New

Seeing as one of my personal goals is to visit at least one new place and try one new activity every year, I thought this week’s photo challenge would be a good opportunity to look back at the new places I’ve visited and the activities I’ve tried since starting this blog.

My trip to Pisa was as amazing cultural experience…

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Pottery is something that I’ve always wanted to try, and I seemed to always just miss out on the opportunity until I enrolled on the one day workshop at the Howardian Centre in Cardiff…

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Sleeping ‘rough’ in St Davids 2 car park in Cardiff as part of the Sleep Easy Challenge helped to raise awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness. We also raised enough money to keep an emergency room open at the YMCA hostel. Click the link to see an updated comment from Mandy Caddy about this year’s event and how you can get involved…

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Taking part in the Cardiff Photo Marathon saw 400 of us running around the city like mad people for 12 hours, desperately trying to find our next shot. I was exhausted by the time I handed in my memory card, but it was a great experience…DSC_0032

I volunteered at an eco-campsite in Anglesey, North Wales for a week. I later found out from my mum that this was possibly not my first time visiting Anglesey, although if I have been before it was when I was a baby and I don’t remember it…DSC_0085

I’ve visited London lots of times, but every time I go there I found another part of the huge city that I haven’t explored before…DSC_0202

I decided to visit Boulogne-sur-mer, France because it is accessible by bus from Cardiff. I love that I live in Wales, yet I can be in a foreign country with a totally different culture within a day…DSC_0108

The high ropes course at Go Ape is not something I would have signed up for before, but I agreed to try it as part of a friend’s hen weekend. Even though I’m petrified of heights, I conquered my fear and completed the whole course…PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

Completing my first 5k was a reminder to myself of what I can achieve…IMG_0289

There are some new activities that I’m not very good at, and some that I just plain suck at. Archery is one of those activities…DSC_0325

New places that involve snow I can ski on are always my favourite. In January 2014 I went to Pila, Italy (not to be confused with Pisa, see above) with my parents and their friend…

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My initial reason for visiting Iceland was to see the Northern Lights, but I discovered so much more whilst I was there. I can’t wait to go back some day and explore more of the island…DSC_0236

I love being an aunty, and getting to try new activities with my nephew, nieces and godchildren make them even more special. I hadn’t planned to go mountain carting, my niece and nephew chose the activity and I’m so glad they did…DSC_0680

Learning to scythe was also a skill I never thought I’d acquire, until my volunteer work at the community garden led me to Phil the scythe master…DSC_0925This post is part of the Photo Challenge ‘New’. Click here to see more entries and a photo of a really cute baby.

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Exploring Anglesey

One of the great things about volunteering as a wwoofer is that you get to explore new areas. Whilst in Anglesey this week, I took advantage of all the spare time I had to get out and about on the island. Here are some of the places I visited.

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Just like most of the country, the coastline in Anglesey is stunning.

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The colourful architecture in Beaumaris is beautiful.

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If you can turn away from the buildings, you can see the mountains of Snowdonia over on the mainland.

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As I walked towards the pier in Beaumaris, I saw that it was crowded with hundreds of people. I was surprised to to find that they were all crabbing, or fishing for crabs, with long fishing lines and identical buckets with cartoon crabs painted on them. Crabbing is popular in Fleetwood, near where I come from in Lancashire, but I have never seen so many people involved at once. You’d think the crabs would get wise and avoid the pier, but apparently there are plenty of them.

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South Stack Island and Lighthouse provide one of the most dramatic landscapes in Wales.

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These little blue and yellow markers direct you around the Coastal Path, a walk which covers the entire coastline of Wales. The Anglesey coastal path is 125 miles on it’s own. DSC_0085

I couldn’t leave Anglesey without visiting what is probably the most well-known destination on the island –  even if it is just for the fact that it has the longest name!

Wwoofing it in Anglesey

About a year ago, I read a book about a family who decided to leave behind their comfortable life in the English rat race to set up a small holding in Wales. Amongst the entertaining anecdotes about broken down tractors and funny farm animals, the mention of someting called wwoofing caught my eye.

Since 1971, Wwoof has been matching up organic farms, gardens and smallholdings with willing volunteers. For £20 a year, volunteers receive access to a list of hosts situated all over the world. In return for working 5 hours a day, your host provides you with food and accommodation. Wwoofing looked like something that I definitely had to try.

I decided to apply to hosts in North Wales for my first wwoofing experience. Since moving back to Wales five years ago, I’ve been making an effort to explore more of the country. Also, as I’m learning (South) Welsh, I thought it would do me good to hear some North Welsh (I didn’t really understand much, but it sounds beautiful).

After sending out a couple of emails (it’s the volunteer’s responsibility to contact the hosts), I received a reply from Charlie and Ela at Anglesey Tipi & Yurt Holidays. Attached to their small campsite (definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for somewhere cool to stay in Anglesey), they have their own organic vegetable garden, which is where I’ve spent most of the past week.

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The photo above is the view from the front of the cottage where I stayed. Not a bad front yard, eh?

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As well as weeding the veggies, I also helped Charlie to put the roof on this Hobbit-style house that some previous wwoofers excavated when clearing some bramble.