Lancs & Cornwall 06
Day 3 - Tropica, Bolton By Boland,
Sabden and the Thursden Valley
Sunday, 17 Sep. 2006 - Sunday morning dawned bright and clear. Even after asking
people for some ideas on what to do for the day we didn't have any
solid plans. We considered going to the Bird of Prey Centre but
thought it wouldn't be a good idea on a Sunday the road it is on was
always filled with bikers speeding along and we didn't think it would
be very safe. So after a little more discussion, we decided to
go to Tropica in Knaresborough to find some plants for Andy's tank and
to get me used to using Andy's sat-nav system.
Andy programmed the general location of Tropica into the sat-nav
system and then we were on our way. At first it was a little
difficult to get used to the sat-nav directing me, especially when we
were on round-a-bouts because I wasn't always certain which exit it
wanted me to take. During the trip I only made one mistake and
didn't turn in time, but this was easily remedied at the next
round-a-bout. The scenery was really nice along the way but
unfortunately we didn't stop to take any photos. We soon
approached Harrogate which had Andy a little concerned because thought
that I would get flustered with the heavy traffic he was used to
seeing through the area. However I either didn't notice that the
traffic was any worse then normal or didn't realize that I was suppose
to be a little flustered because I went through town fairly easily and
didn't think the traffic was all that bad really.
Shortly after we entered Knaresborough the sat-nav system announced
that we would reach our destination in 200 yards. It was at
about this point that Andy announced that he didn't know the exact
address for Tropica and he was relying on his memory of the place to
guide us the last part of the journey. Unfortunately for us. the
sat-nav system had brought us into Knaresborough the opposite way Andy
was used to going and he didn't recognize the building until we passed
it and he looked backwards. This of course didn't really help me
out because I had absolutely no intention of doing a u-turn in the
middle of the narrow UK roads, nor was I keen on the idea of taking
many back roads that were barely big enough to walk through let alone
drive in! Eventually we ended up turning around and made our way
back to the Tropica building and wandered in.
I don't know exactly what I was expecting to see, but I was definitely
expecting the shop to be a lot bigger then it was. However when
I started looking at the display tanks closer I realized that while
they didn't have a large quantity of plants, they had a huge selection
of very nice plants on display. Andy and I took our time looking
at the plants closely and enjoyed seeing the different varieties that
we wouldn't see in a normal shop. Andy finally decided to get a
Madagascar Lace-leafed plant. which he had wanted as a centre-piece
plant for a long time and a Echinodoras sp. for his Angelfish to hide
in. We each also got a book on the Dennerle system.
we were heading back towards Burnley when we both started getting
hungry. Andy remembered one of his favourite stops was along the
way; some place called a "Belly Buster Van." Again he didn't know
exactly where it was, but assured me he would recognize it when we got
near to the place. Unfortunately, this occurred after we had
already passed it. So, once again we turned around and started
heading back toward Knaresborough to find the Belly Buster Van so we
could have our lunch. This time Andy's memory was a lot more
reliable and we found it fairly easily. Now, I had been warned
that their signature Belly Buster sandwich was extremely huge and even
a starving man wouldn't be able to eat a full one on his own so I
personally had no intention of attempting to eat one on my own.
I guess Andy wasn't quite that hungry since he didn't order one
neither, much to my disappointment because I would have liked to see
one. I ordered what I thought would have been a safe meal when I
got a type of burger. However when I got it, it wasn't exactly
what I was expecting since it came on a foot long bun similar in shape
to a hotdog bun and the hamburger meat was actually thinly sliced
strips of meat. However it tasted really good and was really filling.
I couldn't even finish the burger I had, thank goodness I didn't order
the signature "Belly Buster" sandwich. While we were eating our
lunch Andy programmed the location of the Belly Buster Van into the
sat-nav so it would be quick and easy to find the next time he found
himself travelling along that road.
lunch we decided not to use the sat-nav to guide us back to Andy's but
took the scenic route instead. Our first detour was through
Bolton by Boland, a picturesque well manicured little village. After
stopping in there and taking a couple photos, we backtracked to the
highway to head back in the general direction of Burnley. Our
next detour was to travel all around the Pendle Hill area. We
stopped around Sabden to get out and stretch my legs for a bit, then
continued driving around Pendle Hill. One of the things that
stood out to me was the differences in the colours between the bright
green fenced off pasturelands and the rich browns of the unused moor
tops. I also enjoyed seeing the old stone walls all around the
area. It's amazing how well built they are and how long they have
stood the test of time.
From there we made our way back to Andy's to get his new plants in the
tank and to have our supper. After our supper we decided
to got for another ride out on the moors. We went over the Thursden
Valley and stopped off at Andy's "Put the world to rights" wall.
While there I went and had a closer look at the Heather flowers
because I've never seen them in real life before and found their
colours amazing. As we continued driving over the tops it
started getting dark and I noticed it was a lot easier to drive
because you could see headlights coming from due to the reflection off
the stone walls.
After our drive over the moors we decided to stop in and see if a
prize winning chippy was open. It wasn't open when we got there
so we decided to sit and wait to see if the shop was going to open.
We waited for about 30 minutes before deciding that the chippy
probably wasn't going to open so we decided to try something
different. Andy recommended that we have a biryani instead.
Since I hadn't had one before I was a little hesitant but agreed to at
least try one. We got the shrimp biryani and headed back to Andy's to
eat it. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was delighted to
find that it was very tasty.
Click here to see more of today's photos.
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