Seals and Shingle – Day Three of Walking the Norfolk Coast Path

As I woke up on the third day, I lay there and didn’t dare to move. I was so concerned about how much I had ached the night before and how much I could ache today.

As I swung my legs over the edge of the camp bed I braced myself for the inevitable twinge…

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The Big 3-0. 

I turn 30 next year.

This doesn’t scare me too much to be honest- but it is a great excuse to have an amazing party.

last 364
I spent my 25th and 28th birthday in the Florida Keys with my best friends. We had a few days in Orlando, before heading down to Key Largo for my birthday and we were in Key West for my best friends birthday. ( so a double party!!)  Continue reading

Sunday at the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival.

The Destinations Travel Show was held at Kensington Olympia from the 4th till the 7th of February. The vast hall contained over 550 travel brands for you to peruse at your hearts content. That’s if you weren’t distracted by the plethora of talks, performances and food.

The main reason I attended was to go to as many talks as possible at the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival. I am a travel procrastinator extraordinaire. I love reading about people’s adventures into the unknown. I dream about doing these things myself. At the moment I am working on getting my fitness up to a good level so that it’s one less thing to worry about should I ever venture out my door when I find a ‘thing’ I want to do. (more like decide which of many ‘things’ I will do.)

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Family time in Paris….

As I said in my last post, whenever I am at Kings Cross St Pancras I really just want to hop on the Eurostar and go to Paris.  This year I actually got to do this.

My Dad, my brother and I got the train from Norwich early Monday morning ( with no delays unlike last time I went to Paris) and arrived in London at lunch time. We killed time in Kings Cross by having a really scrummy burger and fries, once we were able to check in we grabbed a coffee and waited to be able to board.

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Port Eynon and the Gower…

Last Bank Holiday weekend the housies, dogs and I went on a little camping trip to Port Eynon in South Wales. Being the workaholic that I am I could not join the till the Sunday morning. I was extremely lucky (and thankful) that one of my work mates was heading in that direction for the theatre dark days, so I managed to get a lift up after the last Porgy and Bess.

Sunday started outside cooking bacon and sausage sarnies, and me sorting out my sleeping compartment. We then all bundled in the car and went off down the lanes to Three Cliffs Bay. It is a beautiful part of the coast, made of sandiness, huge hills and sheer cliffs. It’s a dog-friendly beach so the were in heaven, especially Mojo, who was let off his lead which we can’t normally do at home.

There is rock climbing, swimming if your brave enough, and pony tracks on the beach, which I suppose means it horse friendly too. Whilst mojo was making friends we walked over the dunes and the beach, under the cliff arch and down to the sea. (At the cliff arch was a gorgeous basset hound with the deepest woof ever, who was quite content digging to Australia whilst his owners climbed.)

It was a lovely sunny day, and I imagine in high season the beach is packed, full of surfers and families – even if the walk back to the car park is like climbing a mini mountain!

The evening consisted of fish and chips, gin and cards. Because camping.

We were aware that the Monday wasn’t meant to be great weather (it’s a bank holiday – when is it ever nice?) and let’s just say the weather people were not wrong. As we finished our games and hopped into our sleeping bags the rain started. It wasn’t cold, and I had a husky as a bed warmer anyway.

It rained all night – we suffered no leaks, just that general camping dampness.

Weather aside we still determinedly went ahead to Llangennith beach, wrapped up to the nines. We parked in Hillend Carpark and crossed the dunes to the beach. This is a surfers paradise rain or shine, so it was rather busy up that end. We headed off down the deserted end and  were able to let both Misty and Mojo off the lead – and they were so well behaved.

 One windy and wet walk later we went back to the tent.
 

Once more the evening consisted of cards, gin, fish and chips and walking to the toilet block in the dark in the rain – Joy!

Am I totally selling camping to you?

The next day we packed everything up in the Micra – except me. I got the Megabus back. Trust me there was no room inside that car. The bus only cost me £7.

For me, it was far too short a weekend, but we all had fun, and I can see this becoming a regular thing.
In warmer months that is.
I’ll end this post with a picture of the prettiest boy on the beach!
Much Love
-A

A Weekend in the Welsh Countryside….

After a frankly horrendous week at work me and Bex packed our bags for the countryside – Wales to be precise. Lovely lovely Mo had offered room at her home so that us girls could get away for a break without having to fork out for accommodation.
We met Nancy at the station and then road tripped our way to North Wales, 100 pop songs our music of choice.  After a fairly pleasant drive – a teensy bit of traffic and heavy showers we arrived, dropped bags and went to Conwy Castle.

I should mention here that we had a list of things we wanted to see/achieve on this trip. Such as:

  • Walls
  • Sheep
  • Fish and Chips 
  • Castles
  • Beaches
  • Hills
  • Ice Cream

As you can see we are seasoned tourists with comprehensive lists.

A tagalong on our holiday was Patrick.

This is Patrick.

Patrick is a Canadian Moose, that travels along with us. He has been to Dublin and Florida, along with many other places with his pet human Nancy.

So we headed up to the castle and wandered to our hearts content, taking both normal holiday snaps and silly, well, mainly silly photos along the way.
We climbed up towers, went in prison chambers and chatted to American tourists. Having had our fill of silly photos and endless spiral staircases  we decided that it was time for ice cream – which  I have not had for almost 6 months, due to my sudden lactose intolerance. I had salted caramel , and it was SO worth the wait.
 Whilst slurping away we saw the smallest house in Great Britain and learnt all about welsh giant seagulls. They are about the size of a small terrier, and tourists are warned not to feed them as the are so unconcerned with mere humans that they will literally take the food from your plate.

The smallest house in GB
Giant seagulls

It was then an evening of fish and chips, and Acorn Antiques – well half of it, as we were all rather tired from busy weeks.

Nancy on top of the Orme

 The next day we went up The Orme, where windy was the biggest understatement of the year. Mo drove, as were were all a tad suspicious of the historic tram that would take you up to the top, and our fears were confirmed when we drove up some of the “steep inclines” to get to the top. No trams for us please and thank you very much.
Up there we found walls and sheep, so along with yesterdays ice cream, castle and fish and chip dinner, we were well on the way to ticking all the things off the list.
Clearly hills were going to be ticked off the list today too!

I am pretty sure Snowdon is meant to be there somewhere…

 In Llanberis we visited a beautiful lagoon inside a slate quarry, and then the miners hospital, which would have been a terrifying place to end up back when it was open. Mo’s family bought along a pick nick which we munched on whilst being attacked by midges. It was a really lovely relaxing day, walking and driving through some beautiful countryside – watching people try and cycle up ridiculous hills, and seeing the people who have just given up and walked.

That evening we even did girly face masks, with some trepidation. Especially with the one that heated up. But lo, we woke up Sunday morning feeling nice and refreshed, and our faces had not broken out in any forms of hideous rash-ness.

That day we went on one last meander along the beach, and made some new friends. The blob in the photo below is a Lion Jellyfish from what Bex can deduce with her awesome googling skills, and we saw at least 4 of them washed up on the beach, each one gradually getting bigger until we found this monstrosity.

Look!

You can see BRAAAIIIINNNNSSS!

Giant Jellyfish
They were honestly the most disgusting things I have ever seen, and the whole traumatic experience has put me off swimming in the UK sea for the foreseeable future. 
After introducing Nancy to the wonders of sea side amusement arcades, (we three are from seaside towns after all, and are fully aware of the joys a tacky keyring from a 2p machine brings!) we walked back up to Mo’s house to BBQ/swingball on down for Fathers day.
A well fed bunch returned to the big smoke, well walked and with a wee bit of windburn that we shall clearly fob off as a tan! Everything on our detailed list was ticked off, so clearly we were chuffed about that too – we even saw an added bonus – WATERFALLS!
The only issue now is that a weekend is not enough, and now I want to go on a full length holiday – far away with the ladies so we can chill, and drink mojitos to our little hearts content!
Thanks SO much to Mo and her family for having us that weekend, we all had a lovely time, a much needed break for sure!
Now I am back I am trying my hardest to get back into blogging again after a year long break, so hopefully…
See you soon!!
-A