Sucking bits through a straw

I’m sitting in a narrow hallway upstairs in a house that Wordsworth once owned, where a chair is set up next to the WiFi router.  It is surreal.  The wallpaper is exactly the floral pattern you’re imagining.  Hell, I’ll post a photo.  The data is trickling by.  I really wanted to watch the WWDC keynote!

This is how it’s been every night: sitting in just the right spot to even negotiate a connection to the world’s shittiest uplink, and then sharing it with every other person in the building.  A dedicated 9600 baud modem would be more responsive.  Welcome to the boonies of Northern England!  Not great for blogging.

Yesterday was a tough 15 mile slog up Haystacks and down through some slate quarries.  Tim and I waited at Honister Hause (which closed moments after we arrived) for 1.5 hours for the last hikers to persevere down from the old tramway, and we didn’t get to our lodging in Stonethwait until 9pm.  Luckily the others ordered dinner for us before the kitchen closed!

Today was much more reasonable.  3 rode the bus, leaving 8 Pebbles to go a mere 8 miles with similar elevation profile as yesterday.  We enjoyed the late morning (10am!) hike from Borrowdale to Grasmere, and arrived at 4pm.  This is more like it!  I finally had time to put my beard in the trash bin, but only after treating it to a last request (Cornwall’s Beard Oil, courtesy of Jenny Jen Jen).

Who knows whether I’ll get real broadband at any point which would permit sharing some real photos, or if I’ll get some “free time” from this sleep/eat/hike/eat schedule to make it happen.  But I’ll at least share one anecdote here.

We were parked on the side of the trail for a late morning break yesterday when one of the hikers, name withheld to protect the guilty, borrowed my portable shovel to “take a walk in the woods.”  This shovel, formerly known as Bertha, but renamed to Raoul the Trowel on this trip, has been hiking with me for years as a sort of insurance policy, but has never been used.  Yesterday it was to be finally christened.  Only the user returned with an unsullied Raoul, and a mortified facial expression.  “Mission accomplished, but I couldn’t find… it!”  Clothing was inspected carefully, but it will hopefully remain an unsolved mystery of Ennerdale Water.

Tomorrow we’re off to Patterdale.  My new aerodynamic profile should afford me a personal record on this trek.  Here’s hoping Patterdale’s Internet can follow suit!

2 thoughts on “Sucking bits through a straw”

  1. For those who wonder how to do a repeat pattern that doesn’t look like a repeat pattern – look at the shift down for a clue. They were/are brilliant!

    Look for the seam above and right of the router, find the solo red flower, then find the solo red flower again above the antenna.

    Art geeks are greater than math geeks.

    -mr. bill

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