Wednesday, 30 May 2007

"Oh dear what can the matter be"

After Beverley & Glenda left I checked out what Hebden had to offer. It seemed to have everything I needed, Launderette, Library & Tourist Information Centre and all in a very pretty touristy town.

At the T.I.C. I was delighted to see there was a "Hebden Bridge to Howarth Way" Clearly a good enough reason to get off the Pennine Way. Sally would be delighted with the detour.

After a browse around I walked back to the hostel. This meant we could start at Hebden tomorrow & wisely avoid going over "Studely Pike" It was only about 3.5 miles, a pleasant stroll along the canal...or so I thought. Not so easy in flip-flops, especially the hairpin hike up the road at the end. I started out admiring the cute little cottages that backed onto the water & then it all got a bit seedy. The barges looked dirty & delapidated & so did the "Weirdo's" coming down the canal towards me. Then I passed by some sort of scruffy commune, an assortment of sheds, some broken bikes & an untidy allottment. It was all to reminiscent of the "Avon Trail" out of Bristol & I flip-flopped as quick as I could out of there.

I'd already decided I wasn't going to "eat in" I wasn't into company & one quick look in the communal lounge meant I'd made the right decision. They were all just to butch & hairy, male & female. I quickly sped off to the safety of my room only to find all 3 other beds had been taken. Rucksacks & possesions were all around and I had to get out of there, and quickly, before my "room mates" came back. Luckily, the old dear on duty, found me another room (with 4 beds) & I just prayed no-one would check in before 11pm.

It got to about 8.30pm & I thought I'd get ready to stroll across the Sheep Field to the pub. Suddenly I heard banging & shouting, and it just went on..I thought "Oh no, just like the YMCA in Liverpool in 1990, the drunks are back" but it was a bit early for that & then I realised the noise was coming from the toilet next door. I went to investigate. There was an old man hovering outside. It seemed to be his wife that was locked in. He didn't say..anything. No words of encouragement like "Don't worry dear we'll get you out" So it was down to me & the old lady on night duty. She got into a dither & couldn't find the screwdrivers. 20 minutes later we were getting nowhere. I was resigning myself to a bag of crisps for dinner when down the corridor strolled three cyclists. (I didn't know that until later) but in a trice one of them whipped out his cycling repair kit & opened the door!

I raced out of the door & up the field into the pub. After last nights meal I knew what to do. Order at the food Bar first, then get a drink from the bar. I breathlessly apologised for my late arrival, it was a minute off 9.30-latest food order time- explaining my predicament. "That's fine" he said "It's Saturday, & we take orders up until 10pm"

As I left, I met up with the cyclists & got into conversation as we walked back. One of them had cycled from John O Groats to Lands End in 11 days!

I opened the door with relief that the room was empty. It was 11pm & I was safely on my own!

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