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Bill Butterfield’s Travel Diary

Friday, 23 Jun 2006

Location: York, UK

MapHi folks, it's taken some time and effort but finally got the page working with a lot of help from now my mate at planet, Tim.
We left Sydney one week yesterday promptly by JAL and apart from being somewhat tightly seated in the plane, where the vast majority of small Asian people thought they had oceans of room the food and service was A1. We arrived 20 mins early at Narita where we were transported to the 5 Star Nikko Hotel near to the Airport. It turned out to be a high class transit camp as everyone staying there were in- transit.After a good relax and sleep and a terrific breakfast we booked in for our onward flight to LHR.
We arrived again 20mins. early at just after 4pm local time and were amazed how quickly we got through passport and customs 15 mins. in all. So much so that we emerged 3or4 mins. before Billy Lawson turned up as our welcoming committee. However we did take another 15 mins. to find his car in the maze that they call the car-park.At their Marlow home Anne was waiting with a lovely meal which we had outside in the garden toasting our arrival and watching the passing traffic on the Thames, what a great location to have a home.
A restful day the next day, just a walk along the banks of the Thames and dining at home, they really did spoil us.
Sunday 18th. we travelled north to York no less than First Class, as Bill had organised the tickets by phone at £20 each cheaper than the economy was on the day. We made the 180 mile trip in just 1hr 59mins and that include 2 stops on the way.
Audrey and Alan were there to pick us up and wew happily made home in quick time. More food and a cheeky bottle of wine ensured we got off to a flying start.
Monday 19th. we borrowed Audrey's car and arrived at our terrific Bed & Breakfast digs in the Derbyshire Peak District close to Bakewell a location well recommended as a base for touring this area. We explored Bakewell which was a real hive of activity and on wandering around we came across a men's group of Sword Dancers. They were great but we both worried about whether one old guy in the group how started off the performance open mouthed sucking in air for some 15 hectic minutes. I was willing to offer Beverley should mouth to mouth be required which definitely seemed to be a distinct possibility.However he did make it and Beverley heaved a great sigh of relief at not being called into service.
We had a Bakewell Tart with afternoon tea and it were reet yummy! We also bought some New Zealand apples in the market and they were yummy too.
Driving around the villages we came across a Brass Band playing outside The Red Lion Pub in Litton. So we had a day of initiation into the Peak Dist. and exposure to typical country entertainment.
Tuesday 20th. more magnificent scenery and delightful villages a\ll decked out with the most beautiful array of roses which adorned every possible available spot.
We visited the village of Flash at a height of 1518ft. the highest town in England, the church was open but the pub was closed, shame, shame I think they had got info that Beverley was coming and decided to avoid any wild activity.
Wednesday 21st. After a wee bit of rain we decided to walk from Bakewell to Haddon Hall a home of the landed gentry of years gone by which dates back to 1200. Beverley did so well and we were only defeated for the return walk by the return of the rain. it is of great note that we did about 4.5 miles by Shanks Pony in the day needless to say we expired after dinner.
Wednesday 21st. more sightseeing and a very impressive visit to Chattsworth a home of the landed gentry of the Devonshire family. The Duke and Duchess still live there inwhat is a magnificent setting.
Thursday 22nd. We finally made it to Matlock Bath and after lunch we made our way via Rotherham having visited our fiends Tom and Audrey Hall to York where a wonderful welcome greeted us as if we'd been away for a year.Really we'd only been away 5days but we had done so much we couldn't believe we'd only been away from Australia for 1week.
Friday 23rd. the girls had an appointment to have their hair done while Alan and I saw that the respective cars are in A1 condition to transport the coiffured ladies to THE wedding and celebrations over Saturday and Sunday.
That's it for now folks!! please read this slowly as I can only type very slowly with one finger which is now fair wore out.