Apologies for the blog lag - the last two months have been by no means quiet!!! We've been spending the weekends away, making the most of our time in Britonia before we leave for mainland Europe, on our 4 month voyage in our trusty campervan.
So we'd thought we'd quickly write about the last couple of trips... Camping in Bala
We headed down to Wales in the van for a weekend with two of our housemates (Irish Mike and Ian the northerner) for some relaxation time. Bala Lake is quite a large lake, located in the Snowdonia National Park. Plenty of rocky scenery and Ewes. We went into a pub in a small village - Welsh was the main language, and dominoes was the gamoe of choice for the old men. Good fun talking to the locals (and loving the accent!!) Ben's 200km Bike Ride around the Yorkshire Dales
A Bank Holiday came our way - and Stacey had to work. Three days of no work could not be wasted - So I headed to the Yorkshire Dales, to complete a 200km circuit - starting and finishing at the village of Skipton.
Mainly through green valleys with lots of rock walls, houses and sheep. I stayed at Youth Hostels, and met heaps of interesting people along the way, including a bloke doing a similar ride with a Mandolin on his back! The Whitfriday Walk
This is something not many people have heard about - An afternoon of taking part in a Brass band travelling between villages in a bus, marching down the street playing a song, and then playing one to a judge, hidden in a caravan! Heaps of people around, and was a great way to get to know the interesting and very funny members of the Banks Brass Band! We had a great time, and will be back in a few years to see them again i'm sure. Edinburgh
We spent a weekend in Scotland's capital just recently. It is a place that has a very distinct character, with a dark history and lot's to see. First night we ended up in a pub till late, listening to a great duo on violin and guitar, playing irish folk music and other pub favourites. I met a bloke at the bar who came over from Glasgow 15
years ago, who visited the bar most nights of the week! He knew most people in the pub and provided some great jokes and insight. The rest of the weekend was spent looking around the major sites, and climbing to Arthur's Seat to view the city from high. Ireland
Stacey's parents recently came over to do a trip around Europe, and on their return to England we headed over to Dublin for four or so days time in the Emerald Isle. We headed south, ending up on the visually stunning Ring of Kerry - checking out the Blarney Castle and Stone on the way (and giving the stone a kiss for the gift of the gab). Ben had to drop out early at Shannon to get back to work (which he was too sick to make anyway :-) ) Stace, Ruth and Noel headed back to Dublin via a working farm Bed and Breakfast, which gave Noel a great insight into the workings of an Irish farmer. All in all we had a great time, despite a cold and managed to meet some interesting people and see some great scenery! Glastonbury Festival
Well, last weekend we
managed to survive one of the biggest music festivals in the world - Glasto! We herded like cows along side 177,000 people to see some great bands, some well known and others who sold their CD's out of a ALDI bag. The Cat Empire and The Who were our favourite bands, while Shirley Bassey and 'Biggles War time Band' also putting in good appearances.
But the quality and amount of music was unbelivable - as was the variety of the attendees.. There were families, older people, kids, hippies, corperate types, non-corperate types and everything in between!
There was live comedy, a circus or two and entertainers walking around the crowd. My favourite was a Kazoo Marching Band, who handed out free kazoos at the end of the performance, with a note on them asking people to meet them at the Stone Circle at 2am Monday morning. Well we went along with it, and turned up with 15 or so other strangers - No Kazoo marching band!! We'd been had. So we made the most of it and played Auld Langs Lyne and "Always look on the bright side of life.." It was a surreal moment - there was
our kazoo band there, and a group of very high people around a fire in the stone circle.. I think we scared them a bit. Preperation for the big one!
Well apart from these trips we have been preparing for our 3 and a 1/2 month trip around Western Europe in Cheryl the Van. This has meant Roadworthy testing, Road Taxing and Tyre Replacing on the third member of our relationship.
She is ready to go and on Sunday afternoon we will drive to Folkestone, at the south-eastern tip of the UK to travel on the Channel Tunnel to Calais in France. We have been saying goodbye to work people and friends we have met along the way, with a night out here and there to cap it all off and say goodbye.
We will try and update the blog and write e-mails every now and again, but there will be times when we will be out of reach for a while (The Kombi van doesn't have a wireless service yet).
Until we are back home, we hope you are all well and will try and keep in contact as much as possible. We've been catching up on the news of flooding in Lakes and Bairnsdale, and hope everyone is safe and sound.
Love Ben and Stacey
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