The Heat Wave of 2018

I’ve not known a summer like this since I’ve lived here… so that’s almost 20 years in case anyone is counting!  The weather is warm (sometimes hot) and very dry.  The hose pipe bans have started and there are fires on the moorland – and on Bidston Hill too.  It’s been great weather for camping and walking though so I thought I’d give a little update of a couple of the things we got up to for the past few weeks.

We went for a  walk with Denis a couple of weeks back starting in Wilmslow.  There were lots of shady paths and it wasn’t one of the hottest days we’ve had which made it great for Stella.  Although 15 miles turned into 18, I still enjoyed it (but don’t tell Denis I did…it’s fun to tease him about this mileage increase!) One of the first stops along the route was Quarry Bank Mill and the Styal Estate.  Then we walked alongside the boundary of Manchester Airport and watched a few planes taking off.  We had a stop at the Merlin pub for lunch – that was a nice place and given that it was Father’s Day seemed to be a popular place for lunch.   There were also two ice cream stops and the last leg of the route was alongside a river which Stella was most pleased about.

We also had a camping trip to Abersoch on the Llyn Peninsula in Wales with Nicola and Cathy and their families.  Nicola has a caravan that they keep there and we joined them to experience the delights of this little corner of Britain.  I do love the lovely coast line and turquoise colour of the water – it always feels to me like being abroad.  Paul and I took Friday off and travelled down in the morning stopping at Aberdaron.   This is a lovely little village with a nice beach, a great bakery and some lovely little shops including an ice cream shop!  After ice cream for me and a pie at the bakery for Paul, we headed to the beach for a little walk and play.  Stella loved running in and out of the surf playing ball.

We headed to the campsite where we found ourselves on a farm in a camping field to ourselves.  Stella was in heaven.  Even more so when the rest of the party joined us – more friends to play ball with.  On Saturday we went for a coastal walk – estimated distance 8 miles, actual distance 15).  There was ice cream, a pub stop and 3 beaches along the way.  We all felt we’d earned the sunny BBQ that night – lovely to sit chatting and still being warm outside.

We got up early the next day to come away so we were home in time for England’s second World Cup football game.  I came away with a couple of extra horse fly bites and sun burns on the back of both legs where I’d missed with the sunscreen but we both really enjoyed the weekend, the company of the others, the food, the walk and the weather.     The van does get a little toasty when the sun hits full power but it’s a small price to pay.  Our next van adventure is not too far away in a couple of weeks… it would be great if it was warm and dry but fingers crossed for temperatures in the low 20s rather than the high 20s!



lush 1

adj. lush·er, lush·est

Extremely pleasing to the senses: a lush scent; lush fruit; the lush sounds of an orchestra.
A word used commonly in South Wales, and as it happens, a fitting description of our trip there.

It was a bit of an experiment in that is was our first trip away for longer than a weekend in the van with Stella.  I think we all enjoyed it and came back feeling close to each other but also ready to sleep in our own, much more comfortable beds!  We walked over 60 miles on mountains, coastal paths, canal towpaths, beaches and country lanes.   We sampled ice cream at virtually every stop, had a couple of meals out, stayed upright in the wind, sat outside in the sun and just generally enjoyed the uninterupted period of “being together”.

The last night of our holiday we stayed in Shropshire not only to explore a new place but also to make the journey home a lot easier enabling us to begin preparations for Mum and Dad’s visit – but more on that later!  For now, here are some of the highlights (and lowlights) of our Lush trip to South Wales:
Best Walk – Worm’s Head and Rhosilli Bay (Val), Fan Y Big (Paul)
Longest Walk – 18.5 miles.  Fan Y Big and Pen Y Fan.
Best Beach – Rhossili Bay. Beautiful long sandy beach with kite surfers, reminants of a ship wreck from the 1800s and lots and lots of room to play frisbee.
Best Campsite– Lleithyr Meadow Caravan Club Site, St. Davids. You could walk into town, to the beach and straight onto the coastal path from the site.  And the weather was pretty good too.
Best Ice Cream –  St. Davids where it came across the counter to me looking about the size of my head.  And Licorice All Sorts ice cream too.  Oh my – that’s a new one on me!
Best pub – George and Dragon, Much Wenlock.  Great atmosphere, good food and dog friendly too.
Best souvenir – Oven mits from St. David’s cathedral with the slogan, “Too Hot to Handel” on them beside a picture of the classical composer.  Awesome.
Biggest disappointment – Dog restrictions/prohibitions on some of the beaches in the area.
Smallest library– the one inside the old, red phone box we came across in Brecon.
Moment with the Biggest “Wow” Factor – Walking under the waterfall in Brecon.  Stella stuck pretty close to Paul’s leg all the way through – a bit frightened by the spray of the water and the roar of it falling.
Best weather day – Worm’s Head walk.
Best meal – Our pasta creation in the van.  Yum Yum
Best drive – from St. David’s to Aberystwyth along the coast.  Lots of pretty coastal villages to go through and great views out to Cardigan Bay too.
Most spoilt dog – without any doubt, Stella.  Look at that.