Thursday, 14 September 2017

Day 13 - The Neverending Story

Chippy tea
It would be very easy to say that the Spirit Trail is over, but the reality is it's only just begun.  Me & Karen have completed the inaugural lap and, once we've got our book sorted (looking like an ebook just now unless any of you know any publishers) we sincerely hope that you'll be following in our footsteps, visiting some of the quieter corners of Cumbria and discovering for yourselves the amazing drinks we've enjoyed along the way.  I'll do a proper "end of term" blog tomorrow to properly credit all of the producers who took the time to meet with us - those we made appointments with and those who fed us when we just dropped in on them (I'm looking at you Ginger Bakers!) - but for now, what happened on the final day?

We finished off day 12 with a chippy tea on Whitehaven Harbour and, rather than celebrate our success until the wee small hours, we were both tucked up in bed for another early night - honestly, this really hasn't been the drunken fest everyone appears to think it was.  I am far to old to hike with a hangover and drinking before we hit the trails would just have been silly (actually, I take it back - there was one minor hangover and I know exactly who to blame - this time I'm looking at you Kendal Mint Cake Liqueur - their cocktails are divine but lethal!)

Anyway, following an entertaining night in a B&B which shall remain nameless but appears to have considered the 12 episodes of Fawlty Towers as "How to run a B&B" training videos (the full story will be in the book!) we ventured down to The Rum Story in heart of Whitehaven.

I was properly surprised by how big the place is - it looks just like a shop front and a small alleyway from the street but opens up, and up, and up inside.  It is really cheap to go around (£5.95 for adults) and there is loads to see and do.  Very imaginative and interactive it takes you through the history of Jefferson's rum and around the world in 3 floors of videos, information boards and rainforests.

Of course, by the time we finished, we were really keen to sample some of the rum and it didn't disappoint - it was great to finish off with something different and with such a long and fascinating history.  (I headed home with a tub of rum butter, a miniature of rum and a hunk of tea bread just in the interests of conducting full and proper research!)

Happy that our mission was complete we headed for Whitehaven harbour - I absolutely adore the harbour and it was great to visit on such a gloriously sunny day.  We've had our fair share of showers this past week but seeing as most of the producers we met with rely on Cumbrian water, that's perhaps just as well.

Whitehaven Harbour
We hopped on the coast train from Whitehaven (where it was fab to meet another Twitter friend (Not) Posh Dave - this entire adventure wouldn't have happened without social media and I love it when I meet folks in person) and the weather was perfect for enjoying the views all the way back around the coast to Ulverston and our starting point.

View from the train
Black Combe

Where it all began
Neither of us can believe how quickly it's raced past - we've had amazing highs as well as an assortment of challenging moments but we got through them all and never got lost once (well, apart from the very start when I took us down the wrong street in Ulverston less then 5 minutes after leaving Virginia House).  I'll do a proper round up tomorrow because right now I can hear the bath calling to me - for now I shall leave you with our first and last selfies and, if you want to know all the details of what happened inbetween these two photos, you'll have to buy the book!  😊

"What the hell are we getting into?!"

With the lovely Louise at The Rum Story

I'll put a full set of clicky links on here tomorrow but below is a list of all of our supporters ALL of whom deserve a "like" and a "follow" - we really do appreciate every last ounce of support we've received.

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