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Monday, 4 July 2011

The 2011 Challenge, day 12: Lumsden to Alford (6)

Having checked into my hotel and had a quick shower, I wandered out to explore the Alford Transport Museum - and I'm glad that I did. They have quite a collection, from a Tardis and a tank standing out front in company with an industrial saddletank locomotive, to an impressive collection of stagecoaches, to the obligatory assortment of early motor vehicles, to Eddie Irvine's Jaguar F1 car (no volcanic ash on that!) along with a wonderful display of the evolution of the hobby horse into the penny farthing into the boneshaker into the recognisably modern bicycle, and an impressively informative display on the history of petrol and the petrol industry.

I would recommend this museum as a "must-visit" to anybody passing through these parts with time on their hands.

Then I returned to my hotel and asked for my resupply parcel ... only to have them deny all knowledge of it! This was a bit awkward, as Alford is hardly the best place to go looking for gluten-free trail supplies (although at a pinch, this close to the coast I reckoned I could do without) and moreover the parcel contained my maps for the last couple of days. A quick tour of the village shops revealed that I should be able to purchase Landranger 37 there; but not Landranger 38. Which meant that unless the missing parcel turned up before my departure time the next morning, I should be heading blindly towards the coast, trusting to intuition, luck and to road signs rather than precise navigation.

After an anxious hour or two, however, the hotel did eventually find my parcel (although I got the distinct impression that if I hadn't been able to point out that I sent it Special Delivery, and that the Post Office assured me it had been signed for, they might not have bothered looking!) All being well in Alford, I went to dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Now the hotel management are Indian; and the hotel restaurant is, therefore, an Indian restaurant. And I am not that familiar with Indian cuisine so I rely heavily on what they tell me about it in the menu. And there was a dish which the menu described as the tastiest dish on the menu, so I ordered that.

Now, what CAN I say about it? Only this, that once I overcame my surprise at finding strawberries in a chicken curry, I was AMAZED. Tastiest dish on the menu? I'm sure it was. It is also a fair contender for the title of tastiest dish I have EVER eaten ANYWHERE - and believe me, that is a pretty stiff competition!

So, if ever you are passing through Alford, DON'T entrust your resupply parcel to the hotel management; but DO make a point to eat at that amazing Indian hotel restaurant!

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