A Very Different A3!

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Day 10 - Saturday 9 September

Today, a deep philosophical question. Does Douglas parkrun count as "abroad"? This is an example of what philosophers call a "boundary problem", and it bugs them more than most people because most of the time it's quite clear whether something is black or white, and if it's not, no big deal. Thing is, boundaries are always fuzzy, and very few things are always well clear of those boundaries.

(This is why the question, "what is a woman?", allegedly totally obvious to anyone not caught up in wokery madness, is actually not an easy question at all. Ninety nine times out of a hundred, maybe it's clear, but even biological sex is way more complicated than the simple-minded think, while gender is essentially a sociological concept that nobody's ever really thought about until recently. I very much doubt that anyone who thinks it's a trivial question could actually come up with a formal definition that would not be in conflict with their own natural intuition in some cases.)

So do we have a formal definition of 'abroad'? I don't think we do, so it's really hard to decide on this.

Not that it matters.

The normal parkrun venue has been unavailable during the race period and so we're at the alternate location which is a bit out of town. We still have the car, though, so no problem.

It's not obvious in the picture, but it's very hot and humid. There's one quite nasty little hill and I reckon that anybody setting up a cold drinks stand at the top could name their own price.

Wearing my go-faster TT hat!

Right, back to the hotel to shower and change and then we're off on the train.

As previously mentioned, the Isle of Man operates a regular steam service between Douglas and Port Erin from March to October.

The train arrives. A few people jump straight on but that's hardly necessary. It's going to be sitting here for a good ten minutes or more, so there's plenty of time to take some photos.

The engine has uncoupled from the last coach and is now going to take up position at the other end for the journey to Port Erin.

"Logo" or "emblem" doesn't really do this justice. It almost needs to be blazoned like a coat of arms.

Slightly surprisingly, there's not a huge amount to be seen from the train, so no pictures now until we get to the other end.

This is Port Erin from a very different angle than when we were taking the boat yesterday.

It's lunchtime and we're getting peckish. We didn't try to make a packed lunch because of time and practical constraints, so we thought we'd easily find a nice little cafe to eat in.

This is harder than we thought!

This is pretty much the only game in town. Seems nice enough, though, on the beach and everything...


This is basically their entire menu: grilled halloumi and tomato in a bap. (They might have had bacon as well, I don't remember, but if so it would have been essentially the same but greasier.)

It fends off starvation but it couldn't be called a healthy option.

Feb sympathises.

Oh well, let's go for a walk.

We'll be careful, promise. Our destination is that tower on the headland.

Getting closer now.

Unlike Corrin's Tower, we can indeed climb this one. There's not a huge amount to be seen from the top we've not already seen from the ground because of the height of the headland, but...

Aha, we saw some signs advertising "aquabiking" around the harbour, but hadn't got a clue what it was. Now we know.

Back at the station, they have a small museum and our train tickets include entry.

Getting ready to depart.

But first, here's the next service arriving.

Back in Douglas, we have a walk around in the early evening sun.

Kids are jumping into the sea off the harbour wall.

We think the water's probably still a bit chilly for our own tastes even if the sun is warm.

I don't think we realised the Bee Gees were born here.

Ah yes, we needed a photo of this. It's a roundabout, but there is absolutely nothing to indicate this fact other than the painted circles. There's no traffic now, but that was not the case when we first encountered them in the car and got seriously confused. No doubt it's fine when you're used to it, but I can't recall ever seeing anything quite like this anywhere in the world.

Back to the hotel, tomorrow is our last day.

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