Month: September 2014

Quintessential England

All is now right with my world! I am well, I am on holidays, I am travelling….how could I not be happy?

I love visiting England, it is so different, in so many ways,  from our little part of Australia and the fact that our daughter lives here is always a bonus! The only problem is that it is so far away which means long, long flights. I do wish Doctor Who would franchise the Tardis as a time travelling machine, it would make life so much easier!

We started out on Friday afternoon with a three hour drive, followed by a one hour flight on Saturday morning, then a wait of 6 hours (which we filled in very easily catching up with family), then an eight hour flight, followed by a quick run from one gate to another to get onto the next flight for a further 13 hours. We arrived in London later than scheduled so missed our bus and had to wait for two hours for the next  bus.  The two and a half hour bus trip had me dozing off before a short wait for our lift and a final 45 minute drive. We had arrived!  By this time it was late on Sunday afternon in England but well into Monday back at home. We were in surprisingly good form despite the extended travel and after a well deserved (and needed) freshen up we went out for a walk into the English village of Cheddar.

We know Cheddar very well, having lived here for 12 months, many years ago, while on a Teacher Exchange. The fact that our eldest daughter now lives here is one of those weird things that somehow just happen. It is a small village with a beautiful natural gorge as it’s main draw card.  It is pretty, green, has a market cross, a few nice pubs and is reasonably close to other lovely places like Wells, Glastonbury, Bath….

On our first afternoon we walked through the village checking out the changes and up to the gorge. It was a lovely warm sunny afternoon with most of the touristy shops shut and the tourists on their way home. We always enjoy seeing the gorge, it’s a great place to walk with outstanding views over the Somerset countryside.

Another of our favourite places is Wells, a lovely Cathedral city with history just pouring out of it. (The movie Hot Fuzz wS filmed here which is just weird!) Although religion doesn’t play a large part in our lives we love the history of the cathedral, the amazing architecture and the feeling of something special. We walked around in the sun, visited Vicar’s Close a beautiful street of old houses that are now used as music rooms given the sounds emanating from them; walked the high street; had lunch in an old English pub; enjoyed the colourful flower baskets that are everywhere, and drove back through narrow roads bordered by high hedges and houses so close to the road that sometimes they actually are the edge of the road.

Love the sunflowers in this garden at Vicar's Close

Love the sunflowers in this garden at Vicar’s Close

Later in the afternoon I walked around the local reservoir, joining the many locals walking their dogs (another very English thing to do) and felt very lucky to here.

To me this area is quintessentially English – it’s green, lush, old, pretty, full of history – and I just love it all. I also love the word quintessential 🙂

Status

Debbie Harris

With less than a week before we leave on our next big adventure I have started my Travel Blog and will be updating it whenever I can.  Here is the link in case you want to stay in touch and come along for the ride with us!

I’m happy to say that I am recovering nicely after my emergency appendectomy 2 weeks ago and have been given the all clear to travel 😊

Looking forward to getting away….🚲

Travel Blog: Cycling in Croatia, and trips to UK, Denmark, Sweden & Singapore.

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Annapurna Adventure


I am lucky to have been on many adventures so far in my life but I would have to say that my trek into the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal was one that I class as a real adventure. It was hard walking, up and down the well maintained paths with so many steps, along ridges, crossing scary bridges, through beautiful and unexpected forests and then finally into the the Annapurna Base Camp at 4130 metres above sea level.

You see, I hate heights, I hate edges, narrow paths, scary drops and suspension bridges!

I was way out of my comfort zone, but I did it! I suffered from altitude sickness the higher we got and couldnt eat but I was determined to get to the Annapurna Base Camp for sunrise – which was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. Once I made it there and had a little rest (I did actually fall asleep while sitting on a rock), I was fine for the rest of the trip. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done physically but also one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

We took 10 days to walk in and out and stayed in tea houses along the way. It was basic, rustic and beautiful all at once. We had local porters to carry our most of our packs and we each carried a day pack. The local villagers were lovely people and we enjoyed interacting with them. We loved he mountain views surprising us each time we looked up, up, up!

We flew into Kathmandu, then the next day onto Pokhara. We started the trek from Phedi (1130m) in heavy pouring rain, with our first night spent in Pothana (1970m). We walked the next day into Chhomrong (2170m) and then onto Doban (2580m). The next day we walked in rain again to Machhapuchre Base Camp (3700m) and tried to get acclimatised. At 4.30am wearing all our warm clothes, we set off for Annapurna Base camp to see the sun rise, which is something none of us will ever forget.

We then set off back down to Doban and Chhomrong. We changed our trek here and went to Ghandruck (1940m) and then to Syauli Bazar (1170m), Chimrong and Birethanti (1020m) where we had our card signed off. Then all of a sudden it was over and we met the bus at Naya Pul (1070m). Some then stayed in Pokhara for a few nights before meeting up with everyone back in Kathmandu. It was an amazing trip and a real adventure.

I love looking at the photos of this trip and reading our diary. We would do it again in an instant. Hope you enjoy my adventure!

This week’s photo challenge is Adventure. See here for more blogs on this theme.

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