From buying spices in a big city – to swimming in a hidden pool : Welcome in The Lake District

It has been a long time since we wrote a new blog. We do not often find the time to write for the blog as the days are quite busy! Most of the days we have been cycling. We have found our routine which we will describe in the next blog, but summarised: waking up – packing our stuff – breakfast – cycling – lunch – cycling – pitching up tent – dinner – free time. The 2- or 3-hours free time we have in the evening are spend with: taking photos, reading our books, listening to podcasts, calling with family/friends, and writing in our diary.

Luckily that we keep a diary… we would have forgotten so much already. Based on the diary and the posts we previously did on Instagram, we were able to write this blog about the beautiful: Lake District!

After Wales, our next target was the Lake District before entering Scotland. We left Wales with a memorable evening where we slept at a ‘Vicarage’ in Conwy, in other words: the house of a priest. (We got in contact with these people via a family we know, later on in this blog they will be mentioned again!). It was interesting to sleep in such a place and we noticed once again that church is still quite present in the daily life within the UK. (Even though the priest family mentioned that church is becoming less and less popular). In the evening we walked on the old city walls of Conwy. A long time ago we posted the pictures of our night in Conwy already on Instagram, the photos are linked here below.

Leaving Wales was quite special to us, while we were so much looking forward to entering this region. But with the sun shining above us, we drove out of Conwy along the coast. We passed other cyclists a few times, they were bikepacking. When the girl lost her cup on the way, we started a conversation. The couple went on a short weekend trip and invited us for coffee at a cycle hub café (by coincidence). We had some nice talks and due to the cycle hub, we could also pump up our tires to 5 bar. After the coffee we continued our ways, ours was heading to Chester. Chloé had visited this city with her family when she was a teenager and had warm memories. That evening we slept at a Warmshowers host after 79 kilometres. It had been a quite hot day, so we were very happy with the cold beer in the garden upon arrival. Our hosts cooked a delicious dinner and we got very good tips for the Lake District and Scotland. In the morning we did some important shopping in Chester: SPICE SHOPPING. As in this city you still quite strongly see the influence of the colonial period of the UK. Chloé came out of the shop with a bag full of spices for 10 pounds and a big smile on her face (fun fact: 100 days after, we are still using these spices almost daily). 97 kilometres later, including a lunch in Liverpool after crossing the river by ferry, we arrived at a small campsite and quickly fell asleep after a very tasty home-made curry (yes, with the new spices 😉).

From the small campsite we cycled towards Silverdale, a beautiful nature area near the Lake District. We were invited to sleep in the garden of the friends of the family we mentioned earlier. After 82 kilometres we arrived. Pitched up the tent in the garden and got welcomed by a happy dog. At arrival we asked if it would be alright to stay two nights, that was more then fine. The day after we did some computer work (photo editing, route planning), writing in the diary and we washed our clothes. The dog stayed close to us the whole day. To be honest; this was the first dog ever where Chloé was comfortable with. In the evening we had a Barbecue with the family and after we walked to the coast. The loop of invitation did not end here, as this family contacted friends owning a farm in the Lake District. As the journey to the farm was not that long, we took our time to visit Kendal (famous from the mint cake, which we liked a lot!). In Kendal we bought bread at a real bakery, and it was SO GOOD after all the toast-like bread we ate in the UK. (When Oliver went in the bakery to buy the bread; he came back and said that Chloé should have a look too – so I did -> AMAZING!).

We arrived at the farm quite early in the afternoon. It had been a very hot day and we had seen on the map that there was a river close to the farm. Unfortunately, the river was not that deep, but luckily our host (the young farmer) knew a hidden swimming spot. We three got in the old red Landrover and drove through the countryside. Parked in ‘the middle of nowhere’ and started to walk over farm fields, jumped over fences and then… arrived at a river including a small lake. The water was cold and that was exactly what we were looking for. Oliver and the farmer jumped from rocks and trees in the water. Chloé kept swimming around and enjoyed the scenery. Later on, in the afternoon the farmer showed his animals to us and a painter of the region. That was all very funny, but we keep the details to ourselves. After, we enjoyed a very nice dinner and slept in a super comfortable bed.

From the farm we cycled a short distance again, which was very hilly though! We had lunch at one of the lakes near Windermere (very touristic!). As often when we eat lunch, birds and ducks appear as they want to have a bit of our lunch. This time a family of ducks came by, including a few babies. We never feed the animals as some food is not good for them. When we sat in our chairs, enjoying our lunch and the view; one of the baby ducks decided to eat a huge pink chewing gum which floated in the lake. Chloé tried to stop him doing it, but he kept on trying. We literally saw the huge chewing gum ball going down his throat… That will be difficult to digest… and maybe impossible for such a small body… 33 kilometres after our start we were in the middle of the Lake District and arrived on a National Trust campsite. As mentioned previously in the Instagram post below, everyone arriving in a ‘green way’ (by foot, by bicycle or by public transport) received a discount. Great!

The next day we had a ‘break day’ – which does not mean that we sit around – we went for a hike up the mountains! We left very early as it was a Saturday in high-season and the weather forecast did not look promising. The forecast was right; it was hardcore! Very strong wind and a lot of rain! We hiked 10 kilometres including 700 metres up and 700 metres down. The views were fantastic, especially when the sun came through the clouds. And even though the weather was not so good, it did mean that we were almost alone up in the mountains, which we like a lot.

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