follow site Image of Keswick town centre

http://vitm.com/?option=com_content'A=0 I had to admit when my partner told me we were going on holiday to the Lake District, I was a bit dubious. However, the Lake District is one of the most beautiful places I have been too. Here is my mini guide on what to do and where to eat in the place that has been awarded World Heritage Site status.

Lake Windermere

kundli match making apk Image of Lake Windermere

... Guadagnare soldi online Bonus trading on line 25 Segnali opzioni binarie optionweb opzioni binarie 1 5 10 minutiÃÆâ€Âï Migliori azioni The largest lake created by glaciers and the reason why everyone visits the Lake District. The cruise across Lake Windermere is a must as the scenery is so beautiful. We stopped on Belle Isle, a lovely little island where you can walk, cycle and even have a BBQ and partake in water sports. There are some people that do live on the island and there are even little holiday homes you can stay in. Myself and my partner walked around the island and it wasn’t difficult at all and there was clearly marked paths.

Keswick

binäre optionen handelssignale 2016 Image of Keswick town centre

http://gatehousegallery.co.uk/?myka=put-nelle-opzioni-binarie&4e0=c3 Keswick is a small town which myself and my partner stopped in for a bit of shopping. The middle of the market town is charming with a lot of original buildings which fits in with the surrounding area and lots of little one off shops if you are looking for an original gift.

Galleny Force Waterfall

go site Image of a waterfall

enter Located near Keswick, Galleny Force was a lovely quiet place to have a walk and picnic in relative peace. Parking is quite difficult as the nearest village is Stonethwaite which has quite limited parking.

Ambleside

source Image of a runner, running in Ambleside

buy tadalafil oral strips'a=0 Where we stayed and it was absolutely beautiful. There was so much to do in Ambleside lots of walks, a thriving place to do a little shopping (I loved the independent bookstore!) and of course home to Bridge House a little house that stands over Stock Beck.

The Sourdough Pizza Company

citas de maria de mujeres hombres y viceversa Image of a pizza from the Sourdough Pizza Company

follow url We stayed just down the road from this delightful little gem. The pizza crusts are all handmade for home delivery. I had the Row Row Row your Goat pizza which consisted of goats cheese, mozzarella, caramelised red onions and spinach.

Walnut Fish Bar

Another night, another takeaway. Wulnut Fish Bar served the best fish and chips, well deserved after summiting Scafell Pike.

Aira Force

lioresal 20mg Part of the National Trust, Aira Force is 65ft high with water crashing over. It is a lovely little walk which lasts about an hour if that,so there is no need to take the day out. There are benches where people have pressed their coins in.

paroxetine 20 mg uk Image of Aria Force

seroquel 100 mg kilo yaparmı Coins pressed in on a bench at Aria Force

Scafell Pike

Image of Scafell Pike

I had to admit walking Scafell Pike was challenging, the views were beautiful. I have to admit you have to be exercising fairly regularly to not find this hard work. I have written a previous blog post about this, which goes into more depth. However the feeling of achieving the summit was amazing, two scary parts was when it completely clouded over at the top and I couldn’t see very far in front of me. The second part was when I slipped over and banged my elbow so hard that I nearly passed out.

This is what I got up to on my trip to the Lake District, is there any places in the Lake District that you like?

 

 

View of the mountains of Snowdon

After feeling pretty high from completing Scafell Pike I decided to do the same for Snowdon. I had got it in my head that I want to climb all three of the highest peaks in the UK (these are in case you don’t know Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon). Luckily for me Snowdon is not that far away for me to travel. As soon as we got parked away we went!

What was the route like

There are a few routes up Snowdon, we walked on the Llanberis route which is one of the easiest and the most touristy route. As soon as you start the road is very steep, I felt that it was one of the steepest parts! It snakes around and you soon just follow the path up. The path is extremely rocky I enjoyed seeing the views (walking shoes are a must). Halfway there is a cafe and toilet (50p to use the toilet incase you were wondering). At this part it is relatively flat, there are a couple of bridges that you walk under. It starts to get steeper and at the top the summit it is very thin (it feels like walking on a knife edge) and everyone is crammed at the top taking photos.

The geeky Geographer in me (I studied Geography at degree level) was walking up and noticing all of the glacial features (the summit is a pyramidal peak and there are lots of corries) Funnily enough there is a restaurant there and a train station at the top, so if you are not interested in walking, can’t walk it or want to walk one way and get the train back down the other. There is that option (which if you think about it, is quite bizarre to have a train on top of a mountain).

View of Snowdon consisting of mountains, sun and clouds

What was the weather like

The weather was really good, it was lovely and warm, no rain at all. I wore joggers and a t-shirt with a rain jacket packed in the bag just incase. As we got close to the summit the weather turned so nasty, it had clouded over it was cold so I popped my jacket on.

View of fields and sky in Snowdon.

How fit do I need to be?

To be honest you don’t need to be the fittest to climb Snowdon – the hardest bit I thought was the steep road at the very start. As long as you give yourself some time, wear proper footwear and carry water then you will be fine. It is worth taking a map and a compass incase you get lost. and Make sure you tell someone where you are going as well.

What to pack for a trip to Costa Rica

If you are thinking about travelling to Costa Rica, you are going to be wondering about what to pack. The weather in Costa Rica changes more often then you think and it isn’t all bikinis see what to pack below.

Clothing

  • Flip flops
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Bikinis
  • Swimming Costume
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Trainers
  • Walking Boots
  • Jeans
  • Leggings
  • Light trousers

Toiletries and Medication

  • Bug spray
  • Sun cream
  • Paracetamol
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shower Gel
  • Deododrant
  • Shave Gel

Other Items

  • Sunglasses
  • Plastic bags
  • Mobile phone
  • Notebook
  • Microfibre towel
  • Chargers
  • Money
  • Water Bottle
  • Bag Pack
  • Camera

In terms of money the two main currencies used is American Dollars and the Costa Rican currency colones, I found that you don’t really need to travel with any colones at all. In terms of footwear you are better off wearing shoes that are quite sturdy such as trainers as the paths and roads are not well maintained (or even exist) at all. You need to bring bug spray as well in Costa Rica the mosquitos get everywhere.

Bahia del Sol Hotel Guanacaste Costa Rica view of the beach and a blue and brown outdoor chair set

Sun cream is another must even if the weather is overcast the sun is strong enough that you will get burnt. I went in January and the weather changed all of the time, particularly in Monteverde. When I was in Monteverde it would chuck it down, be cloudy and boiling hot in less than a hour. I was so glad I brought my raincoat with me, it was a lifesaver as a cheap plastic throwaway poncho does not do the job.

Are you going to Costa Rica soon? If so you may want to read my post on what I got up and where I went.

 

 

 

View of the forest in Costa Rica

Costa Rica in Central America is the ideal country to visit if you want beaches and stunning wildlife. If you are thinking about booking a trip or are lucky enough to have already booked a trip to the country of Pura Vida read on.

Tortuguero

Image of the Tortuguero Evergreen Lodge Waterways

Tortuguero, located in the Limon Province and on the Caribbean side of the country, is a National Park about a hour and a half from the mainland which you can only get to by boat. Tortuguero is known best for its turtles however I went out of season so didn’t see any. I stayed at the Evergreen Lodge and we had a boat tour around the waterways where we saw camen, sloths, white faced monkeys and howler monkeys which sounded like hogs.

Trees Tortuguero Costa Rica

At Evergreen Lodge you get to stay in your own cabin, which doesn’t have any glass windows (they are just covered by mosquito mesh!) to allow you to have an even more authentic experience as you can hear all of the wildlife. The Howler Monkeys in the morning sounded like hogs! You will also visit the village of Tortuguero, the village was tiny- it was essentially a street. It is the perfect opportunity to buy souvenirs and have a smoothie or ice cream.

Tortuguero Costa Rica view of a beach with black sands

Tips for Tortuguero:

  • Buy lots of mosquito spray, you will need it in the middle of the rainforest!
  • There will be lots of time on a boat, so if you are prone to being travel sick buying tablets is a must.
  • It can get quite cold at night so bring some warm clothes (and a torch if you go on a night walk!).

Image of a sloth on the tree in Tortuguero Costa Rica

Alajuela

View of the Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

Home of the Arenal volcano the La Fortuna region is a popular location for tourists. When I was there I visited the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges. It is popular because the bridges allow you to see the forest from above. There are 15 bridges and 6 of them are hanging, you can walk through the park yourself or you can hire a tour guide. I 100% recommend the tour guide unless you know the wildlife in Costa Rica very well you wouldn’t see not even half the animals that you can see. The guides are very knowledgable about the park and show you wildlife through the telescope. There are other activities you can do such as zorbing, rappelling and night tours.

Macaw Parrott Proyecto Asis

Proyecto Asis is a wildlife centre that I visited. The main aim of Proyecto Asis is to rehabilitate animals that have either been hit by transport or rescued from owners or in some cases hotels. The guide was very helpful, he knew the animals very well. It was interesting to learn that the parrot hybrids that were being bred and selling for up to 20,000 dollars were being let out into the wild and destroying the natural Scarlett and Great Green macaw’s. There was this toucan that had a broken beak and it was lovely to hear that a prosthetic beak was being made for it.There were lots of white faced and howler monkeys that were going to be released back into the wild. I chose the package so I could feed them which was lovely.

There are many natural hot springs around La Fortuna due to the volcano. I visited Ecotermales in Fortuna and it was amazing! There was about 5 pools all of varying temperatures and a cold pool as well. There are two time slots a day that you can book onto, to stop the spa being filled with people. I went late in the evening and the lighting was so pretty, it was all low level yellow light so it doesn’t feel clinical.

Tips for Alajuela:

  • Make sure visit one of the many springs, there are so many and you can book last minute.
  • You will find amenities more spaced out in this area and the roads are very thin so you will find you will need to travel by taxi a lot more.

Monteverde

Image of Rebecca Merchant in Monteverde

Monteverde is home to the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest and Reserve situated in the Puntarenas Province. The Cloud reserve was voted one of 7 natural wonders of Costa Rica. Costa Rica is well known for its eco-tourism (more on this later) and the Cloud Forest and Reserve only allow 250 visitors a day. So to guarantee entry you are best off going in the morning. The Cloud Forest consists of paths so you don’t need to bring your walking boots and you can either take a guided tour or walk by yourself. I recommend a guided tour as you will be able to spot all sorts of animals and learn about the history of the area.

Hummingbirds feeding on the feeder

Just outside the Cloud Forest and Reserve there is a cafe called Cafe Colibri, colibri means hummingbird and the cafe attracted lots of hummingbirds! These birds are gorgeous and are quite tame so you can get up to them quite close.

View of the inside of Cafe Colibri Monteverde

Due to Monteverde’s location in the mountains, the weather continuously changes. It would literally rain, be extremely windy and then have the sun beating down all in one hour! So you do find yourself pulling off all the layers you have put on.

View of the rainforest from the Rainbow Valley Lodge

St Elena is where the majority of tourist and food shops were located, it is a very small town but has everything you could need for your stay.

Tips for Monteverde:

  • It can get very cold and wet so bring layers! I remember sitting in the hotel bed with all of my layers on being absolutely frozen and not being able to put the heating on because there wasn’t any central heating!
  • I stayed at the Rainbow Valley Lodge, which I really recommend. My room was the double room with mountain view and I loved it, I felt so lucky just to look outside my bed and see the forest and parrots flying above.
  • Costa Rica was the first country in the world to pioneer zip lines. I went to the 100% Aventura Adventure Park in Monteverde which is home to the longest zip line in Latin America. You could go superman style on the zip line or the usual sitting style. Unfortunately the day I went it was so cloudy that I couldn’t see much at all but for the thrill seekers amongst you, you have to do it.

Guanacaste

Bahia del Sol Hotel Guanacaste Costa Rica view of the beach and a blue and brown outdoor chair set

This was the last place I visited on my stay at Costa Rica. I stayed in Playa Potrero which is home to essentially warm sandy beaches, fishing and water sports. For myself and my partner this was the relaxing part of the holiday so we really didn’t do much other than lounge around the hotel and eat at various restaurants.

View of the beach and birds in Guanacaste Costa Rica

Tips for Guanacaste:

  • Perlas restaurant is a great American themed bar. They have lots of live music and great Costa Rican and American food.
  • Another good restaurant is The Beach House selling traditional Costa Rican food, cocktails and again live music.
  • If pizza takes your fancy The Restaurant at the Sailing Centre (yes that it’s name) had great pizza.

San Jose

San Jose is the capital and the largest city in Costa Rica. I spent an afternoon there on my last full day before I flew home. There are a lot of places to go shopping, if you are looking for a bit of culture you could visit the National Theatre of Costa Rica, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Centre of Science and Culture.

Tips for San Jose

  • There is no such thing as the highway code in San Jose but Costa Rica in general, be really careful when you are crossing the road or driving in Costa Rica.

Getting around Costa Rica

Guanacaste Playa Portero Costa Rica

Travelling around Costa Rica is fairly straight forward, the two main bus companies used was Interbus and Gray Line. Booking an Uber is cheaper than using taxi’s in San Jose.

Image of a Christmas Tree made out of plastic bottles in Tortuguero Costa Rica

Overall Costa Rica provided me with such a variety of experiences from the urban to the natural side. Costa Rica is very popular for its eco tourism and is miles ahead in terms of protecting the environment and take pride in this. I saw Christmas trees made out of bottles, Ecotermals had an integrated waste disposal system allowing 100% of its waste to be processed and shops allowing you to take back bottles for a price. The locals are so friendly and will go out of their way to help you.

 

 

Scafell Pike

So I have officially climbed up the tallest peak in England and have climbed up a mountain! I had to admit when my partner said to me that we were going to climb Scafell Pike I was thinking ‘really’ but I thought as I was here I may as well and also as I have the half coming up it is extra fitness! If you are thinking about climbing up Scafell Pike or are doing the Three Peaks challenge (you’re mad!) have a read about my experience.

Becky on the summit of Scafell pike

Before the trip

Like with most outdoor walks, you need to check the weather beforehand. We were originally going to go on the Tuesday but it was tipping it down. Therefore it is best if you build it as part of your trip rather than planning it on one day.

The path is easy enough to follow, however you should as standard bring a map and compass as if the mist comes over you (like it did with me) then it makes it very difficult to see anything too far in front. Also bring food and water to keep you going.

I would say you could walk Scafell Pike in good sturdy trainers, however walking boots is best. Especially if the rocks are slippery. I would also wear waterproof trousers and coat and bring a bag that you carry on your back (not a shopping bag like I saw one person doing!). A small first aid kit may be handy too. I had a little ‘medical’ moment myself, I slipped in the river and banged my elbow on the rock so hard that my body started to go into shock, I felt really faint ( I had fainted before and knew the warning signs), was boiling hot, felt that I was going to throw up and my hearing started to go. My partner helped me over on the other side where I got some water and laid down for five minutes and carried on as normal. Although I didn’t need any medical attention it goes to show things do happen!

Small waterfall at Scafell Pike

How long will the trip take?

It depends on your fitness levels. I am quite fit but struggle with anything that is on an incline so it took about 3 1/2 hours on the way up and 2 1/2 on the way down. There was one person who I spoke too that took 5 hours just for the way up!

Gravel path on Scafell Pike

What is the terrain like?

Being as it is a mountain, you’re going to expect rocks! The route starts along in a right of way footpath in a field fields you start heading up almost straight away. Then it turns into a rocky/ gravely type of path for a while. After you cross this small river it turns into rocks for a while until it settles out into this gravelly path. Half an hour before you reach the summit the path is just entirely rocks.

James, Becky and Lbs on the summit of Scafell Pike

Extra tips

Start in the morning or around midday at the latest if you are a novice. I saw people that were clearly novices walking up at three o’clock as I was on my way down. It is dangerous because you are not leaving yourself much time if you get lost or if the weather suddenly turns bad. The mist was really bad when I went and personally I felt it was too dangerous for anyone trying to reach the summit after us.

There are two main walker routes up but you need to make sure you get the same route back. This is because you can’t get to the other start point without it being a near two hour car journey.

There are toilets at the beginning where I started (Wesdale Head) the start of the trail isn’t well signposted.

I have to admit it has given me the bug to at least walk the other two summits in the UK, so I am going to try and do that next year. Snowdon will be easy enough for me to get too. Ben Nevis will have to be a holiday as I live quite far away from the place!

Have you climbed Scafell Pike? Have you done the three peaks challenge? Let me know in the comments below!