2nd March 2013 Coniston, Lake District

What a nightmare of a journey we had to get here! We didn’t get off to a good start as the Sat Nav tried to take us up Winnats Pass and we had a heated discussion about the rights and wrongs of this…we didn’t take it. Mainly due to the fact that I threw a hissy fit and threatened to get out of the ‘van if we did – we’ll leave you to decide which one of us that was…

It was supposed to take us 2.5 hours but 4.5 hours later we finally made it.  There were roadworks around Glossop which caused a massive tailback, then silly people were blocking lanes just to be able to queue jump.  This was all on a steep incline so Dean’s hill starts were getting a lot of practice!

An hour later we got clear of this near gridlock only to meet the tail-end of a queue of traffic on the M6, the fallout from a serious accident earlier – thankfully we were not part of it so we’re grateful for that but it reminded us of another incident we had on the way to Chatsworth earlier on in our trip.

We were driving along when we saw a car joining the carriageway from the left with a mattress tied onto the roof.  Both of us clocked it but as we were ahead of it at this stage we weren’t unduly bothered.  However, ten minutes later we came up behind said car and noticed that the mattress was only strapped on with two bits of string and the front end was lifting up trying to take off.  Having been the victim of another person who lost their poorly secured load a few years ago, we’re extra twitchy about being behind anything like that so Dean pulled out to overtake.

No sooner had we got into the right-hand lane when the mattress took off completely only to land in the middle of the carriageway!  No-one was injured but we thank our lucky stars that for once we’d been observant.

Anyway, when we arrived at Coniston (tired, hungry and with a headache) the welcome we received was wonderful. Jackie, the manager had us laughing within a few minutes and made us relax straight away.  She gave us some advice about the site and let us have a walk around to choose what pitch we wanted.  We got set up pretty quick, had a walk into the village to get a few provisions then headed back to relax.

The shower block here is excellent – lovely and spacious, with showers that kick out hot water at full pressure no matter how many are being used!  It looks like the facilities block has recently been upgraded and it has been carefully thought out.  There are two walks into the village, the better one being from the bottom of the site along the shore of Coniston Water.

The next day we walked along this path and the sun followed us all the way.  We called in at the Visitor Centre and bought a few walking guides as we left all our maps behind! Speaking to a chap on the way, he advised us that on the top of Coniston Old Man it was still covered in thick snow and ice with many people turning back and abandoning their walk yesterday.  We’re considering extending our stay here as there is so much to do from site.  Not only do we have quite a few walks we’d like to do, there are some good cycle routes through Grisedale Forest and a bus trip to Ambleside and Hawkshead looks promising.

We’ll leave you with some pictures of our beautiful walk to the shops, where we also purchased our brunch ingredients which we were able to cook and eat outside…in March…in England!  Whatever is the world coming to?

About Dean

Angela and I decided that there was more to life than working hard to keep up the payments on the mortgage, to pay the gas, electric, phone bills etc. etc. SO............ In 2008 we sold our house, I initially took a year off (Unpaid) and Angela handed in her notice! We bought a motorhome and set off for a year of travelling! This was the best thing we had done in our lives (Apart from getting married) and we have no regrets. During the year I managed to secure a redundancy package which felt very strange. Almost sad as I had worked for the same company for 19 years (BT). It was always our plan to have a whole year off before thinking about the 'W' word. We began applying to the Camping and Caravanning Club (CCC) for the position of Holiday site assistants in August 2009. After the interview, work experience and induction we were finally given a contract at the CCC site in Inverewe (Scotland). Our plan is to work through the summer in the UK then head to Europe to overwinter before coming back to work the following summer season. Hopefully these few words and our blog will inspire others to get off the hamsters wheel and see that there is more to live than having a house and material things. A cliche I know but this is not a rehearsal, life is too short!!! Since our first contract in Scotland we have worked a winter contract in Oxford (never again!) not Oxford but a winter contract. Hereford for two years, living in a yurt for one! And Cornwall. In between our working we have also travelled a bit. Hopefully this website will give you an insight into our alternative lifestyle. Get out there and live the dream!
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