Tuesday, August 5, 2014

6/29/14 Day 164 The Cotswolds and Manchester

With three days left before we meet Julie in Dublin, so naturally we are going to hitch-hike from Southern England, passing through the Cotswolds, up to Manchester where we catch our bus Monday night. With a few quality lifts, and tea with a couple saving us from a thirty minute downpour we reached Burton-on-the-Water by late afternoon and spent the rest of the evening exploring the nearby villages of Chipping Campden, Upper Slaughter, Lower Slaughter and admiring the honey colored stone in wonder. The jarring thing about this area is how many ultra modern, luxury cars are parked standing guard beside the charmingly historic honey stone. This area has become so famous for quaint charm that the real estate market has skyrocketed, as one-by-one these homes are turned into vacation homes for the upper crust from around the world. With each new foreign buyer one more Cotswold local is displaced from their home, and you are introduced to a population dynamic with very few young people and very few locals (source, hitch-hiking knowledge). Economic priorities or not, these homes along the streams with their thatched roofs, and individual cottage names are mighty cute and as picturesque as they come! We had immense difficulty finding an appropriate spot for the tent in this area with no parks and private property signs plastered everywhere...so we did what any tired and desperate backpacker may have to do every now and then, we pitched our ultralight backpacking tent on the Tesco parking-lot grounds. Alright alright before you judge us, there is a patch of forested area outlining the lot, and we didn't stake up the tent until after the store closed, and we were packed up by the time they opened, that being said I have never felt more like the homeless bums we are! We got the rest of the few hundred miles to Manchester easily the next day and spent the next few days preparing for meeting up with Julie on Tuesday. Manchester is nice, but pretty dirty, and I mean on large city standards this is normal, but it was exceptionally dirty. The red brick and their architectural style reminds me a lot of Seattle, very pretty.

Camping in a parking lot, partially hidden from view

Our host Ming in Manchester

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