There are some horrendous roadworks in Kendal at the moment, which effectively cut off the north western part of town from everywhere else. Trouble is, thanks to the local geography which includes one railway line, three separate rivers and quite a few mountains, there's a very limited selection of other routes. In fact, there are two. One is incredibly narrow, skirts the foot of Kentmere and Longsleddale, and comes out on a steep slope at a blind bend on the A6. The other is a narrow, twisting, switchback road through the village of Burneside and across the fields, joining up with the A6 further towards town.
To avoid the delays in town (which can be up to half an hour at busy times) we've started using the latter route. Trouble is, so has everyone else. In fact, I think one of the satnav companies might even have re-programmed their system to suggest that road, because suddenly it's extremely busy, and not just with local cars.
Yesterday we needed a quick trip into Kendal to pick up some vinyl flooring. We got through Burneside okay, and past the ruins of the peel tower at Burneside Hall. Then Dave decided to try to 'shoot the gap' along the really narrow section... and came face to face with a massive hgv around an almost blind bend. Cue much swearing, and a tricky reverse along half a mile of twisting hedge-bound lane until we finally found a gate to pull in. The hgv then trundled past without so much as a thank-you wave, and we set off again... only to come face to face with a van.
What all this heavy transport is doing on such an unsuitable route is anyone's guess, but it's lending the trip to the supermarket a distinctly hair-raising note. And there's still several weeks of roadworks left to go....