Our time in England is going to be a little more relaxing than touring around Mexico and Guatemala. We will be staying with family to save money and paying rent by cooking and DIY tasks like putting in laminate floors, tiling and painting. The weather in England has started off poorly, in May there were hard frosts in the mornings and every time we go to do something it seems to rain…..oh how we enjoyed the warm Mexico City Christmas.
One night on the news there was a report of Stoke Gifford council wanting to charge fun-runners to use the local park, after looking into the event and why a bunch of desk sitting officials would want to stop people exercising we thought we should support the 5K Parkrun events. We started in Bournemouth and signed the guest book, then we ran at Brockenhurst, Montacute House, Tralee and we tried Moors Valley but arrived too late to run with the group. Parkruns are a great weekly event with a friendly atmosphere and every type of runner, from the sub 20 minute to the 70+ year old runners, this has been one of the best things we have found in the UK.
Most of our time is being spent in the Southwest around Bournemouth. One of the great things about it is the coastline and all the activities that come with living by the sea. There is a path near the beach which is great for biking and running, we have a free windsurfer that is almost 20 years old but it works after we spent a day or two driving around looking for a mast foot, in the end parts from the DIY store helped with a hack job. We have even met other people who have old boards that they dragged out of the garbage, we also have some paddleboarding lined up but the weather continues to be changeable.
There is a climbing gym, although it takes a long time to get anywhere, the traffic is constantly bad, luckily there is a swimming pool nearby so when it rains we head in for a quick 40 odd laps. I have been to the oldest street in the UK and took part in a street art tour in London, we have had a wine tasting lesson and I will be doing my Level 1 Barista course at the Winchester Coffee School so I can learn how to make my perfect cup!
I have had a few incidences with some farm animals, mostly cows. If no one believes me, its true…cows don’t like me and let me say there a hundreds of cows. Going for hikes in the UK are more like country walks. This means that you walk through public footpaths in farm fields, through small towns exploring old churches and graveyards. I’ve had a few close calls although most would just laugh if they saw me….but it’s very serious. The only other danger seems to be from the non-stop propaganda coming out of the government regarding the referendum to stay or leave the EU, both sides have been as bad as each other, combined with the ugly scenes at the European Soccer Championships with the “Brits Abroad”‘s propensity for violence it gives all the residents of the small towns plenty of politics to talk about.