I've been having fun. So far this year I've been lucky enough to go on a few great camping trips. And it's all been in the name of work. I've been writing a new series for MMM Magazine called 'Great British Adventures' in which I've been sharing ideas for great adventures around the country. Each of the episodes features three different adventures with advice on how to do it for yourself, what to expect and places to park up the camper or motorhome when you are there. The series covers the whole of Britain, so we've been making strategic forays to various parts of the country to spend a few days doing the adventures, taking pictures and staying over. Doing this research hasn't exactly been tough and I have enjoyed every moment of it.
We've seen things and done things that we'd never normally do and it's been really liberating. I've explored underground tunnels in Exeter, surfed the Severn Bore (that was amazing), sailed a dinghy, ridden horses along the beach at Woolacombe, learnt how to ride a Waverider surf machine and searched for fossils on the Jurassic Coast.
As a surfer I usually get my kicks in the sea, so having the chance to try other 'disciplines' has been great. It's easy to become narrow minded about these things - as if nothing else is good enough for you other than 'your' sport. But the more I have done the more I have opened up to other ideas. Even mountain climbing, for goodness' sake.
It hasn't all been easy for all of us. At Easter we headed north to Yorkshire and Northumberland to revisit Malhamdale, go caving in the peaks and wild swim at Janet's Foss. That was all great and we had a wild time. But when it came to cycling the last 27 miles of the Coast to Coast cycle route from Parkhead to Newcastle, it was tough for the girls, especially Charlie. The route is mostly downhill on the old railway bed, which is fine if you're on a big wheeled bike. If you're not, like Charlie, you have to pedal a lot more. But she managed it and I am so proud of her for that. Once we arrived at the Millenium Bridge in Newcastle it seemed worth while, even if Maggie and Charlie were exhausted.
Happily they were back on form in time to climb Snowdon at half term and fling themselves off Europe's longest zip wire at Bethesda the day after. That was truly amazing. The zip line is a mile or so long and has been recorded at 120 mph. It's an impressive ride and a teeny bit scary.
Between times I camped on Lundy Island to snorkel with the seals and spent a couple of blissful days exploring this remote island off the Devon coast. It was magical, if the cliffs were a little dizzying. The picture above is of Lundy Bay, near Polzeath, where I went in March to record footage for my belly boarding segment. It's a great walk and a lovely beach. If you come to Cornwall, make sure you see it!
Inspired to do some traveling yourself? I hope so. Here are some of the best moments.
Music is from my old friends The Adventure Babies.