Oct. 28th, 2004 10:04 pm
icepixie: (Joe and Polly - Sky Captain)
So Ellen and I discovered the English equivalent of Entertaining Cookies at £-Stretcher today. They're called Corinthians. They're not quite the same, but pretty good anyway. And when I say "pretty good," I mean I've eaten a third of the package already. Sigh. That's the problem with those things...they're so light and airy that you think, "oh that wasn't enough, I'll have another"...about twenty times. Oops.
icepixie: (October twilight)
Well, Dartmoor didn't go quite as planned. So it's a good thing that I (planner and control freak extraordinaire) was with [ profile] rowdycamels and [ profile] softstepshoes, who are good at improvising, or the day could have gone very bad very quickly.

Anyway. We'd intended to take the bus to the Miniature Pony Farm and Petting Zoo, then wander around the moors until the bus came to pick us up. It sort of worked. We got on the bus, but it went flying past the pony place before we could blink. Undaunted, we decided to wait for the next stop and walk back...except the next stop was several miles away. So no ponies for us. We'll see them when we go back in the spring, along with the otter and butterfly sanctuary. Because in the spring, we're making someone take us in a car. The buses try hard, and they go to a lot of interesting places from Exeter, but they don't go between these interesting places, which is sort of what we wanted.

Anyway, we eventually got off the bus and walked a little ways to a village called Princetown. We had lunch at a great little cafe--great fish and chips, really nice people, all in all a lovely place. Then we went to the visitors' center to see which of the myriad stone circles on our map we should attempt to hike to in our limited time.

Really, really glad we talked to the people there, because the guy there mentioned that bushwhacking was a bad, bad idea without at least a massive map and a compass, if not a tent and a week's worth of food, not to mention knee-high waders. Okay, we probably would have figured this out on our own before we got lost beyond all hope of finding the road again, but it was good to know not to even try it. Unlike certain professors who I will not name, we weren't that interested in falling in a bog.

Instead, the guy suggested we try the track made by an old, disused railroad, which was infinitely better than wandering around open moorland. Okay, so sometimes it wasn't so much a track as a streambed, but at least it was marked... Although it was hard not to get blown off it by the wind. I had NO IDEA how windy it is on those moors. NONE. Holy crap. It was constant, with big gusts every few minutes. I'm no good at judging windspeed, but a rough guess would be sustained winds of 30-40 mph, with gusts up to 70 mph. I felt like I was in a the outer bands of a hurricane, or possibly a small tornado. The birds were having serious flying issues. During the big gusts, you could lean forward past your center of gravity, and the wind would hold you up for a few seconds. It was crazy. And of course, it was also quite cold, even when we were walking and attempting to work up a sweat.

We walked through a bunch of sheep fields (sheep just sort of roam free all through the park, as far as I can tell) and tussocky things strewn with blocks of granite, and eventually stumbled upon some circular formations of stone. I think they were the foundations of medieval, or possibly earlier, huts. Very cool. We kept walking, and soon came to the remains of a disused quarry (rock from which presumably the railroad was built to carry) that was great fun to wander around in. There were hollowed-out remains of two buildings, the purpose of which we never figured out, as well as the quarry itself, which was probably pretty small as quarries go, but still impressive. Of course, it was filled with water, which the wind whipped up into rather large waves, considering the fact that it was protected on all sides by rock. Oh, and there were more sheep, of course.

Wandering back, Chandra and I first decided to dance on the moor. I've forgotten most of the Irish step dance steps she's taught me, so I was sort of making up my own thing, but she did something recognizable. Recognizable as what, I have no idea, but I'm sure it was. We then ran into one of the famed Dartmoor ponies, or at any rate a pony, who was very interested in any food we might be able to give him/her. Mmmm, ginger snap. Feeling a bit hungry ourselves, and having an hour before the bus would be back by, we had a cream tea at that cafe we stopped at for lunch. I so need to figure out a way to import clotted cream back to the US.

Anyway, bus back to Exeter, walk back to Lafrowda, collapse in exhaustion. I'm finally able to contemplate dinner after that cream tea at 3:30, so I suppose I'll go do that. Pictures in a bit!
icepixie: (Default)
I could only gasp in happy surprise and melancholy when, looking out from the top of a hill, I saw over a stand of pine trees the bowl of a pale blue sky, draped softly in wispy clouds, and for just a moment, was standing outside Peirce on an icy mid-February afternoon in Gambier.


I finally made quesadillas tonight, and OMG, yum. Need to make more of those immediately. Well, after I finish the three I have put in the freezer. Er, yes. I used corn tortillas instead of flour ones, which I think was a good change. Also, no tomatoes in the filling, just beef, refried beans, taco spice, and cheese. Then sauteed in olive oil. Mmmmm.


Also on the food front, TESCO HAS TIM TAMS!!! If you've ever had these paragons of the cookie world, you'll know why I'm screaming and bouncing in ecstasy. If you haven't, find a way to get your hands on some, because they're the best cookies ever. I thought they were only in Australia, but no, they're in England, too. Mmmmmmmmmm.


London trip report's gonna depend on how much I want to procrastinate tonight. I think we're all still catching up on work. But if not tonight, definitely tomorrow. I've already resized and uploaded the pictures.


Last but most definitely not least, [ profile] spockette is 18 today! Eeeeee! *throws lots of confetti* *hugs twin* Happy birthday, Kim!

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