Hola! Hope you're smiling :)
When I knew I was going to England for 12 days, I didn’t have much agenda – no places I absolutely had to see or no must-visit cities. I only had to decide if I wanted to go up to the countryside or go down to the beaches. I chose countryside, that’s an unlikely decision for I am a sea-lover and enjoy beaches more than anything.
I chose to go to the Lake District to see this place which enticed the Lake Poets and where Wordsworth saw the daffodils that mesmerize every young reader of English literature. Carlisle is the only city in the Lake District. I searched for couches around and found just a handful unlike anywhere else in England, Wales or the south where there are always atleast a 50 hosts.
The most interesting host in Carlisle had poetry on his profile
I live in the countryside in a caravan, by my self. There is a small, but separate room for guests. I have a cat, don’t smoke. There are many places to see in Carlisle, which is about 10 km away. There is also Gretna Green famous with it’s run away weddings, Hadrian’s wall etc. Beside that the nature here is really beautiful, there’s a river and lakes close to my place. Buses go from Longtown (which is 1,5km away) to Gretna and Carlisle every half an hour on week days (+Saturdays) and every two hours on Sundays. I can also offer 2 bikes for rides. I am too busy and therefore not able to show around, but we’ll see, maybe we’ll think of something;). I usually go to bed early because I have to get up early for work.
Stay as long as you like, I do not mind:)
The ‘I live in the countryside in a caravan’ and ‘stay as long as you like’ were most exciting. I intended to be in Carlisle for four days and the plan was to visit Windermere and Hawkshead and maybe pop in and out of Edinburgh.
I thought I found a host so I wrote to Artur and waited anxiously for his reply. He replied in positive and said the same thing ‘stay as long as you like, i don’t mind’
Artur’s is a profile which is too good to be true. It’s the kinds that you want to believe but believing it makes you stupid. And here’s why the profile is great but unbelievable.
– Picture: There’s only one picture! The common sense that surrounds any social media or community site is DON’T TRUST ANYONE WITH ONLY ONE PICTURE. Plus, going by Artur’s picture, he’s very good looking. If he’s that good looking, he would want to put more pictures! The most usual conclusion is – the picture is fake.
– Joining Date: Artur just joined Couchsurfing, only a month ago!
– No friends, no references: Nobody, absolutely nobody knows this person.
– Not verified: Couchsurfing verifies its members addresses with a poor technique of sending them a code and asking the member to log in with it, not so impressive but still verification adds authenticity to a profile, esp. as this one which is too good to be true. Artur was not verified.
– Very friendly: Artur seemed very friendly, it’s not usual for people to be that friendly and that genuinely friendly, chances are high that he is faking it!
– Originally from Vilnius: He’s not even British!
– Stay as long as you like: Which host in the world says ‘stay as long as you like’!!! That’s the least believable part – this is a fake profile!
But I would trust it.
I trusted this person and this profile because life’s like that sometimes, things can be very nice and hard to trust and travel is all about taking that risk – cautiously of course. Here I trusted Artur’s communication in emails and text messages, he seemed trustworthy. However, I suggest travellers to be always careful especially in countries which may not be as friendly as England. And to always have a back up plan.
My backup plan was either go back to Liverpool to Denis or up further to a lady host in Edinburgh – Marta’s got the perfect profile, friends, references, verified!
Everyone who heard that I was going to stay on a farm for four days with a really strange stranger, I got all sorts of advice – Catharine said if situation demands you leave the house, then leave – just leave, even if it is at 2 am just take your bags and leave. Julia said – go back to Liverpool if you are even slightly uncomfortable, other friends said – keep a list of bed and breakfast inns in Carlisle so you can rent one in need and a friend in India didn’t say anything – just transferred 30, 000 rupees to my account – just in case (a loan of course but the idea and the gesture are so kind!)
All set for Carlisle.