So this weekend (Friday/Saturday), ASE had pretty much the awesome trip ever. For a given value of awesome, anyway. But I was vastly entertained the whole time, which is what really matters.
Anyways, on Friday, we go to Dartmoor, which, as you might have guessed from the name, is a moor. A really big one. As I learned on my power-walk through the moors by Haworth (Brontë territory), going through them can be quite a hike. It wasn't too bad until we get to the top of one hill, and Andy, one of our staff (an assistant dean of something), makes us all turn around, because we were going the wrong way. And then we walk down a hill.
A really, really, steep hill.
And it was really big, too.
By this point, we are definitely by someone's sheep farm, and have begun to tramp through what can only be described as the dumping grounds for sheep and pony manure. I don't know if they've been trained to go there or what, but it was kinda gross. We finally demand an explanation for Andy, who claims that someone moved the signs, and that we just need to go over another hill and down to the village, and that incidentally, we've added an extra 1.5 miles to our hike.
Then we proceeded to walk UP a hill.
A really, really, steep hill.
This basically sucked beyond all reason. Like, I was literally afraid my muscles would STOP WORKING, because it was so difficult going up.
Eventually, we got to the top of that hill, where they informed us that the village was only two miles away. Since there were so many of us, by the time we all reached the top, the group who got there first was all rarin' to go, so the tail-enders rebelled and waited for Andy, who had somehow manage to get at the VERY back.
We got to the village eventually (after our 6 mile hike, or so), and went to Exeter, which is where our hostel was. We had the entire place to ourselves, which was pretty awesome. After dinner, Jonathan (another assistant dean of something) offered to lead us to the pub he liked when he was in uni, and which was "15 minutes" away. So, we walk, and we come to this path which stretches through some pasture-looking lands. I would like to point out that by this time, dusk was almost gone, and it was foggy.
Naturally, Jonathan decides we should go through the pastures.
So, we walk for quite some time, and periodically Jonathan would leave the path, wander over to the fence, and look at a tree, or possibly for some signs of civilization. Meanwhile, we are making lots of cracks about the movie The Fog
, about which I am completely unfamiliar, aside from the line from MST 3K: Pod People
: "Even the movie The Fog
didn't have this much fog!" Also, Claire (another staff member) told us about this bizarre commercial where cows start stalking people because they want their milk back. This will be important later.
FINALLY, we see lights, and they eventually reveal themselves to be the pub.
On the other side of a fence.
A fence that is on the top of a 5-foot drop off, of which we are at the bottom.
So, we continue onwards, because I noticed there was a road up ahead which we would probably run into. We're almost there, when we see some cows next to the path.
Then we see a HERD of cows ON the path.
At this point, we are now faced with a dilemma: do we turn back, and retrace our journey of the previous 20 minutes, or kind of wade through the cows and hope we don't get trampled?
Naturally, Jonathan picked option B, proving the extraordinary lengths the British will go to to get beer. The cows began fleeing from us, probably because we ourselves were in a herd, and also because our herd apparently contained complete DUMBASSES who thought it would be a good idea to take FLASH PICTURES of a FUCKING HERD OF COWS WHILE WE WERE WALKING THROUGH IT. Unfortunately, they were not trampled. However, no one else was either, (and they didn't ambush us to take their milk back,) and we finally got to the pub.
It had a lot of outdoor seating next to the canal, which did not have a railing, so we wondered how many drunk people they had to fish out. They definitely had a life-saver right by our table, and I supposed they had those big poles people use to clean their swimming pools. No one fell in, though, so we never got a chance to test it out, which was for the best, I suppose.
The rest of the night was fairly uneventful. I like scrumpy. It was a lot easier getting home along the proper path, which was remarkably free of farm animals of any sort.
Today (well, technically yesterday now) we went to Covelly, which is this historic visit on ANOTHER fucking steep slope that goes down to the see. Like, so steep that they don't have motor vehicles, so everything is pulled on sledges, occasionally with the help of donkeys. Apparently, the people of Great Britain have not mastered the art of switchbacks. The beach was very rocky and cool. They had delicious ice cream. I took lots of pictures that I will eventually share, probably in July at the rate I am going.
Then we went to Knightshayes, which is a 19th century Gothic house. This was notable mainly for its gardens, where we played with Jonathan's frisbee in what started out as a Prior Park catch, but eventually evolved into throwing the frisbee at four of the guys, and watching them fight like puppies to get it. It was pretty much the most hilarious thing I've ever seen. An added bonus was that I kept waiting for them to all disappear over the edge of the haha, but it turns out Jonathan is actually an Ultimate Frisbee champion (for serious!) and never threw it that far, alas.
We got home and I watched Doctor Who
on TV! Huzzah! Our 4 channels actually can be entertaining! ( Babble about Doctor Who )
In conclusion: Captain Panaka
was in this episode! Awesome.
Then I watched SPooN. ( 'But how can they hear the chanting in hell?' )
In conclusion: Dean eating things will never stop being funny. Especially when they are mini cheese steaks.
In other news, I did my reading for the week today, and thus read Carmilla
. I assumed, when my professor said it was about "lesbian vampires", that this was mainly symbolic, since, you know, Victorians.
Not so much. It's BLATANTLY about lesbian vampires. It was pretty awesome. Also, I got to write "Most vampire lore is crap" in the margins, AND there was a character who was totally John Winchester. And I am convinced the heroine became a vampire slayer afterwards. Carmilla
pretty much wins at Undeath.
Now I must go to bed, but the internet has gone away, so I will probably post this in the morning. And then I will disappear into a paper-writing oblivion, because I still have 2 more to go for this week, alas.