Monday, 20 May 2013

Life in the fast lane

Saturday was a new experience for me. I drove on the left side of the road for the first time...legally.

Emily, a fellow American horse lover, agreed to go to the western part of the Lake District to gallop horses on the beach (Thanks, Groupon!). Unfortunately for me, I didn't do enough transportation research before buying the Groupon and booking our date. While there is a train station in the tiny village of Silecroft, the train times are sporadic, require many changes, and the latest time we could leave the village to get back to Manchester would be during our ride.


So we had to get a rental car. No big deal as it was cheaper to rent a car than take the train anyway. After figuring out which side of the car I should get into, we hit the road. The first leg of the journey was on the motorway. As long as I remembered to pass on the right, everything went smoothly. And then we reached the country roads. Now, in the US, country roads are glorious, easy, winding roads that make for good conversations and decompression after a long day. In England, they can cause heart attacks. The country roads are as wide as two cars, if the side view mirrors are touching each other and the ancient stone walls on either side of the road. And they're full of complete maniacs.

You can imagine my surprise as an Audi came careening around a blind corner at 70 mph in my lane! Needless to say, Emily and I were a bit on edge, uttering obscenities, and praying to any god that would listen that we would survive this experience. And by "this experience" I am referring to the car ride, not the horses. The horse riding would be easy-peasy compared to the driving stress!

Once we made it to the stables, we had a glorious ride down the beach, hooting and hollering our horses on as we galloped along the waves. We had ear to ear smiles the whole time. The rain even let up for the two hours on horseback!

At the end of the day, we made it home safely. I only drifted to the right side of the road once in the travels, but not to worry, both humans and car made it back to Manchester intact. It may have been a stressful journey, but it was definitely worth my moustached horse ride on the beach and the beautiful scenery of the Lake District.

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