman, who was getting off the bus during my conversation with the driver, repeated the instructions and pointed out landmarks which would help me know I was getting close.

Victory was mine.

I reached the elusive L Bus Stop and, 20 minutes later, Haworth.

10556454_10152411453010025_9076577653501228482_n 1511180_10152411445115025_2671372207069861113_n

The country lanes inspired thoughts of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (I know I was in Yorkshire and P&P was set in the south, but details like that have no place in imaginings).

1798548_10152411453260025_6785856192810007009_n  10306757_10152411453975025_7881910786851884907_n (1)  10410114_10152411453220025_3457510688443378320_n (1)

The moors were moody, the cemetery evocative and the whole vibe took me back to being an angst-filled teenager dreaming of Heathcliffe.

10806391_10152411445080025_1926651127406427542_n

Also, I had flashes of Kate Bush’s dancing in her Wuthering Heights song.

10173607_10152411484260025_2072544009208520758_n (1)

It was a perfect day of being a 21st century adventurer(ish), dreaming of an 18th century hero, pretending to be a 19th century heroine, with a 20th century song in my head.

10402482_10152411452825025_7326902777770158081_n

Incidentally, I never did find the high street.

 

Advertisements

Sunny Spring Monday in Freo

The blue spring sky called me this morning, and the coffee called me this afternoon.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The XWray Café in Essex Street hits all the requirements of a favourite place:  great vibe, delicious food and smooth coffee.

???????????????????????  ???????????????????????  ???????????????????????  ???????????????????????

???????????????????????    ???????????????????????

Freo always delivers the goods.

To resort, or not resort?…

When we travel we like to explore and meander and wander. We’re not guided tour types, and we’ve never been resort holiday types. We’re more the plan-our-own-itinerary-drive-ourselves-or-catch-buses-or-trains-stay-in-apartments/B’n’Bs/holiday home/campsites types.

Having not done the resort thing before, it didn’t occur to me there would be additional costs outside of ‘half board’ breakfast & dinner package. I have a vague recollection of being told there were, but I think the information kind of vapourised in my brain before it had a chance to register.

(Once I’ve made a decision and booked something, I pay no attention to the detail. Probably I need to pay more attention in future).

My surprise at additional costs aside, the Intercontinental Mauritius has been delightful. The quality of the facilities, food, service, views, and staff is exceptional.

IMG_3310

IMG_3414 IMG_3339

If a person was inclined they could spend their entire holiday within the gates of a resort.

We haven’t, because that’s not how we roll.

Today we explored Trou Aux Biches and Grand Baie:

IMG_3550

I’d never understood the appeal of the beach recliner/umbrella thing. They don’t exist on most Australian beaches and I’d always written them off as unnecessary.

I was wrong. They are awesome.

IMG_3551 IMG_3562

IMG_3546

We enjoyed more creative driving and interesting roads:
IMG_3570 IMG_3572

IMG_3591

Tomorrow we fly home and yet I feel like there’s more of Mauritius to taste.

Maybe this was just the entree…

IMG_3291 IMG_3044

IMG_3049 IMG_3287

We’ll come back again to savour more flavours.

IMG_3511 IMG_3623

From a holiday house or apartment….

Websites and folk I found useful – and you might too if ever you’re thinking of traveling to Mauritius (I’m not paid to promote these, I simply liked ’em so thought I’d share the love):
http://www.discovermauritiusisland.com/
http://www.tourism-mauritius.mu/
http://www.mauritius-islander.com/

http://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/balaclava/mruma/hoteldetail
http://bonaventure.com.au/