Dunstable Downs & Ashridge

What a week of walks and shenanigans. Sunday started with a great walk around the local lanes and fields. I love all the smells and sniffs, as well as all the rabbit warrens I can stick my nose into.

Having returned home and eaten my breakfast, it was straightaway into the car and we drove north through winding roads and lanes, then across the Grand Union Canal to a place called Dunstable Downs. There were many people there, enjoying the walks and sights on a warm late summer day with the wind blowing breezily through my ears. I was getting excited about visiting the woods and hill tops I could see. However we seemed to be heading toward the Visitor Centre. I had a lovely surprise when I saw Raffa Beagle and her mum waiting for us. Raffa lives in Liverpool and was visiting locally for the day. We walked and woofed with each other whilst scenting the longer grass and admiring the views. Of course we were both asked if we would like strokes and belly rubs which were not turned down. We found a great hill to sit atop and watch the gliders take off and land. It was great fun all day, however we were sad when Raffa had to leave to go home again.

 

 

Monday through to Thursday I was able to drag one or the other pawrent around the fields or lanes locally. I even got to meet some Alpaca who live on a farm near me. I don’t go near them as one of them was attacked last year by an off lead dog.

 

 

Today was another adventure, this time to Ashridge Estate and Northchurch Common. We had driven past on our way to Dunstable on Sunday but this time we stopped and I got to experience all the sounds, sights and scents of the woods and long grass. We dexplored for about 2 hours and it was great fun to see somewhere new and get all the lovely scents in my nose. I saw squirrels leaping from tree to tree and would have enjoyed chasing them, had I not been shackled to my humum. It was fun wandering about not really knowing where you would end up. Its not big enough to get completely lost in the woods, but the scents and sights would keep me occupied for some considerable time.

 

 

It was quite windy which was welcomed as the scents were blown quickly into my nose and my ears flapped happily in the breeze.

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We left after a couple of hours and I expected to return home. However we continued our adventure to the Tring Brewery for some “supplies”. I got to meet Ronnie the Lurcher cross whilst my humans made purchases. There was only one thing left to do when I got home. I had to run around my garden arooing at squirrels and making a noisy nuisance of myself.

My day is done and I can sleep soundly.

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Best dexplorations

Some days you wake up and the sun is shining, the birds are singing and those pesky squirrels are frolicking in your garden. You hear the dawn chorus and think to yourself “Hmm, life is good today”. Breakfast is completed, the harness goes on and I am out for sniffing and snuffling around the lanes nearby to my house. Second part of breakfast duly proferred and then its onto my bed for some morning snoozes. Aah, this is the life.

But what is this, my harness is going back on, my mum looks a little apprehensive and dad looks like he’s taking me out. Again! Up the road we go. Quickly, quickly no time to lose. It appears I have to be somewhere on time. At the station I am ushered through the barriers and the overground train arrives. On we get and my settle mat makes an appearance. This is serious, dad means business. For forty odd minutes I watch the world go by, including Harrow and Wembley with its huge arch cutting the sky. Then suddenly it all goes dark. What is this witchcraft I wonder, nighttime in the daytime. We arrived at Marylebone Station in London. OMD I am actually in London, the capital, the big smoke. Cough cough splutter this air tastes horrible.

We stroll some back roads until we arrive somewhere called Regents Park.

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I have heard of this place, and it doesn’t disappoint me. I saw 4 squirrels , yes 4 of the little blighters and I of course had to introduce myself. Having crossed the Euston Road we then entered the bowels of London at Great Portland Street and took a trip on the smelly choob to somewhere called Liverpool Street. I surfaced onto Bishopsgate to a tumult of people and a single fur. Indeed, there were 2 of us amongst the throngs of people. Stay close, dad said. Stay close. Dont lick that, its disgusting he said. After I allowed dad to use my ibone to make a call, we met with one of the people he worked with in London and I got my first ride in a lift. Upon arriving in the office, I was greeted by many more people in the office, all wanting to give me tickles and cuddles and generally make a fuss of me. I cannot woof that I can blame them. We stayed for a while and they chatted whilst I slept and mooched about getting more tickles, cuddles and a considerable amount of love. I could get used to this. After a while I got a bit bored and needed to dexplore more of the area and reminded dad that it was time to go.

We strolled (I pulled) up Cornhill to Bank to see the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange. Thence down Walbrook and across Cannon Street, along the river to Southwark Bridge and across the mighty river Thames.

We strolled past Shakespeare’s Globe and back over the wobbly bridge over the river Thames to St Pauls, gleaming tall and majestic in the near distance. Around St Pauls, into Paternoster Square and up to Postman’s Park for some quiet reflection and thanks to the people who selflessly gave their lives to save others.

We arrived at Barbican station and caught the choob to Baker Street and then strolled (quickly) to Marylebone Station for our homeward journey.

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I was out on my paws when I got back onto the overground train, I curled up on my settle mat and dreamed of my day dexploring some brilliant and wicked places in London.

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I met lovely people, saw some brilliant places, walked through millennia of history and even managed to cross a wobbly bridge. And to top it all, dad just told mum I was perfectly behaved.

A top day of dexplorations and I have proud ears. Now I am off to sleep and dream. I really am the luckiest Beagle Harrier I know.

Love

Some days the sun shines and all seems well and good in the world. Far too often recently I have had sad days, with much reflection and too many times left wondering why things happen and how life can be so cruel and the end so sudden, too often.

The sun shone this morning. I was hitched up in my harness, bungee leads and Canicross belt. Off we set for another adventure. The wind was in my ears and the chill early morning air cleared my senses. Within 15 minutes I had met a Labrador, a Cocker and a Border Terrier, all out enjoying the early morning peace and quiet before the world really gets going around my neck of the woods.

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The church looked resplendent in the sun as it rose over the tree line and the fields and woods were laid out before me. We strolled and dexplored through to the tube station.

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I expected to get on the train and return home, but no. We did get on a train, however we went in the opposite direction to another station. This was new, this was different and I was loving it. Having disembarked at Chorleywood we strolled and dexplored around the common and walked past so many other people and their fur friends all doing the same thing, enjoying probably one of the few days left of warm sunshine this year.

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Having returned to the station I wandered around the tube carriage and enjoyed the journey back to my home station. I am beginning to get used to this.

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We came home and I ran around the garden aroooing at anything I could see, my ears flapping happily in the breeze and a big grin on my face. It was all I could do to flop onto one of my 6 beds and sleep contentedly. Dad told me that I walked and sniffed perfectly today and I am the best Beagle Harrier he knows.

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Thanks dad, I love you and mum. You have given me safety, comfort and love. I am home and I will always be grateful for that.

Three dexplore in Dorset

Another day, another adventure. I didn’t think there was anything different than usual. Usual walk, usual route with the usual human grumbling about being dragged around for 4 miles. Having returned home and eaten my breakfast, it was all into the car for another trip to an, as yet, unknown destination.

Three hours later we arrived. I clambered out of the travel crate and into fresh air. I still had no idea where I was, but it looked and smelled different to the close, humid and stale air of London environs. I walked around with humum whilst hudad “checked in” and shifted all my luggage up to our room. Apparently I travel with a large quantity of baggage. When I returned to the pub, which I now know was the Crown Inn at Puncknowle (pronounced Punnel) the room was very nice and cosy and my bed was in the correct position so I was happy.

I was shackled once more to humum and we wandered off for a dexplore. It was lovely countryside and we walked for a couple of miles. I kept on stopping to get a drink as it was warm and the sun was shining. We saw a sign for a place called West Bexington and decided to head down a steep path toward the sea. I had seen the sea before but it was a long way out and it was on flat sandy beaches in the Lake District. When we got to West Bexington beach it was shingle and it sloped down sharply toward the waves. I am not sure I liked the waves and certainly didn’t want to get wet or washed away. We strolled for a while and then returned via the hotel for some refreshments.

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I was very tired when we got back to the pub and fell asleep on one of my beds in the bar.

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The next day started with a walk around the fields, we had breakfast and then into the car for some dexploration. We visited a place called Portesham and then onto Dorchester before travelling west to Bridport. I was allowed out of the car in Bridport. We wandered through the Wednesday market and I said hello to many other dogs. After a long stroll, it was back into the car and off to the Crown Inn once more. The adventure didn’t stop there, as we road walked up to the next village, of Litton Cheney and returned via fields over stiles and small bridges.

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I had walked around 9.5 miles so I was very tired. I fell asleep in the bar again, but did have time to wake up when 2 nice ladies wanted to give me tickles.

On my last day we wandered around the fields, had breakfast and then drove to Abbotsbury to take a walk onto Chesil Beach. It was very warm again and we all carried water and tried to shelter as much as possible from the sun. When we got on to Chesil Beach it was another shingle beach and I had to clamber my way to the top, dragging humum behind me. It was great fun. Sadly they decided that I had partied long and hard in Dorset so I should return to my home.

 

I had a great time, I can recommend the Crown Inn in Puncknowle as it is a very dog friendly establishment. I would also say Dorset in general is a great place to dexplore with lovely people and some great walks and scenery.

Don’t shout it too loud, but without my pawrents I wouldn’t have such a great time.

Walkies

Its great to have a human Paw Assistant who is at your beck and call for walks. I am very lucky to live close to woods, fields and parks. So, today I decided that I would take my dad on a walk for 6 miles through the woods.

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Chasing squirrels whilst attached to my double lead and to the immovable object (aka Dad) is one of my favourite things to do. Along with chasing pigeons, chasing rabbits and chasing deer.

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It was a lovely day for a quick stroll from home, to the next Underground station. Through the woods and past the church, down the lane with Dad in tow. Through the field and into the next woods, past the sheep and along the bridle way. Squirrels squirrels everywhere, come and play.

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I wasn’t even tired yet, but I could hear Dad puffing along behind me. This is Beagle Harrier paradise. So many sniffs!

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We arrived at the station only to see the train coming into the platform. Quick Dad run, run, run. Safely on the train returning home. This was fun, I liked it, can you tell?

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Thanks Dad, I’m very lucky. I wish all furs had the chance to walk for miles like I do.

Dexploring in the Ponds

I was rudely awoken at some un-dogly hour of the morning and was marched around the garden. It was only when I saw that the travel crate was already in the car, that I realised I was going on holidays again.

The miles passed quickly (dad was driving), and we found ourselves in Eskdale after stopping off for a wander around Birker Fell.

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I remembered Eskdale from a few months before. I had enjoyed a most excellent week of fun and shenanigans then and I was determined to have another great week. Unsurprisingly we retired to the pub to make sure we were ready for the next day.

We had arranged to meet with some pals from the northwest and Cumbria at a place called Cockermouth on Saturday. We went out for an explore early in the morning around Eskdale and I was taking the air and enjoying the new scenery. I met with Bridie first as she lives in the house we were staying at. She’s an older gentle lady fur and we got on really well. I then met Oscar the black Labrador who I remembered from last time. We spent some time woofing with each other. He’s a cool fur. Off to Cockermouth and we parked, only to see Raffa & her M waving at us. Soon after, we were joined by Betty the BT, Sprocket & Fergus da Brave.

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We were quickly on our paws and walking through the fields and alongside the river, woofing as we went. It was great fun meeting up with so many pals on the same day. We were taken to the pub for the humans to have coffee & beer. We even got squeaky toys from Raffa’s M as well as sausages from Sprockets M. We all woofed our thanks. We finished the day with dinner and then saw Raff & auntie J off to their lodgings for the evening.

After our morning constitutional on Sunday we met up with Raffa & auntie J for a stroll around Miterdale. We wandered through the lanes and then up into the forest for a lovely view back across the valley toward Birker Fell. It started raining after a while but our spirits weren’t dampened and Raffa & I strolled along happily woofing. Raffa can’t walk as far as me so we agreed that we would only do 3-4 miles which was fine. We then ended in the Bowerhouse Inn for some lunchtime drinks and nibbles. Sadly Raffa & auntie J had to go home but it was great to see them both again.

Monday arrived with the threat of rain. Dad & I went out for a stroll around the Eskdale valley and then we were into the car for a trip to Keswick. Of course the first place to go was Podgy Paws and I managed to leave with 2 new harnesses. Strolling around, greeting as many people as I could, I enjoyed my day shopping. We left and then decided we would go to the pub for the evening. I met with most of my new human pals and one lovely lady gave me gravy bones, which were very welcomed.

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Tuesday dawned and I saw a red squirrel on my walk. I aroooed and aroooed until most of the valley must have known I was there. The weather was still a bit drizzly so we decided that we would walk along the riverside path to Dalegarth. It brightened up a little and we were enjoying ourselves through the forests and along the river.

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I was getting really muddy and wet but for some reason, mum & dad kept on rolling their eyes at me.

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The weather was better on Wednesday so we agreed that we would walk up Miterdale towards Burnmoor Tarn. I had never been to Burnmoor Tarn. It was a journey full of squirrel and deer smells.

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We took the forest road and I had to be lifted over 2 cattle grids which was interesting.

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We even met some cows on the way and had a great day, all finished off in the Bowerhouse Inn.

For our last full day in Eskdale, we knew it would be raining so we took the Esk Trail which goes to Muncaster Castle. It started to rain, and then it just poured and we were getting very wet, but having great fun. Mum & dad saw a deer before I could so my fun was spoiled. I was doing my best to try and spot squirrels and deer but for some reason they didn’t want to come out and play.

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We returned and dried off ready for our last night in the Bowerhouse. I was just starting to settle into the week, and suddenly we were having to go home.

I had a great week of Dexploring in Eskdale and everyone was kind and friendly and lovely. It was so much fun that I didn’t want it to end.

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An Eskdale Tail – the last day

The day dawned in Eskdale and I began to realise that this was my last full day here. I had sad ears, as the sun was shining again, the birds were singing in the trees and I was falling for this valley and the surrounding area. I woke mum & dad up and went out with dad for what was to be my last patrol around Eskdale Green. We were all a little tired after our week of fun and wanderings. We decided that we would go around the valley to a place called Nether Wasdale. There seemed to be quite a few paths there and they weren’t too hilly. A gentle days walking was ahead.

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We arrived and parked quickly to get out and about on adventures. We strolled through the village and onto  some farm land. Sadly I was a bit lively and still had some zooms in my paws, so the field with cows and a bull was definitely out of bounds to me. Not that it mattered, as the detour took us through a farm yard and out onto another road with spectacular views to the head of the Wasdale valley.

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I was drinking in the views as I walked, as I had been listening to mum & dad say that they would miss these views from tomorrow. We went on a circular walk, and got back in the car to drive to the Wasdale Head.

On the way to Wasdale Head, we stopped again by Wastwater itself, to take in the views and the fresh air. It was brilliant to see the water stretching away toward the hills in the distance.

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When we got to Wasdale Head, we strolled past the church of St Olaf, which was small enough that even I think I would have to duck to get in the doorway.  Sadly, there were cows & bulls in fields through which we were going to walk and it wasn’t really a good idea to take me close by. I would have to come here more often so I can get less excited around them.

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We ended our visit to Wastwater and retreated to the cottage. Mum & dad started packing things away and tidying the place. I went and lazed in my bed, so I could think about what I could write in my blog when I got back home. My ears were becoming sadder as the day went on, as I didn’t want to leave.

We went to the Bowerhouse Inn for the last time, they had some food and drink and i had gravy bones and a laze on my settle mat. Tomorrow was going to be an adventure, but I wondered if it was going to be as exciting as the last 6 days.

Early in the morning we left in the car. The motorways went past us like a blur as we headed south. No one wanted to go home, all of us had enjoyed the time.

Eskdale in Cumbria, in the words of Arnie, I’ll be back.

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An Eskdale Tail – Part 6

Or the riverside stroll

Another lovely day dawned in Eskdale. I nosed around the curtain and saw the sun shining and heard the birds twittering in the trees. I wondered what the day would hold for me. I was a bit tired and I needed some extra yoga stretches before I could get going. I took dad out for our normal stroll around the village and I double checked that Raffa wasn’t at the Bowerhouse Inn. Sadly she wasn’t. Back to the cottage, breakfast was eaten by us all and mum suggested we take a gentle stroll along the river to Dalegarth and Boot. This sounded like fun as the words “gentle stroll” and “Beagle Harrier” aren’t usually found in the same county as each other.

I was shackled to my dad and off we went.

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It was a lovely warm early summers day for a “gentle” stroll. We went through gates, fields, pastures and woods to get to Dalegarth, via Stanley Ghyll Fall, which is also known as Dalegarth Falls.

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We wandered along the footpath and I got so many scents that I was in Beagle Harrier heaven again. I was really liking Eskdale valley, the longer I stayed the more I liked it. I was allowed to wade in the rivers, which was good for my warm paws.

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We even went to the Boot Inn where I had to apologise to numerous people as dad had decided to wear shorts due to it being nice and warm. It was such a lovely walk that we even took our time wandering back towards the cottage in the afternoon.

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It was quite some walk and I flopped onto my bed for a snooze. Whilst I was asleep, mum & dad decided to continue their age old traditional of sending postcards to people. I woke up and I realised that my paw had cramp and I hobbled around like a tripod hound, looking very sorry for myself. It worked as I then had 2 servants (aka mum & dad) gently massaging my paw to make it feel better. And then I got some extra food and water to rehydrate me and to help me snooze a little more easily.

Eventually we all decided to go to the pub for some food and drinks. I got to snooze on my settle mat again, just to rest my weary paws, and make myself ready for the final days shenanigans tomorrow.

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I could definitely get used to this.

An Eskdale Tail – Part 5

Or The Drigg Dash

Tuesday morning started with the sun shining and birds singing in the trees. Pretty much the same as for the last 3 days so I was beginning to like this place very much. Once dad had decided to get out of bed, we went out for our morning patrol around the village, via the railway line and around the base of Muncaster Fell. I wondered to myself if I would ever get to the summit? Maybe one day.

I was feeling a bit weary by now. I am used to walking 5-7 miles a day back home in posh Bucks, but here there are mountains, sheep, ferns, becks, red squirrels and so many other sights and sounds to assault my senses. I checked to see if Raffa was still here, I aroooed at the pub but there was no answer. I had sad ears, I was going to miss her & auntie J for the rest of my holibob.  Having returned to the lovely cottage, we were about to go to a place called St Bees as they had a proper beach there, and mum & dad had never been to this strange sounding place. When I heard the name it got me wondering what bees had done to be sainted, despite making honey and making good targets for me to chase at home in my grounds? In any case, that would have to wait as the nice man who owned the Cottage told us about a place called Drigg which was much closer and he said was great for letting “the dog run around”. This sounded ideal to me but there is a slight problem with it. I never go off lead. I have escaped 3 times already and worried mum & dad senseless so I am permanently shackled to one or the other of them. Anyway, off we went and found this place called Drigg. Wow!! It is indeed great.

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The tide was out and my eyes couldn’t believe how much room I had to pull and sniff and wander about, singing the song of the Beagle as much as possible. We walked to the edge of the sea, I remembered not to drink the horrid water, and then we strolled further along the beach.

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This was awesome. I tried to get to the top of the sand dunes, however a combination of very loose sand and an immovable object called dad, meant I was thwarted in my efforts. It didn’t matter though, as we all had fun. I even found a jellyfish but I was quickly told not to touch.

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Returning to Eskdale later in the day, it appeared I still had some zooms in my paws. So mum & dad found a circular route through some forest paths and tracks and off we went. I was walking gently as I could feel my tiredness coming back. We strolled through a place called Giggle Alley which had a Japanese Garden on a side path. It is a bit overgrown but is being looked after by the local people. It was fun seeing some of the plants and shrubs that I have in my garden in posh Bucks too.

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When we got to the forest track, I immediately got the scent of my mortal enemy, the squirrel. I was reined in significantly as the tress have red squirrels in them and I am not allowed to try and get them. In fact I wouldn’t try to nom them anyway, as they are protected and I quite like them. Unlike their grey cousins. We took in the sights and smells of the forest track for a few miles. Returning to the cottage, we all felt a bit tired.

We managed to drag ourselves to the pub in the evening and I laid under the table watching the world go by. I took up my now usual place under the table. The gravy bones appeared and I snoozed a while, before returning to the Cottage to complete another great day in Eskdale.

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I could get used to this..

An Eskdale Tail – part four

Or Ravenglass rambles with Raffa.

I was beginning to warm to Eskdale by Monday. I woke up, looked out of the window, saw the sun shine and wondered where we would go today. I took dad for another stroll around the village to make sure he was fully acquainted with the area. By the time we returned to the cottage, mum was ready to go and it was off to the pub to meet with Raffa & auntie J.

We walked back to the La’al Ratty train station and saw the train arrive in the station. This made dad run to make sure we got our seats on the train to Ravenglass. We were off to see some Roman history today. We were going to stroll on the beach and let the humans eat cake and drink coffee. The train trundled along the foot of Muncaster Fell as we all enjoyed the smell of steam and smoke from sitting directly behind the driver.
When we got to Ravenglass we made straight for the beach and saw that tide was out. I had never been to the beach, so I had never tasted seawater. I was warned by Raffa that it didn’t taste too great but being a boy I didn’t bother listening. She was right, it was horrible.

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We did enjoy seeing all the small boats though. It is a nice place with some lovely views over the confluence of the rivers Mite & Irt. As predicted the humans retired to a cafe for coffee and cake. Raffa & I lazed about on our settle mats and woofed about our trip whilst they ate and drank. Soon we decided to explore Ravenglass a little more and found a place called the Roman Bath House.

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It looked a bit leaky to Raffa & me, which was fortunate as neither of us like baths.

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On the return La’al Ratty train journey, it was clear that the humans hadn’t learned anything as we sat directly behind the driver again.

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We escorted Raffa & Auntie J back to the pub and we all said goodbye, as they had to go home. I had sad ears. We had enjoyed having their company and I could woof with Raffa. Now I had to put up with my mum & dad for the remaining days.

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There was one final surprise for me for the day, as we went to a different pub in the evening for food & some drink. The George IV was a bit quieter than the Bowerhouse Inn. I was missing Raffa already. I laid under the table, hoping they had a good journey home.

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Tomorrow would bring new fun and excitement. I couldn’t wait..