Monday, December 7, 2009

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2009

22nd July 2009:
I get an invite for joining the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. All charged up preparing for the Coast to Coast Walk in UK, I decided to go for the full one.

09th September 2009:
My organization’s “Road Runner Co-Captain” gets worried and urges me to rethink. He gives me an option to downgrade to half marathon or 10K race. The thrill of completing the Coast to Coast walk (as well as ego) prevents me from doing it.

September to Mid-October:
Nothing done and no practice. Plans to start practice on 7th October, becomes lazy and postpones to the following weekend.

Second half of October:

Falls sick with a terrible chest infection and was bed ridden for a few days. And still no practice.

1st December to 4th December:
Panic kicks in. Even though chest infection is not fully gone, starts with short walks after office hours.

5th December, 8:00 AM:
Goes for a 4 hour 20 kilometer walk. Clearly legs are refusing to cooperate. Why did I let this happen?

5th December, 7:30 PM:
As I have to wake up at 3:00 AM tomorrow, goes to sleep early. Frequent nightmares during sleep.

6th December, 3:01 AM:
Alarm rings, jumps out of bed in panic. Realizes the D-day is upon me. Water heater doesn’t work. A cold water bath takes drains away whatever confidence and energy left.

6th December, 4:00 AM:
Taxi arrives. Driver is amused (putting it simply) that I am going for a full marathon this early in the morning.

6th December, 5:00 AM:
Arrives at the start point at Esplanade Bridge. Loads and loads of people are walking in. Everyone looks energetic (and well toned). Cool weather. Everything looks perfect for everyone (except me). Different sections for different abilities – people who can complete marathon in less than 3 hours, less than 4 hours, less than 5 hours. I join the last group, greater than 5 hours.

6th December, 5:30 AM:
Kick off. I am realizing 7,500 people running generate a lot of heat. The cool morning suddenly becomes a very hot an humid morning. I started walking slowly (yes, I decided to walk!) and get pushed to one side by the large number of eager runners. Starts walking in the foot path not to get run over.

3 kilometers:
After a U turn, I cross the start point (on the other side of the road). 3 kilometers in 25 minutes not bad!

5 kilometers:
Still walking through the main streets of Singapore (which is shutdown for traffic). I get to see places I haven’t ever seen in Singapore.

7 kilometers:
Hears the shout “100 Plus, 100 meters ahead”. What a nice marketing. 100 Plus is an isotonic drink (and I am assuming a co-sponsor)

8 kilometers:
Just crossed the lead runners (on the other side of the road) who are coming back. These folks have covered 34+ kilometers while I have just covered 8!

12 kilometers:
Walking through the East Coast Park is much more fun than walking on the roads. But sand keeps going into my shoes - which is very irritating. So I have to clean my shoes. Looking down for the first time, I started realizing my legs are paining.

15 kilometers:
Feeling hungry I eat a banana. Toss the banana skin carefully to one side. The whole route is littered with banana skins and water cups. Feels terrible about the student volunteers who are putting an extra effort in cleaning up the litter.

18 kilometers:
Who ever said that a marathon is “Mind over body” was exaggerating. It is just “Mind over Calf muscle”. Calf muscle is paining and started almost having muscle cramps. Eat another banana (potassium in banana is supposed to be good to avoid cramps). Knee also starts paining.

20 kilometers:
Still not half way though. Thigh muscles, calf muscles and heels are all paining. I am also wondering when my knee will give up. The only encouraging sign is that there are still people behind me!

21 kilometers:
What a relief. Half way though rather unceremoniously. A race official is happily snoozing off at the half way mark. The chip tied to the shoes beeps, ensuring that I have covered 22 km and did not cheat.

22 kilometers:
Gets a free Power Bar, an energy gel. The only thing noticeable was the not so good taste and a note which said it had too much caffeine. This stuff gives an amazing boost to your energy and starts walking faster and faster. The pains are forgotten.

25 kilometers:
Power bar boost is gone like a balloon that went bust. Pain returns with amazing vigor. It is also becoming very hot. Funniest thing – some are distributing hot dogs to marathon walkers! But I was hungry and I ate one! Anything to keep the mind away from the pain was welcome

27 kilometers:
Wife calls wondering why I haven’t come back. She is not very happy when I mentioned that I plan to walk the entire distance (and I did not believe I could do that)

28 kilometers:
Organizers step in the way and suggest the few of us (trailing few) stop walking as it is “too late” and the roads will open soon. They also carefully mention that last year “many people were admitted in the ICU”. Some panics, decides to stop walking, but for some of us, it was “having walked this far, I am not giving up”. We get warnings about “be careful about the traffic and don’t get hit”.

31 kilometers:
Out of East Coast Park and back on the main roads. Roads are half opened (just one direction) for traffic.

33 kilometers:
A boy jumps out from the corner saying “You are my hero. I would have died if I walked this long”. I am sure he was trying to motivate me – but suddenly words like “death”, “accident” and “faint” comes to my mind and doesn’t go away. The heat becomes unbearable on the main roads.
34 kilometers:
Crosses the National Stadium. A bus stops nearby and a guy gets out and says “You can get into the bus and we will drop you just before the finish line. And YOU WILL GET YOUR CERTIFIACTE”. The last part of the offer makes many of them get into the bus. Cheating…. Cheating… Suddenly there are only 3 or 4 people behind me.

37 kilometers:
Meets Chan, a 79 year old marathoner who has completed 18 already. Feels ashamed of myself and start moving faster along with him. Walking along with a person who is twice older than you is a better boost than the Power Bar.

39 kilometers:
We now have escort as we are the “final batch”. Half a dozen vehicles are behind us with all the light and sirens. A few of them behind me “falls off” (in fact one person just fainted and actually fell). Suddenly the prospect of being the last person to complete the marathon becomes a reality. No way would I let this happen. Started walking fast will all the energy left and managed to overtake a dozen people.

41.5 kilometers:
Can hear the music and noise at the finishing point. Very, very thrilled. An MC catches me, spells my name wrongly, and then praises me with hundreds watching. Not sure that I felt happy or sad!

Finishing line:
The clock flashed 8 hours 51 minutes but I should have taken lesser time. The clock started (I believe) when the first person crossed the start line. I was behind in the start line and would have started 3-4 minutes or so later.

Collects the medal and T-Shirt. The person who gave it to me wasn’t very comfortable when I told him I finished the marathon (I wonder why)! Goes to my company’s tent and found it empty. So heads back home.

I wasn’t the first or I wasn’t the last, but I completed my first full marathon!

Every part of the body is paining. Strangely there is upper body pain also.

Surprisingly pain is gone. Wondering whether it is really gone or will it make a comeback on day 3, like other runners mentioned. Also saw the timings on the website.

Singapore Marathon Results

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 2: Preparing for a Coast to Coast Walk

Today’s Walk: Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite (07/August)

Stayed at Fox and Hounds, Ennerdale Bridge. Rating Expensive rates (food at the restaurant also was expensive) and an average stay – together not a good combination. Co-walkers mentioned a nearby pub which offered accommodation as well was a much better and cheaper choice.

Before I describe today’s walk, let me start with my 8 step planning process for a Coast to Coast Walk.

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Step 1: Find a reason

Everyone goes for a long walk for different reasons. Some does it for getting away from the rigors of life. Some does it to enjoy nature and explore new places. Some does it as an exercise. Some does it to loose weight. And some does to drinking all the beers that are available – like Dr. Steven Sullivan.

What is your reason?

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Step 2: Check out your personality

What sort of a personality do you have and what sort of a holiday do you want? On one extreme are people who would you like to sit on the beach quietly and read a book. On the other extreme are the skydivers who needs the adrenaline rush. If you are neither one of this, and is in the middle, walking/ trekking may be for you. Here is a low strain activity (at least I thought so, but wasn’t the case), that helps you to enjoy new sceneries every minute of the walk (and meet a few like minded people each day). Last thirty minutes doesn’t look like the next thirty minutes (like being on a beach) and the fun doesn’t just last 30 seconds (like the skydiver).


Step 3: Look at the mirror (That’s where I started)

If walk for you means walking from your cubicle to the meeting room or from your car to the supermarket, Coast to Coast walk isn’t for you (yet). You need at least 3 months of preparation (don’t be disheartened – I needed 10 months of preparation). You must be physically prepared where you can walk 20 kilometres each day on a weekend for this walk. Make sure you have worn (“broken in”) your trekking shoes for a few weeks and there are no more cracked skins and blisters.

If you are a “good walker” you can easily cover the Coast to Coast walk 10 days - some one has run the whole distance in 36 hours! Ordinary mortals like me need 14 days. Some take 15 with a day break in the middle – after all you need time to wash your clothes and do a foot massage.

Despite all these advices which I am giving out like an expert, on day two of my walk all I can think is My Foot - it pains. Why did I get into this?



Step 4: Where to start (Look at Wainwright and Web)

In this 21st century, there are a lot of web resources available to help you prepare for this trip. But every one should to start with Alfred Wainright’s book before anything else. Though the original book is many decades old, it has been refreshed to keep up with times (and ever changing landscape and land zoning rules). A very good amount of information is available in the web as well which is continuously being updated by walkers all around the world.



Step 5: When to Walk

Britain is defined as a country with Four seasons in one day! Even then try not to do this from November to March unless otherwise you are from the poles. It is way too cold. July and August are peak periods (but still there is too much of land area to make you feel lonely), so book the hotels in advance.



Step 6: Groupie or Solo

In a group of friends and family you find happiness and safety; being alone you finds solitude.

I would have loved to walk with my family. But until my kids grow up it is not going to happen. Yeah, my 5 year old son can walk 5 kilometres. After that I have to carry him (I tried it once).



Step 7: Accommodation

Here you have three choices:

1) A well planned trip with accommodation pre-booked is the safest option (like me)

2) Get accommodation on the fly when you reach a place which you like is for the courageous. However it is not advised during busy periods as all accommodation on route will be fully booked and you will sleep in the car park – if you can find the car park.

3) Carry your accommodation (tent) in your back pack is for the stronger ones. Camping sites are available on route for nominal fees. Enough wild space too is available!

I am sure I am not strong enough to carry heavy backpacks of 20Kgs and walk for two weeks or so - like some of the people I meet on the way – they make it look so easy. So I decided to use the Sherpa Van service for this (other services like packhorse is also available). Each day they move across my luggage from hotel to hotel (or more accurate Inn to Inn) for about £7. I just need to carry my backpack with essentials – Netbook and its cables, a notebook and some pens, a book to read, Vado HD, Digital Camera, extra memory for camera, extra power pack to provide juice for my phone, snacks, painkiller (just in case!) and water, water and more water.



Step 8: Plan your expenses

Expenses for this trip come in 6 forms:

1) Stuff to buy in preparation for the trip. This includes waterproof bags, rain coat, trekking shoes, compass, books, maps and other accessories

2) Airfare. Thanks to all those Frequent Flyer miles, I just paid taxes – which also costs as much as the price of a low cost air ticket!

3) Rail tickets. I definitely would recommend a 4 day Britrail England flexi-pass which allows 4 days of (unlimited) travel within 2 months. This allows me the following trips - Heathrow to London Paddington on Heathrow Express (day 1), Euston station in London to St Bees via Manchester (day 2), return to London from Robin Hoods bay (day 3), London to Heathrow airport (day 4). This pass works out much cheaper than the individual tickets and also offers much more flexibility (want to get down on the way and take a short break before continuing?).

4) Sherpa Van luggage mover service (£7 x 14 days) + Hotel booking service.

5) Accommodation charges – on an average £30 a night for a single en-suite (bathroom and toilet attached) room. Prices starts as low as £20 and can go up to £60. Directly paid at the hotels/ inns/ farm houses.

6) Food and drinks – typically come to £10 a stop. Breakfast is generally included (after all it is called B&B) as a part of accommodation


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Day so far:

Last evening at the end of the walk, I met a couple of fellow walkers, Gary and Peter. It is astonishing how walkers form a quick bond among themselves even though they have never met before and know very little of each other. After all, there are only a few of them crazy enough to do such long walks, it is natural that they bond together. After a couple of beers, three of us, one from England, one from New Zealand and one from Singapore decide to walk together the next day.

Early morning we started from Ennerdale Bridge to reach Ennerdale Water which is the first of many lakes on the way. The first view of the lake itself is breathtaking and gives you an idea how beautiful would the upcoming walk in the Lake Districts be.

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The walk along the south edges of the lake is tough, with some serious climbing on rocky tracks. But the beauty of the place takes your mind away from that effort. Somewhere near the highest point as you walk besides the lake, is the Robin Hood’s Chair, which is a rock that juts out.

Robin Hood’s Chair is just one of the many Robin Hood connections on the way (remember at the end of the walk is Robin Hood’s Bay!). There is even a Robin Hood’s Grave on the way. Folklore, mythology and walker’s imagination is a lethal combination and is not surprising such Chair’s and Grave’s exist.

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After the climb down on the south end of the lake is River Liza. After crossing the river, and a long walk parallel to the river comes Black Sail Hut (Black Sail Youth Hostel).

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In between very tall hills (or was it mountains?), Black Sail Hut lies in a dramatic location. Sitting down in front of the hill with a few other walkers and having a relaxed snack, I didn’t have a clue what the next few hours held for me. That was the good thing.


Then came the steepest and most dangerous climb of my life.

In absolute terms, it wasn’t a big climb, just 650 metres. In fact during the rest of the walk, I did climb even higher hills. But this being the first serious climb I wasn’t prepared for it.

For a while the climb is through randomly laid out rocky steps. Occasionally the track fades away and one needs to be careful about every step (and not to miss one).

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Half way through the walk many things went wrong. Very strong and cold wind was hitting my face, while my body is overheating as I was wearing a thick jacket. Being the second day of my walk (and due to my inexperience) I had all sort of things in my bag. The weight wasn’t an issue on the first two days, but during this climb, it was a real issue; it was dragging me down. And the most terrifying part is that the climb was very steep and has no safety barrier. One wrong step and it is half a kilometre fall straight down from the hill and having fear of heights also did not help!

I was really stuck half way through. Too tired and terrified to climb up and absolutely now way to climb down. All of a sudden, ten months of practice meant nothing.

I came for a Coast to Coast Walk, and not a Coast to Coast Climb.

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That’s when the amazing thing happened. Along from Gary and Peter, half a dozen walkers whom I haven’t ever met before today, was encouraging and motivating me to climb up further and further. Tips like “take the jacket off”, “sip a little bit water”, “don’t look down”, “breathe steadily; breathe in through your nose and breathe out thorough your mouth”, “you are almost there” came in quick succession. Gary even offered me to carry my shoulder bag. Within 45 minutes I am at the top!

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The sense of achievement has never been greater. And the views of the sea shore at St. Bees from the top, though many miles away, was an adequate compensation for all the effort.

P8070818 (1)After a few smaller ups and downs comes the Honsiter Slate Mine still producing high quality slates. Then comes a steep climb to Longthwaite and a short gentle walk by the side of a small river to today’s destination, Rosthwaite.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A much delayed update

Is this blog dead?

Far from it – at least that is what I believe myself.

First the good news…

Over a month back I completed the Coast to Coast walk. I was religiously updating the blog for many months before the walk and for the first few days during the walk. I was so committed that I carried my Netbook in my shoulder bag during the long walks even though the extra 1 kilo weight of the Netbook made the walk more difficult. 

Now the bad news (plural)…

As the walk got tough, I took longer and longer than expected to finish the walk each day. Even after starting at around 8:00 AM each day, the walk completed around 6:00 to 7:00 PM most days even though my hope and plan was to complete before 4:00PM! . After the walk each day there was barely enough time to have a quick dinner and a few pints of beer (correction - there is always time for beer) and just crash! I was too tired to blog! WiFi connectivity became harder and harder to obtain. Many villages did not even have mobile signals so WiFi was too much to ask. As soon as I reached back London, my Netbook crashed (it is a long story, details to follow). So I decided to continue updates after I am back in Singapore.

However I landed in Singapore in the middle of a house renovation/ house move. Things were so much tougher than I thought initially. And of course there were boxes, boxes and more boxes to be packed and moved. A month and a house move and a family emergency later, things have stabilized and I will start the updates next week.

Though my memory is not very good, I took notes, pictures and videos diligently throughout the walk. So I am hoping I can recreate the lengthy journey in finer details even though it has been a while since I completed the walk.

Updates start next week.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 1: Real Start

Today’s Walk: St. Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

Stayed at Stone House Farm: Rating – Very Good

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After the tiring walk followed by a wonderful sleep I was eagerly looking forward towards Day 1. Most places in the UK, where you stay, provide you with a big breakfast, typically what is called an English breakfast (also nicknamed Cholesterol on a plate) consisting of sausage, toast, bacon, eggs, beans (all with lots and lots of oil). There will also be fruits salad, cereals and yoghurt. Once you have it, you will need a few hours to recover before you can even move. So I skipped the English Breakfast that and just had some toast and coffee.

The stay at Stone House Farm was very good. They had all the facilities including an option to cook (none of which I used). This place is very next to the St. Bees station and thus wasn’t difficult to get the luggage to the place of accommodation. I would recommend this place to anyone who wants to stay at St. Bees. A couple of pubs and hotels are also very next to this place.

And now on to the walk. After retracing last days route back to the Village, I joined back the Coast to Coast trail.

Few steps later and has happened previously to me, the footpath disappears - but a board saying footpath is still there!
P8060522 trial markes

However the maps in the book I am following (by Terry Marsh) is excellent (though the markers on the path are not). The one below, written on a card board was facing the wrong direction and I realized it only after a few 100 metres.

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The Terry Marsh book clearly shows all the landmarks and directions and has some high resolution maps which came in handy for me to find the right direction.

Around me everything looks picture perfect – I am in the middle of a a huge farm land with lots and lots of lambs and cows grazing with no worries and ignoring me totally (though this will not be the case in the coming days).


There is also railway line that goes across this field which I have to cross before I walk further. Here I hit my first snag. The map in the book and the real world doesn’t seem to match. There is no way to cross the line at the gate as it is locked. Am I supposed to jump over the gate? Or is there a way to open the gate?


With no one around for miles and now I realize decision making throughout this walk is going to be a tough task! Instead of jumping the gate, finally I decided that I will go a kilometre further away from my planned path, and cross the line through what looked liked a rarely used underpass. I am now half an hour behind schedule - not that I have anything urgent to do at Ennerdale Bridge.

On to Moor row, Cleator Moor and then on to Dent Fell.




Dent Fell became the first physically tiring part of the walk. It is a reasonably tall hill with a climb of reasonable inclination. As all my practices in Singapore was about climbing Bukit Timah, a hill that is 150 metres tall, Dent came in as a big shock. I had to really struggle to get on top of Dent (I had no clue it was many of such hills/mountains to come).


The descent from Dent posed another major challenge. With no laid out routes and with a very steep slope, simply put - it was frightening. One wrong step or one slip I will be going down a few hundred metres. This is not what I wanted to do.


Once Dent is covered, and after a long walk besides a stream it is the climb down to Ennerdale bridge.

And then at Ennerdale bridge, a pint of Ale is waiting at the Fox and Hounds, the pub where I would be staying.


After walking the first day alone, I was happy to meet a couple of fellow walkers – Peter and Garry – who will be with me for a few more days…

NB: This posting is a few days late – three reasons

  1. WiFi is patchy and non-existent in some places
  2. The walk took too long and I managed to reached my place of accommodation only after 6:00 PM (against my planned 4:00 PM)
  3. I was too tired!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 0.5: Back in Time…

I have just realized that my mobile cannot get any signal as I left St. Bees for the circular walk. It is progressively getting worse as I moved away from St. Bees. I don’t even dare to ask for WiFi as I got come cold stares when I asked for it the first time.

I am editing this post offline - if you are seeing this post online I some how managed to get a patchy connection somewhere.

There goes my plan to post each days walk as it happened. See you in a few days.

Day 0.5: Quick Start!

P8050341An excellent place to start the walk

Day 0.5? Day 0 was done. Day 1 hasn’t started. So it has to be Day 0.5!

Three ironic things:

  1. One of the classic nature walks, Coast to Coast Walk, starts at St. Bees Village, a village which is sandwiched between a nuclear power plant and chemical works factory!
  2. The west to east direction Coast to Coast walk starts in the west direction!
  3. After an year of planning, I started the Coast to Coast walk a day ahead of schedule!

After an early start from London, I reached St. Bees on Wednesday afternoon. The initial plan was to take rest for the rest of the day getting ready for the 14 day walk. However my land lady had a different suggestion. According to her, the weather hasn’t been this good for such a long time, and I should not miss a walk today. The suggestion was to cover the first 8 kilometres or so of the walk and then return to St. Bees. And on the next day, start from St. Bees again and rejoin the walk where I left it off the previous day. Sounded like a good idea. This will also give me an opportunity to see St.Bees head (a hill with steep cliffs facing the Irish sea) and the St. Bees light house leisurely without being worried about the long walk ahead on the first day.

So I started around 1:00 PM for the first part of the walk. So it is Day 0.5.


St. Bees is a small village with the biggest attraction being that it is the start point of the Coast to Coast walk. There are also a few shops, a few pubs and some B&B places for the walkers. A typical quiet English village.


St. Bees Village

Apart from that there is a very old church (and some mythology around it, as always) and an equally old school.


St. Bees Church


St. Bees School

The actual starting point of the walk, the St. Bees beach is slightly over a kilometre away from the village (and that walk doesn’t count!). The beach was very crowded – and I am hoping everyone in the beach did not come for a Coast to Coast walk – if so it will be a crowded walk! Fortunately most weren’t there for the walk – they were just having a picnic and some fun. I saw only a few walking up the St. Bees head.

As a ritual, I too dipped my foot in the Irish sea and started the walk.


The start of the C2C walk – Beach at the Irish sea

As I start climbing up the St. Bees head reality kicks in. Things are very different compared to what I practiced in Singapore. The climb to the top of St. Bees head is steep, walkways are non existent at certain points, and there is no fences on the sharp edges – one wrong step and it is a few hundred feet down! This is going to be much tougher than what I thought!


View of St. Bees from St. Bees head

As you climb up the St. Bees head, there is a magnificent view of the entire Village, that of the Irish sea and the farmlands in the background. After a couple of kilometres, I suddenly realize there is no one walking with me anymore, the few who were walking with me have disappeared, and the long path is front of me is deserted. And then the path almost disappears among thick growth of ferns. Time to get the map out and brush the map reading skills!


The red cliffs at St. Bees head


After crossing the St. Bees head, the must view thing is a few centuries old light house. I am not even sure whether it is operational. There seems to be no one around, even though there is a decent road leading to the light house.


St. Bees light house

Once the St. Bees head is covered it is a long walk back to St. Bees village. The walk back to the village is more than 5 kilometres. There goes the saving. I just covered 8 kilometres and to do that I have to walk an extra 10 kilometres.


I was back at the village around 6:00 PM. A quick bath and it is dinner time at a crowded village pub.


First night accommodation at Stone House farm

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 0: Train Ride to St. Bees

Today early morning I took a train from London Euston station to St. Bees. This involved two transfers, one at Preston and one at Barrow in Furness. There was only few minutes between the transfers. But everything went like clock work!

British train system has lot of bad press. But is not as bad as what people and press say. In fact after reading such articles, I had such low expectations of Britrail, they exceed expectations most of the time, which turns out to be a pleasant surprise for me.

My family and I have used the British rail service a few times in the past. Without doubt I can say trains are the best mode of transport when you travel around with young kids. They can move around (and run around), play with other kids, they can sleep comfortably lying down when they gets tired, the scenery keeps changing, try different food, get out an explore stations on the way – it has got all that can keep kids engaged and educated. After trying many types of trains in many countries in Asia and Europe it is my favourite mode of transport as well – even though I not young any more.


From London to Preston it was a Virgin Express train with all the bells and whistles, like in seat dining, Wifi and mobile repeaters. Unfortunately the first two were for business class and I wasn't in it. At Preston I changed to a TransPenine Express Train – with just two compartments. At Barrow when I changed the trains again, the new train just had one compartment!


20 minutes from London, the scenery changes to the country side. Grass lands, yellow and purple flowers, canals and boats, sheep, sheep and more sheep. There is so much sheep in UK, it will make New Zealand look bad. Strangely lamb is such a small part of restaurant menus in the UK, I wonder what is done with all these sheep's?



All of a sudden it started raining heavily. Along with rain and the mist the outside initially it looked like “Middle Earth”, but as the rain became strong the outside scenery completely disappeared. I turned my attention to a few magazines I bought at the station about walking and trekking (there are quiet a few!). In one of the magazines they were describing how to go for walking in summer at the end of each day after work, camp and be back to the office the next day morning on time!

30 minutes later and after change of trains the rain has completely disappeared and everything looks bright.


At Preston Station while I was clicking heavily one of the station attendants insisted (nicely) that I have to see the Plaque unveiled by the Queen. Here is a picture of the Plaque.


The Station itself looked grand with its bright red and green architecture.



Finally after almost 5 hours of train journey I reached St. Bees station – as expected a very small train station.