Camping Essentials

The majority of the holidays I’ve been on, until I was 16 have been camping holidays. Pretty much every year we’d go camping on one big summer holiday, usually to France or Germany, as well as camping most weekends through May to July. I’d never really experienced a holiday staying in a hotel until I went to New York!

I was away camping last weekend so today I’d thought I’d share with you some of my camping essentials! Firstly I’ll point out however that our camping has mostly always been in a folding camper/trailer tent so it’s a little more comfortable than “proper” camping!

1.Microfibre Towel

Mountain Warehouse

A Microfibre towel dries so much quicker than a normal towel and you can get them in different sizes. Plus they fold down really small ๐Ÿ™‚ OK they aren’t nice to snuggle in to once you’ve come out the shower, but they dry quickly and take up next to no space.

2. Blanket

Nights can get cold when you’re camping, so a blanket and extra layers for night can be a help if you want a good sleep!

3. Hand Gel

photo-23-07-2017-17-39-50.jpgCause you know, campsite toilets can be a bit… yeah! Also because camping can just feel a bit dirty! I’m using the Carex Moisture plus hand gel at the moment, I find it dries my hands out less.

4. Dry Shampoo!

Photo 23-07-2017, 17 40 35I forgot to take some with me last weekend though and I really really regretted it. My hair needed washing but the showers were cold. I just couldn’t bring myself to wash my hair in cold water! I use the original Batiste dry shampoo ๐Ÿ™‚ They also come in a travel mini size which may be more convenient for you! I want to try some of the Zerreau no wash shampoo (if anyone has tried it please do share your experience!) ๐Ÿ™‚

5. Flip Flops

I’m actually a Crocs kind of girl. Yes judge me all you want! But I adore my Crocs. They’re so comfy! Anyway, Crocs/flip flops = essential in campsite showers and are just easy to slide on and off!

6. Wipesphoto-23-07-2017-17-40-59.jpg

I mainly use these for cleaning my hands after putting sun cream on when I’m out and about. But wipes are very useful!

7. Sun Cream

Photo 23-07-2017, 17 41 32I’m ginger and have pale skin so I burn incredibly easily. Hence the factor 50+ kids stuff. I use the Boots Kids Play 8h protection sun cream, which really works. I’ve been using it for years and have never been burnt while using it. I also take a “normal” sun cream because although the 8h protection is great it is very thick and a bit of a pain to rub in. So I use the Nivea stuff as a top up cream or just something if I’m only out for a couple of hours. I honestly really do recommend the Boots Kids Play though!

8. Blister Plasters

photo-23-07-2017-17-41-10.jpgA selection of blister plasters won’t go amiss. I took the toe ones too and I’m glad I did as I had a huge blister on my toe last weekend!

9. Lip Balm

photo-23-07-2017-17-40-09.jpgI actually took the Carmex Cherry with SPF 15 in, but lip balm is definitely an essential. Especially if your lips get burnt!

10. Moisturiser

Photo 23-07-2017, 17 42 02Camping can dry your skin out. Especially if you’re like me and suffer from eczema. The grass at the campsite we were at dried my skin out a lot, and combined with being outside just made me appreciate moisturiser. Yes I know again this is a kids product, but it is great for people with eczema as it doesn’t irritate. Plus it smells wonderful!

Are any of these products in your holiday/travel bag? Did you forget anything last time you went away and regret it? ย ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I’ll see you again soon ๐Ÿ˜€

 

 

The Picture Tag

So last week Bea from BeaFreeย did the picture tag, nominating everyone for it. So I decided I’d give it a go today! ๐Ÿ™‚

A MESSAGE FROM THE CREATOR:

โ€œBlondeโ€™s Tea, creator thisย tag, got tired of seeing the same tags all around and decided to create a simple tag where you just have to post one picture ofย five different themes (e.g. your favourite picture of yourself, the best picture you have ever taken, a picture with your sibling, etc.) that will be given by your nominator. You donโ€™t have to have photography skills or anything, it is just to spread lovely pictures on your blog and bring back lovely memories.โ€

RULES:

  • Paste the text about the creator and the tag (the text above).
  • Post the 5 pictures that stick to the themes given.
  • Nominate 5 people (or just as much as you want).
  • Give 5 themes for your nominees pictures.
  • Notify your nominees about their nomination.

Favourite Photo of Me:ย 

IMG_1939

This is probably my favourite most recent photo of me ๐Ÿ™‚

Photo of My Favourite Vacation

IMG_3168

I think my favourite holiday has to be to New York in 2010.

Photo of My Funnest Day

IMG_5890

My first ever trip to the WB Studio tour! ๐Ÿ™‚

A Photo of Your Pet

CC229304

This was a long time ago now, and I don’t have any pets anymore, but this is me with 2 of my guinea pigs (I had 4).

A Photo that Makes Me Happy

IMG_9158

This was the day I graduated from my undergraduate degree in 2015.

My Themes to You:

  • Favourite photo of yourself
  • Photo of you and your best friend
  • The best photo you’ve ever taken
  • A photo of your pet
  • A photo that makes youย happy

Nominees:

Everyone who reads this ๐Ÿ™‚

The Travel Tag

An Historian About Town nominated me for the Travel Tag ๐Ÿ™‚ An Historian About Town has a great blog and I love looking at her adventures and all the other things she posts about ๐Ÿ™‚

The Travel Tag is all about how and where you travel, and what you look for. I hope you enjoy having a look at some of the places I’ve travelled ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_1939

What is your favourite place that you have visited?

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit quite a few places and as much as me and my brother used to complain about it when we were younger I visited most of western Europe at a young age. In more recent years I’ve been lucky enough to visit Bermuda, Norway, New York and Chicago so it’s really hard to pick one place!

I think if I have to pick one it would be Bermuda. It was absolutely beautiful there and I loved snorkelling on the coral reefs!

DCIM100MEDIA

If you could visit anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

Tomorrow?ย Erm… Pompeii? I really want to visit there to learn its history.

Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?

City. I mean I do enjoy a few hours on the beach here and there and snorkelling is good fun but I wouldn’t like my whole holiday to be on a beach. I’m rubbish at sitting around doing nothing, I always have to be doing something!

My top three travel essentials are:ย 

1. My Kindle/Books. I love reading so always take books with me ๐Ÿ™‚
2. My camera. I take the occasional photo on my phone to send people/upload to social media, but my camera takes much better photos.
3. My little snail cuddly toy. Yes I may be 23, but he’s pretty special and goes everywhere with me.Photo 28-05-2017, 12 33 46DSCF2050

Are you an over packer or an under packer?

I either over pack or pack just the right amount. I like to make sure I’m prepared for a variety of weathers even if that does mean I’m over pack. I don’t think I’ve ever under-packed.

What is your favourite thing about going on vacations?

Getting away from things at home, as well as seeing new places. And learning new things.

IMG_4207

Would you rather go on vacation with family or friends?

Family. Always.photo-22-08-2016-20-59-12

What is the most adventurous dish you have ever tried from another country?

Erm… Arctic Charr in Iceland I think? Also Norwegian smoked sausage.

DSCF1228

Now, whom shall I ask to do thisโ€ฆโ€ฆ

 

Anyone reading this ๐Ÿ™‚ You can even post your answers in the comments below if you’d rather ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Doctor Who Experience!

A few weeks ago I saw on Facebook that the Doctor Who experience in Cardiff was selling tickets to go on a TARDIS and Doctor Who set tour. I wasn’t too sure about going as I’d been to the Experience already in December and I knew it wouldn’t have changed much. But as the Doctor Who experience is sadly closing in the summer, and as I am quite conveniently placed to get there, I decided this would be my best and if not only opportunity to do so. Plus my parents were visiting me that weekend so they could collect me from Cardiff on the way to Swansea.

The Doctor Who Experience is basically where you can go to see many of the costumes and props used in the Doctor Who series, ranging from the recent back to the classic series. It is a great visit if you’re in the area, and the start of your trip to the Experience will definitely be memorable (but I won’t ruin it for anyone who hasn’t been/wants to go).

I thought I’d show you some of my favourite parts from the Experience part before telling you about the studio tour.

IMG_4220

As you can see there is a reasonable amount to see! ๐Ÿ™‚

After I’d had a wander around the Experience it was time for the tour of the TARDIS set. This was great. You had to book especially on to the tour and there were about 20 of us, but they split us up into smaller groups when we got to the set.

After going through security we entered the BBC Roath Lock Studios, where several of BBC’s well known TV shows are recorded, including Casualty which I think we saw being filmed!

Once inside the Doctor Who studio we were given the chance to look round the TARDIS set and a couple of other bits while being given an insight into how everything works and how filming in the TARDIS set works, It was fascinating! I’m not sure I’ll ever look at a scene on the TARDIS again in the same way! ๐Ÿ˜€

IMG_4256

It was great fun and really interesting ๐Ÿ™‚ And I really recommend going for a TARDIS tour if the opportunity for doing so ever arises again! ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I’ll see you again soon ๐Ÿ™‚

University Field Trips

One of the great things about studying an environmental science is that you getย plenty of opportunities to get outside and see the world! It is great fun learning about nature, especially if it’s a lovely sunny day. The past 3 days I’ve been out on field trips, so I thought I’d share with you what was in my bag, as well as some photos about the sites! ๐Ÿ™‚

Obviously the contents of my bag would be different had the weather been really bad, but we were lucky enough that the weather was great for us! ๐Ÿ™‚

Photo 03-05-2017, 07 50 16

What’s in my bag:

  • Extra jumper in case it gets cold
  • Waterproof trousers (just in case! This is Wales!)
  • Clipboard and pencils
  • Waterproof bag cover (again, just in case)
  • Water bottle (1L as we’re out all day)
  • Packed lunch (the most important part of the day)!
  • Suncream (I’ve only got a small bottle here as I’ve been putting on my thick 8h protection cream in the mornings, so this is just to top up if I need to)
  • Sun hat
  • Waterproof/Windproof coat
  • Tree/flower ID guides

So where did we go?

The first day we went to some woodland (Park Woods) on the Gower in Swansea.

Photo 03-05-2017, 11 33 20Photo 03-05-2017, 15 27 21

Day two, we went to what is known as Waterfall Country in Neath Valley. Where as the name suggests, we saw some waterfalls!

Photo 04-05-2017, 13 45 35Photo 04-05-2017, 11 32 29

And finally on the last day, we visited a conifer plantation in Neath Valley, which wasn’t anywhere near as pretty or picturesque as the first two days! But nevertheless it was lovely weather! ๐Ÿ™‚

So there we have it, a quick insight into my uni field trips and field work!

I apologise that I’m a bit rubbish at reading posts at the moment too I’m in the middle of an incredibly busy time with my Masters with coursework and revision and prepping for my research project so I don’t know how much I’ll be around on here for the next month or so, but I’ll do what I can! ๐Ÿ™‚

See you again soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

A Week in North Wales

On Friday 14th April I headed off to North Wales with my mum, dad and grandad for a week. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be going with them as I had so much work and coursework to do but as I’d got the bulk of it done beforehand I decided I could do with a little break from work.

We were staying in a wonderful little cottage in Trawsfynydd where the owner was so welcoming. The cottage was on a little farm and we were provided eggs from the hens and traditional Welsh bara brith on arrival. It was a great cottage, I set up a little bed upstairs on an airbed for the week whilst my mum and dad and grandad took the two bedrooms downstairs (it was an upside down cottage).

IMG_2029

The cottage also had a little balcony/veranda where there were wonderful views of the mountains of Snowdonia National Park.

IMG_4207

On our first day (Saturday) we went out to Aberdaron on theย Llลทn peninsula, where we were treated to some wonderful views of the coast and the sea. It was a National Trust owned piece of land where we walked around the coastal paths seeing lots of sheep and lambs.

IMG_4154

IMG_1939Sunday it rained, but not heavy rain, just that annoying drizzle. We went up to Anglesey and Bangor for a look around. It didn’t really feel like we did much apart from visiting a National Trust castle (Penrhyn castle) before crossing to Anglesey. We also visited a place with a really long name!

On the Monday me and my dad climbed up Mount Snowdon (see my post about this here), where sadly we couldn’t see anything from the top. But it was still a great achievement, and this part of Snowdonia National Park is beautiful.

The following day (Tuesday) my dad and I went to see if we could find some low flying aircraft. Some military aircraft use an area of North Wales for low flying practice and some days, if you’re lucky, you’re treated to some fantastic views of aircraft flying through what is known as the Mach Loop. You can see some of my dad’s photos here.ย The views of the valley from the top were absolutely stunning.

IMG_4209

On Wednesday we went for a ride on the Welsh Highland Railway steam train. I can’t really say I enjoyed it as it wasn’t my sort of thing. OK the scenery was nice, but we’d already driven pretty much the same route through the week! After arriving at the end town we had an hour until the train turned around to go back so I found a charity shop to pick up a book for 99p to read on the journey back! XD

IMG_2008

Once back we went for a drive down the coast to Barmouth where I couldn’t resist a quick walk along the beach where I found some dolphins (not real ones).

Our last day in North Wales (Thursday) I decided to stay at the cottage so I could get some work done. I hadn’t managed to get much work done through the week so I decided to stay back while everyone else went to find some waterfalls not far from the cottage.

All in all it was a good week and I can’t believe where the week went! We were treated to some surprisingly good weather (considering it is North Wales) and it was nice to go away with everyone and have a break from work. The cottage was lovely and I loved that there were lambs outside the window which kept me entertained (they kept escaping from their pen and had to find their way back). I hope we can go back one day as I want to climb Snowdon in better weather again! ๐Ÿ˜€ If you’re looking for a place to stay in North Wales I really do recommend the cottage we stayed at (I left the link at the top), and the lady who owns it was so friendly and knowledgeable about what we could do in the area.

 

Climbing Mount Snowdon!

Climbing Mount Snowdon had always appealed to me, just so I could say I’d done it, but also because I knew how much of an achievement it would have felt! I’d fancied climbing it for a while but a holiday to North Wales with mum and dad seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so!

I’ve never climbed a mountain before (well not really) but I know it’s important to be well prepared so I’d done a bit of research about what I needed to take with me, and this was what was in my bag:

  • 2 L of water
  • Dry bag with spare fleece and leggings
  • Map of mount Snowdon and compass
  • Lunch (including mars bars)
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Wooly hat and gloves
  • First aid kit
  • Waterproof bag cover
  • Blister plasters
  • Camera
  • Portable charger for my phone

It sounds excessive? Maybe, but I wanted to be prepared!

For those of you who don’t know, Mount Snowdon is a 1,085 m high mountain in North Wales, and is the tallest mountain in England and Wales. Climbing up and down is supposed to take around 6 hours and is about 10 miles of walking (I think!), sounds like a long way but actually it wasn’t so bad! ๐Ÿ™‚

We took the Llanberis path up Snowdon, which is otherwise known as the “motorway”. It is supposed to be the easiest of the paths up Snowdon, as it follows the train track (which you can get up to the top during the summer months).

So at 10:10 am my dad and I set off for the summitย of Mount Snowdon, wow the first part of the walk was steep! But once we made it on to the main path it was quite a gentle, easy walk until we reached half way.

IMG_4188

We found a little cafe half way up the route, we stopped briefly for a snack and a drink (from our own supplies, not bought from the cafe) before carrying on.

IMG_4185

After we passed the cafe the path started to get pretty steep again. It wasn’t too bad, but when you’re only short and have short legs it was quite a lot of effort for me!

IMG_4196

Then finally we reached Clogwyn station, which was 3/4 of the way up. Where we met my mum and grandad who had come up this far on the train. The train runs to Clogwyn at this time of year but no further. At this point I started to get quite disappointed, as before we’d set off the weather forecast was showing as 95% chance of a clear summit and very good visibility. But when we got here the cloud was low and seemed to be closing in and it didn’t look good.

IMG_4191

IMG_1957

Still, we kept going and the next bit was so steep and hard! My heel was hurting and my hip and dad said “do you want to give up”. I am not one to give up! I was less than 1km from the top and I’d come this far! I wasn’t giving up!

After another 45 minutes of walking we finally reached the summit! I was almost in tears as I phoned mum from the top. I was so proud of myself! We couldn’t see anything though which was so disheartening but one day I’ll do it again when the weather looks better!

We made it to the top in 3h 15 mins, which when we stopped for around 10 minutes to see mum and grandad is pretty good going!

IMG_1849IMG_1966IMG_1959IMG_1958

It was incredibly cold at the top! So we didn’t stop for too long, maybe half an hour? Enough for a few photos and a quick bite to eat before starting our descent. You’d think that going down would be easier? Well remember those steep bits I said about? Yeah they really hurt to go down, you needed to concentrate and because of the steepness my knees started to hurt and my toes!

When we got back down to Clogwyn we suddenly came out of the cloud, which was disappointing, but so welcoming as it got warmer again!

IMG_1968

We kept heading down and stopped at the little cafe this time for a hot chocolate and to use the toilet. It was a lovely, basic little cafe but such a welcome break.

We finally made it back down in less than 6 hours from setting off. Considering the recommended time is 6hours return and we did it in less than 6 including our stops I’m pretty proud of myself!

My feet hurt and my knees hurt but all I had to show was one tiny blister! When we got back to the car, mum was waiting with a little present for me. She’d bought me a little teddy and mug.

Photo 21-04-2017, 20 03 33

On the way back to our cottage for the night we stopped at the viewpoint of Snowdon, where I couldn’t not have my photo taken!

IMG_1974IMG_1979

All in all I am pretty proud of my achievement! Yes OK, I think almost anyone could climb Snowdon, but a few years ago I could never have seen myself do it! The next couple of days my knees hurt and my calf, but hey I did it and the pain was totally worth it!