Greetings from the UK where I have been this past week and will be for a couple of more weeks. As you last heard, my arrival, albeit late was the best of all worlds and this week has been one of work and fun. My first three days were filled with meetings and meetings and more meetings, but most were quite good. As you know me for planning travels to Europe mostly, but I do handle the rest of the world also, it was very important for me to attend this conference with a focus on Latin America, yes Latin America and I do cover that region of the world among others. I met some amazing people from all over South and Central America and the offerings they had from tours to hotels to cruises, so when you are thinking about your travels, I can handle places beyond Europe and America. I have many amazing partners across the world and as these are people from these countries, they share the passion for their homes and the services they offer and are very proud to share. Many of the travels I arrange for you are from working with the amazing partners I have worked with over the years, be it South America or Europe or Africa which I will mention again.
The highlight for me and the reason for coming to Hull, however, as I noted was to see my birds. Now you must know that getting to Bempton, the hamlet with a train station which is closest to the reserve itself, there is nothing really there. Of course, when you get to the train station, there is a sign, saying 30 minutes away walking you will get to the cliffs. I was hoping there might be a taxi waiting for any trains coming, but no, so I off I started, not far, but on a hot day and the summer here in the UK has been hotter than usual, I walked. It is a little over a mile mostly a slight uphill to the reserve and many a car passed by in each direction, and even a taxi but by that time, I was close enough, so onward I went until, about 30 minutes later, I arrived.
Once I had paid for admission, 7 pounds, for a pleasure of continuing the hike to the cliffs and there are several viewing platforms, I believe 6 or so. Once there, you have an amazing view of many different seabirds. Gannets, cormorants, guillemots, as well as, yes you guessed it, puffins and others. Puffins, the smallest of the seabirds present and only 10% of the population of the birds there, are not elusive, but without a good camera or binoculars or simply good eyesight, seeing my birds can be a challenge, but they are there and yes, I saw there. Most were lower down on the cliffs, so mixed amongst the thousands of noisy and smelly birds, there they were. Of course, with their colorful beaks and feet, it the best way to find them, when you don’t have a strong camera lens or binoculars, and a little patience. From most of the viewing platforms I saw pairs here and there and after a couple of hours, and ready for the trek back, I saw the largest colony of puffins and they were at the top of the cliffs. I only used my phone and took some pictures, so if you look hard, you will see them. They were there and I saw them, so it was very exciting.
As I went back to the reserve center, I looked around, lots of possibilities, but I did not buy anything. Remember, I am trying to reduce my stuff, so I did not add to the collection. I also tried to get a taxi back as I did not want to walk back and none arrived, but one of the volunteers, actually offered me a ride, so I got back in about 10 minutes to the train station and caught the next train back to Hull, returned to my hotel, grabbed my bags and took the next train onward to York, which is an amazing city. Having arrived earlier than I thought I would and my hotel only being a block from one of the entrances to the old city, off I went to explore. It is summer and the days are longer, so that is what I did. Of course, I was quite hungry after walking about 11 miles that day in total, so I looked for food, ended up eating a slice of pizza (actually two, they cut it), in a place called the Brooklyn Brewery, which did not serve New York pizza, but Roman style pizza and before I could say don’t cut it, it was done. I also later ended up having more fish n chips, but I probably should not have. It was not that good as the oil in which it was done was old. You could taste in the fish. Live and learn, but I did not have Yorkshire pudding, which I suppose one should have in York. After a very full day, I was exhausted, but more the next.
I found out that outside of York, about 25 minutes by bus, there is an Air Museum and if you don’t know, I love to see old warbirds, the day before seabirds and this day warbirds. They had a nice, albeit small collection and included was a Spitfire and a Halifax, both static, but amazing to see. They had many barracks full of displays besides the airplanes and the cost to get in 14 pounds, was not too bad. The people working there are volunteers and as I had for many years, volunteered at the Air Expo, when I lived in Minnesota, I was very appreciative of what they were doing. I spent a few hours there and was somewhat of a captive audience as I was only able to travel by this bus and it only ran every two hours or so, so if I missed one circuit, I had to wait, and so I did. I eventually got back to York, enjoyed more time strolling the city and ended up having something called York Pud, which was some sort of meat, in this case, pork with Yorkshire pudding in a wrap. It was alright, but I really would not recommend it. In the end, I was back at the hotel and relaxing knowing that yesterday, back to London, was a travel day, so I am ready for this new week and another conference, this time on Africa, so stay tuned for this week’s work and experiences which is not all work, but play to be had and now 10 days until I see Rosa in person again.
As always, stay safe, stay healthy and always look for the best in a situation and be patient as the best things in life are worth waiting for. Thank you as always for your support of my crazy little world and my small business. As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, concerns and continuing the discourse through whichever means you read my posts!!!
Share the knowledge
Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin