It’s always a brilliant feeling to hear an Aussie accent, but the regular imitations from the kids were beginning to get rather frustrating. Fortunately for me, my lovely Grandparents came to visit! In the week before half term, they dropped by and spent some time in Cheltenham. Grandma had the misfortune of having a cough that could blow down the third little piggy’s house but once that cleared I was able to spend some quality time with them and our friend from Holland, Miriam, who also made the journey to check out the scenery. When that week was up, it was time for a killer party with the DCPS gapper crew. A reasonable amount of free champagne was around and another glorious evening of predrinks becoming the only drinks was underway. Soon thereafter I realised that I was leaving for the week at 9 AM the next morning and hadn’t packed so I threw some gear in my rucksack and collapsed into a few hours of sleep…
Grandpa picked me up from the house and after the obligatory photos we grabbed (the piles of) Grandma’s bags, said goodbye to Miriam and were on our way to join the hoards of M5 traffic to go upwards into the Lake District! It nearly took a full day to cover what should be a few hours but eventually we hit the beautiful town of Grange over Sands. While the Grandparents settled in, I went for a walk and was able to take in the beauty of the area. The town was once a major shipping port, with big boats full of grain and supplies making their way through the area. However, the bay and surrounds have been banked up with silt over the years so the towns economy has had to significantly shift into tourism which makes for a pretty strange but cool atmosphere.
We had a full week to look around, and my bucketlist I found was a tad varied to that of my company. After deciding to meet halfway we planned to do a day walk around Lake Coniston. I thought I’d make sure I planned a flat, relaxing and scenic walk- but after the first 30 minutes the classic “are we there yet” started to come through. Nevertheless it was a beautiful area with some incredible streams and waterfalls!
Our next day consisted of a pleasant walk down the Morcombe Bay Promenade, and lunch in town. Afterwards we met with fellow Aussie and blogger Talia (fantastic blog if you want to read up on travel experiences http://www.taliastravels.com/). We spent the afternoon planning and thinking about our next big adventure!
Bucketlist no.1 was to climb the tallest mountain in England, the might Sca Fell Pike! The lakes took us to the base of Sca Fell and we sent the Grandrents on a pleasant stroll around the Lake below while Talia and I faced the challenge ahead. Equipped with my trusty trainers and waterproof coat, we found our way into the clouds and above the sky. While we were told there was a track, once we got into the fog, it was close to impossible to find our way! Luckily through all the confusion we stood atop the peak of Sca Fell and took the obligatory snaps. It was at this point we realised that it was 3:30PM and we only had half an hour before we had planned to meet back with Grandma/pa at the bottom of the mountain… It seems the 3 hour time recommendation was only one way! Racing down to the bottom we avoided slippery slopes and survived a few bouts of hail to arrive at the bottom to meet some very worried Grandparents… After a classic telling off and we grabbed a pub feed and made our way home!
Another great thing to do on the Lakes is a boat cruise! Lake Windemere is the largest natural Lake in Britain and there is a lovely lake cruise that will take you around the south end from Bowness to Ambleside. At each end are a number of exciting shops and attractions, including the Beatrix Potter Museum, which looked like quite a fantastic place to bring kids for a few hours. The town around Bowness is one of those classic British tourist towns, full of nice restaurants and amazingly pretty cottages and pubs- I would definitely recommend a visit! In fact, it was so good we decided to come back the next day and kayak around the lake, circling around geese and relaxing on a few small islands.
Unfortunately, we did have to return to Cheltenham, after battling traffic the other way Grandpa and Grandma dropped us off and made their way back to Cheltenham, Sydney. It was brilliant fun seeing them again, and will miss them heaps for the rest of the year, but don’t worry in another 6 months I’ll be home! It’s simply bewildering to realise that already half my year has flown by- and while I still have plenty to do I’ve done so much. It was yesterday that facebook gave me one of those “this day last year” thingos that told me just how quick the time has gone! I’m super lucky to have my family coming over for the first few weeks of summer so I’ll be seeing them in only a few days now!
#jongmasjourney is an absolute monster of a ride, and for those who are keeping up with this blog you can expect a decent read this summer, it’s all happening now! My next post (hopefully next week) will detail all my London travels and after that I’ll try and keep you as up to date as possible with my 10 week break!
Laters, and as Grandma’s friend Laurie always says…
“Love all around”