16 May 2012

Back in the United Kingdom

It was strange arriving back in London. When we left a couple of years ago I couldn't wait to return, and at first it didn't take long to get back into my London groove (listening to White Stripes on the tube, walking really fast, keeping an eye out for foxes). But I realised pretty quickly that things were different now: I had absolutely no wish to move back there, and wasn't even that motivated to explore the city. Honestly I was pretty surprised (I used to really love London), but I guess I'm much more settled in New Zealand than I'd thought!

Although I was done with London, it was still fun being back in the UK. We were staying with Troy, Willow and our new nephew Jenson (who was a big motivation for taking the trip) and spent a bit of time exploring Hertfordshire were they lived. This included visiting a museum, getting caught in a hail storm while exploring Roman ruins, and having a meal at a pub located in the exact spot as an eating house from a couple of thousand years ago!

Since we missed out on visiting Wales during our last trip, we decided to spend a night camping. We borrowed Troy and Willow's car, one of the tents from our France and Italy roadtrip, and made our way into Wales. Our first stop was the Breacon Beacons National Park, where we went rambling to a waterfall. I was really hoping that we'd come across a badger but we didn't have any luck (the fact that it was the middle of the day on a popular walking track probably didn't help...)

We carried on to the village of Tenby by the seaside which was very pretty and definitely worth a visit. We had dinner at a pub within the old town walls, then headed back to our camping ground. It was almost deserted at that time of year and I have to admit it was a bit cold spending the night in a tent!

Visiting some castles was the top of our list for the next day, so we entered the location of one in the Navman and it took us on a wild adventure. At one point it directed us down a narrow road which I was pretty sure was someone's driveway, and then took our little car through a ford.

We eventually made it to the castle which was a lot of fun to explore. There was an cavern under the castle, and even though we didn't have a torch I was determined to explore it. I made Owen go with me and use the camera flash to try and light our way. It wasn't as effective as I'd hoped, so after hitting my head and tripping over I was forced to concede defeat and return to the world above.

On our way back from Wales we made a quick stop at Bath to check out the Roman baths and try some gelato (I sure ate a lot of gelato on this trip!). It was pretty crowded so we explored the baths in record time, and made our way back to Hertfordshire.

[These photos are mostly taken by Owen again]


  1. Did you know that in my former life I caved in Wales? {like rock climbing, underground with wellies & helmet lamps} Your little trip into the dungeon reminded me of those adventures! Thanks for sharing pictures of your trip! I hold a special spot in my heart for the UK. :)

    1. You're brave - caving sounds fun but scary! Being underground usually makes me a little jittery unless there's multiple exits.

  2. LOL! Too funny about he GPS directing you to someone's driveway, and to a ford! I'm glad you didn't end up getting stuck! :O

    1. I didn't have a lot of faith in it at the time, but it turned out the GPS really knew its stuff! The way it took us was a lot quicker (and a lot more fun) than the main road.

  3. Just stumbled on your blog and loved your words about London. I lived there as a student for just a short time, but oh how that city spoke to my soul. I didn't go back for several years until my husband and I were traveling through a few summers ago, but my reaction was maybe the exact opposite? It took me a few days to find my groove and I was heartbroken that I'd lost touch with a place that had meant so much to me. But once I found the groove again, I realized how much I'd LOVE to be there permanently. Not sure that will happen, but maybe someday!

    Your photos are gorgeous...and I just started scanning down to other posts before I commented. Pregnant too?! I'm 29 weeks with my second! Congrats!

    the Reverie blog

  4. Anonymous10:39 pm

    Love the part where you drive into a low water crossing. If that isn't romantic, nothing is!