London at Christmas

I forget that I live in London sometimes, I know that sounds ridiculous when I cycle to uni along the Thames or when I get a big red London bus, but it slips my mind occasionally.

Friday was a super lovely day here in LONDON, so I took the opportunity to go visit Covent Garden.

Covent Garden is always beautiful, but there is something special about it at Christmas. There was a string band echoing their music around the hall, a massive Christmas Tree greeting you when you first arrive and mistletoe and disco balls?

Although you can’t sugarcoat central London on a Friday evening, it was packed with people and most of whom were trying to take selfies.

We then went to Somerset House to see the ice skating rink (but not to actually ice skate because my coordination is terrible). Once again we were greeted by a large Christmas Tree, this time there was a stereo playing Christmas tunes and not so many people trying to take selfies. IMG_1610IMG_1613IMG_1606

 

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Caledonian Sleeper to Scotland

A few weeks ago I ventured to the cold, bleek but beautiful Scotland. I found that the sleeper train was about half the cost of the normal train, so that was my mode of transport.

We got to London Euston at 23.30, feeling tired but also excited for the adventure of the sleeper train. When we got to our carriage and found our seats a man told us that we have been moved to Coach H instead. So off we went up the platform, passing carriage after carriage until finally a woman stopped us and informed us that we had been upgraded to a private bunk! She didn’t say why, I didn’t dare ask.

The room was small but decent sized beds. We had access to the lounge carts but at 00.20 in the morning all I wanted to do was sleep. So I changed into my pj’s and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. One of the best nights sleep I had ever had, the only problem was the trip to Edinburgh wasn’t long enough for me to get a good night’s sleep!

Now the trip back to London wasn’t so pleasant. We weren’t upgraded, which you can’t complain about really, but once you’ve tasted the high life! The seats were comfy enough, and we were given earplugs and eye masks, but nothing could block the freezing cold air or the horrible sound the carriages made when we went around a corner. For some reason they didn’t turn the lights off in the carriage either making it extra difficult to try and sleep. For the 7 hour trip I probably slept for about 2 hours of it.

Personally I would never do the sleep again unless I had a room. It really surprised me because I don’t tend to struggle sleeping in new or unusual locations.

Camping trip 70% success

I have returned! In what feels about 5 different pieces and in need of a new motor. I dont have that sense of achievement of roughing it in the wild for the past two days that I thought (hoped) I’d get.

We first off couldn’t even find the campsite, the satnav took us to the road parallel and that obviously though us off and neither of us thought there wouldn’t be any phone service to redirect it. So we headed to the nearest town to make it look like that was our plan from the start.

Fowey. Which is said like Foy because it rhymes with Joy, or at least that is what the sign said at the car park. It was a pretty little town and we had some tasty pasties by the sea.

Found a map and found our campsite. Pitched the tent in a whopping hour and a half and then we didn’t know what to do with ourselves.

I’ll save you all the boring details but we successfully made dinner both nights in a row without burning anything down and it actually tasted pretty good. Shout out to Tesco for their delicious Spaghetti Hoops and Ravioli.

Made friends with the local campsite chicken.

We walked to and from Polkerris Beach and didn’t get lost.

Tried to find Par Sands on our second day and failed so instead stumbled upon Carlyon Bay, which was really cute and had some pop up food stalls and we had an ace burger from Sams at the Beach in this really cosy set up they had.

Made it to Charleston and watch a sail boat go through the lock and into the sea.

IMG_1502Then came back to the campsite and read my book with this as my backdrop.

However that night was one of the worst nights sleep I have ever had. The “inflatable” mattress turned into two plastic sheets protecting us from the ground as all the air in side seemed to escaped whilst we were sleeping. I then woke up with awful stomach pains and we had to go to tesco at 5 in the morning to buy me some painkillers.

But we didn’t die and I think with a bit of practice we will get good at this camping malarkey. I will remember to bring painkillers next time. 

Hopefully Happy Campers

It’s almost been a week since I arrived back in England from Chile and sleep is seeming like a slightly less foreign thing now. Before I went to Chile my boyfriend and I decided it would be nice when I returned for the two of us to go camping for a few nights. We bought camping gear when we went to Reading Festival last year and it felt like a waste to not use it when we live so close to Cornwall. 

So I’m going on my first camping trip today. Well I mean I’ve been on a few before but it was either with my mum who brings bed sheets, a plug in kettle and bed side lights or for my Duke of Edinburgh where I had a sleeping bag and that’s all. 

Matt and I are headed to Fowey for 3 days and 2 nights. I have also never been to Cornwall so I’m pretty excited. Not excited for the masses of children that are bound to be at our campsite or the queues of traffic we will be stuck in. But excited for the simplicity of camping. 

Wish us luck! 

Chile Trip. 2 Days Since.

IMG_0932Well it’s ended. I’m back in my nice central heated house, with my dog and amazingly comfy bed. I really can’t believe it’s come to an end.

The Fruit Market

The Saturday was my last proper day so I wanted to spend as much of it with the family. I went to the fruit market with Chila, which was an experience! Everything was so crazy, hectic, colourful and cheap, so cheap. Luckily it wasn’t too much of a walk home as I offered to carry it! I learnt that she has been hosting students for 15 years and I was her 48th. Crazy!

Menta

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Cookie

We then took the perros for a walk and sat in the park and chatted some more. Afterwards I took myself to the market to spend the rest of my money. Got some lovely little bits and pieces, including my name on a grain of rice! One of the most interesting things I have ever seen be created.

On the Sunday a small group of us met for breakfast and we followed and watched by about 8 dogs! It was really sad having to say goodbye to the town and the people. I had grown a sense of comfort there which wasn’t easy to leave.

Mi host casa

Mi host familia

I got a picture with our host family and a nice chat before getting picked up. The trip to the airport was sad but beautiful getting to see the countryside for one last time.

Santiago Airport

We arrived at the airport so early we couldn’t even check in, so we found some wifi and sat ourselves down for an hour. Finally got through and onto the plane and after some interesting plane food, lovely service from the air hostess, awful sleep and 9 hours we were in Houston!

9 hours to kill resulted in aimlessly walking around the airport and spending $16 on American snacks for my 12 year old self.

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 The flight to Heathrow was really nice, it was an empty flight so we got rows of seats to ourselves and I actually slept! We missed our landing slot so to buy time before decending to Heathrow we got a lovely tour around London. Saw the London Eye, the Shard, Canary Wharf and even our University!

And that’s that. It’s a shame its over but I’ve never been so happy to have a nice WARM bath or to actually have a lay in. My Chile trip was a blast, filled with amazing memories and amazing people. Thanks for following my journey 🙂

P.S Some people on trip also wrote blogs which are super great so you should check them out:

Fiona: http://fifijane.blogspot.co.uk/ She’s a first class honours English Lit grad, so you can imagine how beautiful it is!

Amelie: http://ameliegoestochile.wordpress.com/ I have mentioned this before but check it out again! Stunning pictures of the city.

Hannah: https://hannahatvenice.wordpress.com/ Hannah as such a way with words! She’s been blogging for awhile to take a look back at all the great stuff.

Chris: http://justchileanoverhere.blogspot.co.uk/ Puns. So many puns.

Chile Trip. Day 12. Where has the time gone!? 

My goodness these past two weeks have flown by. Yesterday we had our last day of university. I always getting really sad about leaving a place, I don’t really know why, losing a sense of comfort I suppose.

IMG_1141I kept thinking:  “This’ll be the last time I go and get a hot chocolate with Fi in the break” or “I will never be able to see this view while having lunch every again.” Thinking that didn’t really help the whole getting emotional about leaving a place.

IMG_1305We got a lovely group photo with us and one of our Professors, Mariana. I will miss her teaching style, she was always happy but learning never felt like a chore with her. Felipe’s class, as always was more relaxed but I think that was good for everyone.

Just as class finished 3 boys in our group decided to jump into the pool that they have in the university. First two went in fine but the third boy, Ish, dislocated his arm and had to be taken to hospital! He is fine now just all bandaged up and he now has a priceless souvenir to take back with him!

IMG_1317When leaving the university to get the bus Fi and myself were getting some last pictures of the university and I think it really hit us then.

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The “Last time we will be here” face

As a group we went out for a dinner, our professors were there and our student helpers were there. It was a really nice night and is ending the trip on a high.

Now I face my last day and I really have no idea what I should do to make the most of my remaining time.

Day 7. Sandboarding.

On Sunday we went Sandboard in Con Con, a little town/city next to Vina. The bus journey made me super car sick and then we climbed up a massive (and I’m not joking when I say massive sanddune.) So when I finally reached the top I was not myself and didn’t feel completely up for the sandboarding. Luckily Fi didn’t either so we had a nice chat and I got a chance to film everyone else.

So for your viewing pleasure…

A view of these clips were filmed by Ish (another person on the trip) so cheers to him!


P.S Some of the clips are from the really great sunset I filmed yesterday (Day 9. Change of Plans.)

Chile Trip. Day 9. Change of plans.

¡Hola!

This week’s classes started an hour earlier, resulting in a lot of moaning from everyone in the group. Getting up at 6.30 AM is a struggle and having to then go and learn Spanish that early is difficult. However we are persevering through. Felipe’s classes seem to have changed from ‘Conversation and Culture’ to ‘Spanish Drama’. All we seem to be doing is writing scripts and performing them to the class, be it very funny it isn’t very informative.

IMG_1181After university I came home to a much tidier room to what I left. The maid had been! I took this opportunity to take some pictures of the room, as you would have easily confused it for a bomb site before. There is some kind of construction work happening to our house right next to my room and it makes it difficult to think. I thought I would go back to the market and buy all the little bits and bobs to take back home.

Headphones in and off I went. This was the first time I have walked on my own in the daylight and I saw way more than I normally would. Here in Vina Del Mar and also in Valparaiso there are a lot of stray dogs. Despite their appearance they are the most friendly creatures and just want love and some food! On the walk I found a dog rummaging through the trash.

About 2 minutes away from the market I got a glimpse of the sun and the sea and I couldn’t resist to take a few photos and videos. This then turned into me having my camera and phone recording time lapses and my keeping an eye on both and the beautiful sky as much as I could. The waves were massive, the sun was sitting in the middle of the sky and there were some boats perched on the horizon. Bliss.

It was too beautiful to leave, but when I finally did I had missed the market and the majority of the stalls had gone. So another trip to the market for me!

I haven’t edited a video for the sandboarding from the other day or the clips from today but it’ll be coming soon!