I have arrived in Newcastle and am safe in the loving arms of my sister. Getting here was quite the adventure and there were a few obstacles I had to conquer to get here, with the help of a few strangers. The flight from Toronto to Iceland was nice and easy. And same with the flight from Iceland to London. Upon entering the UK customs were pretty intense, make sure you have all your information ready to present them (bank statements, departing flight info etc.) they’re going to want to see it. I was only able to explore London for an hour but in that time I was able to see Buckingham Palace, which was worth the sight. The time came to find my Megabus and be on my way. Everything up until Manchester was a breeze. Manchester to Todmorden was the last leg of my trip and the most chaotic part.
My bus dropped me in Manchester at around 10:30pm and with my limited WiFi I was able to find out the train to Todmorden was at 10:54pm. My only issue at this point was finding the train station to take me there. Thankfully when I asked for a little direction on the street the kind, drunk sir back tracked his whole route home to walk me straight to the train station doors. The kindness continued when I got into the hectic train station, filled with bar patrons trying to find their way home. All the customer service desks were closed so I asked an employee manning the entry gates to help me figure out how to get to Todmorden. He told me I had to wait in the long line populated mostly by drunk people and said there was a slim chance of me making the train, as most of the line occupants thought the ticket machine was a pac man machine. I accepted my fate and started walking towards the line up when the employee began to usher me towards the train gate and let me in for free. God bless his soul. I was finally on my way to Todmorden.
The train ride itself was an experience, the party buzz of Manchester continued on the train. It was very live. I wasn’t sure what to expect walking off the train in Todmorden, people kept saying “why in the world are you going there?”. I was expecting to walk out and be surrounded with a whole bunch of nothing and struggling to find a taxi that would take me to my Workaway. To my surprise other people also got off at the same stop as me. Two girls took me under their wing and called me a taxi, they waited til I got on and talked to the cab driver to tell him where I was going. I got a message earlier from the Workaway host saying that she would be asleep but she’d leave the light on for me. The cab driver was equally as lost as I was and Google Mapped the farm. It led us up steep, narrow paths that did not feel safe for a vehicle. We approached one incredibly narrow road surrounded by cobblestone walls and the cab driver hesitated but went for it. The side of the cab scraped along the side of the wall, damage was done. We made it up and there was a dead end, shit. I could feel the cab drivers frustration growing. It took about 15 minutes to navigate back down that narrow road. He wasn’t directly telling me what Plan B was but he took a less risky route and Google Maps told us we arrived at our destination. It had been about 45 minutes since he picked me up and I took a look around at the two houses we were parked in front of. I knew they weren’t the farm I was looking for. The cab driver had had enough of me and my destination. By chance, two local boys parked their car down the street and began walking by the cab, mind you this is literally in the middle of nowhere. So I hopped out and asked if they could help. They knew the people who lived in the houses and confirmed that it was not my destination. It is now 1:00am and I am in the middle of nowhere with an angry cab driver, an obnoxiously high cab fare and a host that won’t answer her phone. I was about to resort to getting dropped off at a local pub and drinking until Emily could come get me from Newcastle. ALAS! The two boys came back to the cab out of nowhere and had gotten in touch with a few locals and found the farm. It was about 20 ft from where we were parked. I snuck into the house, relieved. So relieved. I found a couch to post up on for the night, I felt like an intruder at this point. But there I was, in Todmorden. It was a short lived stay there for reasons I may address later but an adventure that I won’t forget.
And now I’m in beautiful Newcastle.