Hello again from me, who is still pretty clean! What has my life come to that I’m introducing myself like that? But yes, another beautiful week has been had. The weather continues to be beautiful. We’re now pretty much as far away from Scotland as possible, on the South coast, and really, we seem to be taking the weather with us! Family we saw recently even commented on our tans…
So, let’s fill you in with what we’ve been up to. We left off last week in the gorgeous, if not-van-friendly Lake District. I think it’s just the volume of people compared to in Scotland, as I don’t think the lanes are any wider up there, but my goodness, we’ve been in some tight scrapes! Before leaving for the place we have strangely been longing for, the motorway, we cashed in a voucher from a friend for GoApe. It wasn’t my first time, but it was my husband’s. We (I) chose Grizedale because it supposedly has higher platforms than many of the others (the normal being 12m and some of these being 18m). I don’t consider myself to have a fear of heights at all, but yeah, when that tree shakes, you will feel it..! We really loved it though, and what was great was that we were the first of the group, and we did get quite ahead … meaning that we were able to go back and do the Tarzan swing 3 times! In comparison to some of them out there in the world, obviously this drop is TINY, but that adrenaline rush was quite unlike anything I’ve felt in a long time! And had us Googling other Tarzan swings that we may be able to visit on our travels …
We continued to make our way back down the country, stopping off once again in the Peak District as the latest family member decided to make an appearance 2 weeks early (actually the perfect timing for us, thankyou nephew!) This is both of our first ‘uncle and auntie-hood’, and honestly he is such a sweetie – almost makes me want to stay and cut the travels short! But there’s always video calls. Maybe we’ll be back in time for him to have learnt to call us ‘wujek’ and ‘ciocia’ (Polish for uncle and auntie).
We also used the time in the Peaks again to visit the gardens at Chatsworth House, and of course, get a proper Bakewell tart. I say proper, I think traditionally they’re not iced, but my sweet tooth doesn’t let me pass the icing up … My favourite part of the gardens was the ‘kitchen gardens’. Something about seeing food actually growing, and understanding more about where it comes from (‘’oh, the onion is literally the bulb’’) was just really lovely.
As I mentioned last week, we’re off down South for some proper campsite camping with friends, so it was another long drive for the chauffer whilst I worked, being incredibly thankful that I don’t get car sick, otherwise this might be quite the different experience!
I did book a few days off for the trip, being that we were actually with people and should be sociable. The hike of choice for this week was out and back along all 7 of the Seven Sisters. This place is so familiar, due to being one of the most photographed spots in the country, but it really is beautiful when you’re there – the white of the chalk against the blue of the sea, and the magnificent sunset we were treated to make all 20km worth the effort!
We have found, especially the past few weeks, that one of the things that really makes van life so much fun is the friends we get to meet up with along the way! Our friends in Brighton gave us their driveway for the night (they would’ve let us in the house, but this way is much easier than lugging everything inside!) and we spent a great couple of days there. One day just chilling with them in the house, and enjoying endless delicious meals, and one day being tourists in the city. One thing I’ve seen a few times and wanted to visit is the ‘Upside Down house’, which of course makes for some pretty cool photo opportunities. As much as you cannot beat an exotic white sandy beach, there really is something about a British seaside – the seagulls, the pier, and, my personal favourite, the fresh donuts!
It’s been a pretty busy week really, but so nice to finally be able to catch up with friends properly – go camping, visit their houses etc – feels like old times!
I have gotten into a bit of a routine of getting through a chunk of work in the morning, going out for a walk or whatever activity we’re doing, and then finishing off, answering any new emails etc in the afternoon / early evening. If your job allows this, then I do think it’s a good way to make the most of the day, and also, feel fresh and on-the-ball while you’re working, without getting too screen-tired.
Spolier alert; we also booked a ferry crossing this week, so if you want to know what van-life and work might look like outside of the UK, stay tuned…!
Read more about our travel adventure here.