Weekend in Corris.

Well my 3rd consecutive weekend away. This time I was visiting a place called the Corris Hostel.

Picked up by Brian, we stop off to pick up Sue, and popped in for a cup of tea (its one of the cleanest houses I’ve ever visited, and smelled like a hotel).

Anyway, as we were leaving, we met a neighbours dog, who Sue sometimes takes for a walk (Sue lives in one of those nice areas, where people don’t steal each others washing from the line). I was entranced by a small lively dog called Maggie.

Firstly, Maggie, is a woman’s name. Its like calling a cat Alison, or an Afghan hound Graham. Anyway, this little dog had sadly suffered cancer as a pup, and only had 3 legs. The thing that struck me was her sheer vitality and energy. For a tiny dog, she bounded with more exuberance, than a dog 5 times her size.

I thought that was a good metaphor for adventure generally. OK, the 3 of use weren’t walking naked into the Borneo Jungle with just a copy of the daily telegraph and a knitting needle, but we were out in search of adventure all the same.

Made me think, whatever your disadvantages, however modest your project, just like Maggie (it still feels strange calling a dog Maggie, by the way) put 150% of yourself into it.

Previously, my preferred type of accommodation was en-suit rooms in pubs like the Keswick Lodge (which has now been renamed the Inn at Keswick).

Because of the recession less people are going abroad, and lots of the pubs I would have previously stayed at, are now charging £90 plus for a room for one night (and in some cases up-to £120, and charging extra for breakfast !).

As a result, I turned my hand to hostelling. It has all the freedom and comfort of a pub b&b, but at a cost of around £14 per night.

We were staying in the hamlet of Corris, where the hostel there has a Nirvana reputation.

Above you can see they have a fireplace, comfy armchairs, tables for for communal eating and stuff like that, and a superb collection of interesting books.

They have a couple of private rooms, with en-suit sinks. I decided to sleep in one of the dorms, where they were cleverly compartmentalised to keep noise to a minimum.

I was shown to my bunk. It had the kind of décor that my bedroom had when I was 6, but it was also spotlessly clean and the quilt was warm.

They also had electricity, so unlike Skiddaw House I was able to charge my phone.

We got speaking to the hostel keeper. We were asking if business was doing well. Its then that it occurred to me. In this corner of life, there are 2 types of business.

1. If I have an idea, like importing bathroom tiles or something like that, I leave my job, and run the business to make the best possible profit for myself.

2. If I’m an accountant and I want to leave and setup a business leading mountain bike tours, then the job is the reward itself and all I need is a break even situation.

So, when asking someone like this, how business is going and he replies were surviving, that mean (in relative terms) that business is going very well.

I wander into the hamlet to explore.

They have a Steam train from there, which is running the following day (Fathers day), but we’ll be walking, so there isn’t any time to do it (as I’ve said before, I’ve been in a helicopter, a hovercraft, a submarine and a dozen other things but I’ve never actually been on a steam train.

I also found this waterfall.

In the evening we wandered down to the Slaters arms.

I imagine its normally a quiet place, but a group of lads were there to celebrate a stag do.

We had some dinner and a couple of pints. The service was excellent and the pub was really friendly.

We were introduced to the groom. It was pretty obvious really, he had a pint pot duck taped to his hand, and was wearing a dress.

Turned out he was a pagan, and the service was going to involve rocks at North, South, East and West. Didn’t really understand it to be honest, but meant a lot to him all the same.

Darts has become a must do activity amongst our group. We challenged the Stag participants to play. At one point, I actually hit a bull. Here Drew, indicates its location (which was amazing considering how much he’d had to drink).

Off to bed. Brian, the dark horse of our trio, was out until 2:30, long after everyone else had retired to bed.

I told the stag people about this website. If your reading this, I hope your wedding goes well, and you have a happy life together.

A lazy start to the day. I get up and read several of the excellent books  (and I didn’t even steal them to read at home either).

A more modest walk than usual, we stop on the hillside for brunch.

On the way home, we stop at Balla. Everyone enjoys scrambled eggs on toast.

Back home, and our adventure is over.

Really enjoyed the hostel, Ill be going there again.

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