SUP Accident at Weir in Wales?

Yes, the Derwent Water (lake) is in the Lakes District on the west side of England about 200 km northwest of the river by the same name (which is 50 km west of the North Sea on the eastern coast…

We did not make it as far north as the Derwent Water on a bus tour I took through the Lakes District with my mom on one trip there in the 1990s. We were staying in Harrogate and taking guided daily outings mostly around the North Moors and Yorkshire Dales,

I decided I hated bus tours on that trip but being with my little old lady mom and her retired friends it was really the only practical option. I bailed on the group trip a couple of the days so I could explore Harrogate on foot or take a bus to an adjacent town and poke around on my own.

Though on my last trip there 4 years ago I was only 3 years younger than my mom was on that rigidly organized bus tour. In 2017 I went on my own, hauling one of my folding kayaks along, rented a sweet cottage on a working Yorkshire farm (the cottage was part of a converted milking barn), rented a Citroen Cactus station wagon and took my time exploring Yorkshire at my leisure including hill walking, kayaking and canoeing.

Ah, the joy of driving a right hand drive 5 speed stick (shifting with the left hand, of course) on the “wrong” side of roads only about 1.5 lanes wide with traffic circles everywhere instead of intersections and cloverleafs. But the Citroen had black out back windows so when I was far afield for the day I could fold down the rear seats and crawl in the back to nap between my hikes and museum and historic site visits.

The paddling days were lovely and it felt like Ratty and Mole from Wind in the Willows would appear any moment poling their little skiff along the meandering rivers that wound through the bucolic landscapes.

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Yes I have driven in the UK many times and have learned to make sure I am getting an automatic ( doesn’t always work though). I also try to pick up the car in quiet town or at least far from London. Last time I drove a stick in England, my wife scheduled to have us drop the car at Heathrow at 5:00 PM ( not fun). The Lakes District is fantastic, we spent a week hiking and biking there, staying on a farm too. I’m hoping to get back to the UK for some visits before I am too old to hike and bike and paddle.

Actually I drive a stick full time at home (6 speed Mazda wagon) so I deliberately reserved the Cactus for that trip. I enjoy a stick, but it probably was not the best choice that time because I was alone. Having to engage both hands all the time meant I had a great deal of trouble wayfinding in the car. If I had had a copilot I could have probably navigated with less trouble. The road signage and ramp marks in the UK are maddening, Every little oddly named village is marked at each of the M and A system interchanges but not the route numbers or major cities (or airports) you might be trying to reach. Unless you know in advance that the rotary marked “Bungberry Squatch” or “Wesr Hassit Upson Downs” is where you have to get off to find your way to M-103 and the Manchester airport you are basically f…d. And even if you make it to the right rotary you might have to madly drive around it a dozen times with the locals honking at you the whole time as you try to read all of the dropoff signs that tend to be smothered in unpruned shrubberies. And lord help you if you panic and bail onto a strange exit, only to find yourself on a 1.5 lane wide country way flanked by 10’ high dense hedges with no place to turn around for miles.

The major kerfluffle of the trip was when I got tremendously lost trying to get back to the airport on my last day, had no cell phone service and the GPS screen in the Cactus was incomprehensible, I missed my flight back to the states via Rekyavik by 10 minutes and it was the last flight for Icelandair that day so they had closed up their counter and gone home. The Traveler’s Aid counter folks helped me connect with a kindly windowed retiree who rents out all the bedrooms in his house near the airport to airport personnel and airline staff laying over. The 60 quid for a night there and transport to and from the airport was a minor glitch. The big hit was having to pay $1100 to book on the return flight the next day. My original round trip ticket was only $560.