This being our last day, we had two items planned. The first, more general, one was to spend the day out and about and the other, more specific, was to meet an old friend for dinner.
For the last time, at least on this trip, we took the bus to Derby Castle for the 9:40 train to Ramsey. We had enough time to say hello to Elvis (not that he seemed to care) and to take a nostalgic last look at the horses getting ready to pull the trams.
We read that the horses make no more than two round trips a day and that when they are too old to work they are moved to a retirement home which is open to the public. We would have liked to visit it but maybe we will do so on a subsequent trip here.
At Ramsey, Tigger had the idea of extending our coverage by visiting Jurby. So we took the bus. There is little to be said about Jurby other than that it is home to the famous Jurby Junk emporium. In the event we stayed on the bus and returned to Ramsey.
We decided to go to Peel for lunch and again enjoyed the beautiful views from the bus. Along most of the route the track of the old defunct Peel railway can be made out, with bridges and tunnels though only ramblers travel along it now.
Lunch at the Marine Hotel on Peel sea front was forgettable, its memory further dimmed by two large icecreams from Davison’s Icecream Parlour. We sat on the sea front for a while and then explored the town for the last time before catching the bus back to Ramsey.
I had left it that I would phone my friend and arrange where to meet or, if all else failed, to meet up at the Spices Indian restaurant where he had kindly booked a table.
In the event, all the cafes and coffee lounges were closed so we settled for Bar Logo which had comfy settees in the window bay and telephoned my friend to invite him to meet us there.
I should explain, that this friend and I have known one another for 16 years but this was the first time we had met in person. We first became acquainted in the days of the computer bulletin boards (bbs) and the friendship which started in those forums continued later through the medium of email. Over the years we have sent one another hundreds of thousands of words in long emails covering many topics.
Meeting a “familiar stranger” in this way is an odd experience. Years of interaction soon overcome the strangeness, however, and before long you feel as if you have met many times before, which in a sense you have.
After our Indian meal, served rather curtly, we adjourned again to Bar Logo for coffee and chatted about many things. At last it was time to go to the bus station for the last bus back to Douglas, then to climb the 61 steps to our room for the last time.