Tag Archives: Travel
Becky

The English Man Who Went Up A Hill And Came Down A Mountain

(Except, there were two of us, and we’re both women)

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.” ~ Steve Wright

It’ll be good for us to get out for a quick walk, she said. We’ll just have a wander round the reservoir, she said. It’ll only be four miles, she said.

We ended up here.

Hallam Moor

Well, do you see a reservoir?

The ‘walk’ started off sedately enough. We parked up and went for a stroll along a nice, well-trodden, bridle-path, stopping every three minutes to take pictures of the pretty scenery.

One Logs

TwoThreeFour Mushrooms

No, it's just you. You have a dirty mind.

No, it’s just you. You have a dirty mind.

SixSevenEight

This occupied us for about an hour or so, but, then we reached the point where the bridleway joined back on to the road. So we needed to choose a new path.

So we, reasonably enough, followed a sign saying ‘Public Footpath’.

Which in hindsight may have been an error.

And the first sign that this may have been the case came just five metres in, when, just after we’d confronted The Limbo Tree, we found ourselves edging along a rock face to avoid falling into the stream… I mean, violently surging river.

The Limbo Tree

The Limbo Tree

Proper public footpaths do, as a general rule, tend to have actual paths.

Then we had to climb quite a bit. Up a rocky trail, following in the footprints of some dog who appeared have been that way before.

Its Just Up HereAnd, somehow, instead of coming to the reservoir, we ended up on the moor.

Moor OneMoor TwoMoor ThreeMoor FourMoor Five

A moor with a big fence across the middle. And instructions.

Fence

But we weren’t lost, because there was a sign…

Look, we're not lost, there's a sign!

Look, we’re not lost, there’s a sign!

We followed the arrow pointing upwards, since it was the only one that pointed in the direction of a passable way.

We thought if we carried on the short way up to the top of the hill we’d be able to see where we were and find our way.

Only, as we carried on, so did the hill. It kept growing.

Every time we though we were just getting to the top of it, another top appeared higher up and further away. It was though someone was watching us, and every time we were almost at the top of the peak, they dropped another bit in and laughed at us.

And then we lost the path entirely.

An Then We Lost The FootpathNo Path

And yet, somehow, we weren’t particularly worried.

We eventually found another, proper, path, that looked as though it might lead us back to civilisation.

Back To Civilisation

That ran along beside a snowy river.

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We also found a thing.

3tHWLlOK_22wlx6s_ltjUrKf803974P4Pl8e8YwxyHc

And a touching, memorial bench.

"For Minnie Smith and her son Donald, who so enjoyed this view."

“For Minnie Smith and her son Donald, who so enjoyed this view.”

And the Smiths didn’t have half bad taste in views.

The ViewView TwoView ThreeBut we really knew we were getting closer to where we wanted to be when we came across some horses.

3sdK954uH6Gb1D-EnJMMQa17nUVZpGeA3ZYmWjQzNJ4oDakV-PVGEo-6DAzxx4ad9gxj6uliM2z0hf-9qF6ryo0Uq29g6yjCkfJVXHrNvVLXpkY03RhCVsg_hBU1RlDlwAnd a farm-house.

Farm HouseAnd some sheep.

izdqtP2C1Wm9xQbt40TzRzFbzWVLIVOouSnGXW2civsniyFxEUU1lV5bzm0PSplEbF-oemm3Z0LWCmK1c0m5HUAnd we did eventually find the reservoir.

We Finally Found The Reservoirs8lcHX48oxYp-H5LgLEhYCFoN2zYpSzhpDLd6X959Kk4wWMiT2dyAOpdJmEyOVVnHi4gAnfAd1jvCBv1uyPuDw0fDi2gNLUAHfGjJuSVXCsOqi1WcpG--SfKXF_i5gG2g

And the road back to the car.

These guys were beside it.

"What are you doing?"

“What are you doing?”

"Huh, not feeding me."

“Huh, not feeding me.”

"Well, in that case, I'm not interested. I'll be getting back to my grass then."

“Well, in that case, I’m not interested. I’ll be getting back to my grass then.”

And set off home about five hours later than we’d originally planned.

Stopping on the way for a nice cup of tea. And a fantastic country pub lunch of pork, mashed potato, and vegetables, inside a huge Yorkshire pudding, and covered in gravy. Followed by a banana split.

None of which I remembered to take pictures of, but then again, this post is probably quite long enough already.

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One Night In Bangkok

The WordPress Daily Prompts are always suggesting that we should mix it up a bit in terms of the things we write and take the opportunity to try things new. So, while I’m none too keen on the idea of writing my obituary as suggested in today’s prompt, I thought I’d give the broader suggestion a go and tell you a story.

Once upon a time I took a trip to Thailand with an old, male friend from university. On one particular evening we fancied a night out so I suggested that we hit Patpong.

Patpong is the district with the gay bars and the ping-pong sex shows. We weren’t particularly interested in going to a gay bar, and we definitely didn’t want to see a ping-pong sex show, but I thought there’d be more than a few normal bars to choose from in a party district.

It seems I thought wrong.

Or, at least if I wasn’t we didn’t manage to find any.

It may be that the cab ride should have told us something. We jumped in and asked to go to a bar, any bar, in Patpong, where we could just have a drink.

The driver took us straight to a ping-pong show that he said was run by his friend.

When we protested and asked that he drive us to a proper bar, he left us outside a little, uninspiring place that had a bunch of people sitting outside eating. It wasn’t quite what we had in mind. We decided to carry on walking and find our own bar.

As we wandered up and down the main street we ran a gauntlet of insistent men thrusting ping-pong menus in our faces, trying to entice us into their shows.

We plowed on passed them until we reached the corner of a side street that housed a lively bar/club, with lots of people milling around outside. My friend brightened up, he thought this was the kind of place he’d been looking for, he made a turn down into the side street to see what else there was on offer.

Now I don’t know what he thought he was looking at, but what I saw on the corner was a bar with hot pink neon lights, that was blaring out Culture Club, and teaming with middle-aged, western men cruising pretty, young Thai boys.

When we turned down into the side street I saw the scene you can see in the photo above. Complete with an all male brothel.

I commented that I suddenly felt conspicuously female.

This didn’t appear to trigger any realisation of where it was that we were in my friend’s head. In fact he didn’t notice that we’d happened upon the gay red light district until someone tried to physically man-handle him into the brothel.

Then he couldn’t get out of the place quickly enough.

He all but ran.

Right passed a female prostitute who he also failed to notice, despite the fact that she propositioned us both.

We hit the end of the street and the only thing ahead was a darkened, multi-lane flyover, so we turned and made our way back towards the action. Ending up outside a string of go-go bars.

Here again the touts tried to persuade us to follow them into their ping-pong shows.

My friend became exasperated. He insisted to the touts that he had no intention of ever watching a ping-pong show, he just wanted to find a place where he could have a normal drink in a normal bar.

One of the promoters promised that he did in fact have such a place. So we followed him up a flight of stairs. Where again the ping-pong menus were thrust in our faces.

At this point my friend lost it. He plowed passed the promoters, back down the stairs, and dived into the first place he saw that served beer. Exclaiming that he just wanted somewhere to get a drink.

The looks on the faces on the bar staff said it all – “Then what on earth have you come in here for?”.

But we stayed. For quite a few drinks actually. Even after he eventually noticed the pole-dancing boys and girls in the room next door, the wide-boy from Dudley negotiating the price of a night with one of said girls right across from us at the bar, and the steady procession of slightly self-conscious men and women walking up and down the stairs to the brothel behind it.

Hell, we even stayed while the place was raided.

Although the Thai’s don’t carry out their raids in the same way the Brits and Americans do it in the movies. This was the politest raid I’ve ever seen. At least fifty male and female officers in uniform walked into the place, basically filling it, and then they just stood there.

The music was turned off and the dancers climbed down from their poles, but other than that nothing appeared to be happening. A slightly older man who appeared to be the chief police officer strutted up and down a bit, but the rest of the police just stood in formation, without doing or saying anything.

At this point, for some reason, I decided I wanted another beer.

The waitresses looked at me as though I was crazy, but the madam practically fell off her bar stool in her haste to help me to another drink. She made a big show of it for the amassed spectators, as if to say, “See, look, these people are just here to drink. This is just a bar. Really.”

And the bar was where the police people stayed, they took a cursory look around the dancing rooms but not one of them looked as if they were ever going to see what was happening upstairs. Even though prostitution is illegal in Thailand. It was unclear why the search, if that’s what it was, was so reticent; if we knew that the place was a whore house then there’s no chance the police could have missed it.

After about twenty minutes, just as quietly as they’d come in, the police officers all filed away again.

The music went back on, the dancing resumed, and everyone went back to business.

Then the police piled back in again, about fifteen minutes later, in the same manner as they had before. But this time nobody stopped doing anything. The madam behind the bar pulled out some framed certificates and put them on the bar, I haven’t a clue what they were as I can’t read Thai, but the police chief didn’t even look at them.

I would have said the the lack of fuss that was made about the laws that were being flagrantly broken would seem to suggest that some sort of kick-back had been paid. But we didn’t see anything to confirm this. All we saw was a comically civilised raid.

Eventually the police drifted away.

After that we carried on drinking beer, at the bar in the middle of the brothel, until 2.00am. When they closed and kicked us out, and we headed back to sleepy China Town.

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