Camping in Keld

Me and Ryan are recently returned from a weekend camping in Keld. We've stayed at Rukins campsite before and decided to revisit the beautiful spot. 

Arriving late on a bank holiday Friday night we didn't expect to find our perfect pitch by the river empty, but we were pleasantly surprised so pitched up, grabbed a fire pit and settled in for a long, sunny weekend.

 @rhiarhiajones

 @rhiarhiajones

 @rhiarhiajones

 @rhiarhiajones

Unlike our previous stay we decided to explore the wider campsite and stumbled upon stunning pools and waterfalls - I was hoping for warmer water to enjoy a plunge, but northern England's waters are made for those braver than me! We did spend some time perfecting our skimming stone technique before searching for dead wood which I later used to light a fire with all natural materials (an exciting first for me)!

 @rhiarhiajones

 @rhiarhiajones

 @rhiarhiajones

 @rhiarhiajones

 @rhiarhiajones

 @rhiarhiajones

On Saturday we ventured off on a lovely walk to Muker, which took around 1 and a half hours. The path led along the banks of the river Swale and in-between the iconic rolling hills of the Dales where we spotted many pheasants and even caught a glimpse of hatchlings hidden away in a tree. In Muker we shared a bowl of chips, drinks and attempted the charity pub quiz at The Farmers Arms. 

 @rhiarhiajones

 @rhiarhiajones

Sunday saw us visit a favourite village, Hawes, where Ryan ate the world's best Ploughman's lunch (he's still talking about it now!) and I snuck away into a second hand bookshop to find a beautiful Mark Twain book just waiting to join my shelf.  

On our return from Hawes we stopped off at Hardraw to visit a hidden waterfall. Hardraw Force is currently England's highest, single drop waterfall and it was spectacular!!  I've been visiting the Dales since childhood and was shocked that I had never stumbled upon it before, it's well worth the couple of pound entry they charge so please don't be put off by this!  

 @rhiarhiajones

 @rhiarhiajones

 @rhiarhiajones

 @rhiarhiajones

And finally Monday arrived and it was time for home, but after one of the best, chilled out weekends we were reluctant to leave our riverside pitch behind - but we'll be back! 

A weekend away: Edinburgh

I've been meaning to write this post for a while now, it's actually been quite a few weeks since me and the girls returned from Edinburgh and about time our adventures hit the blog.

So, here's what we got up to in the beautiful, cosmopolitan city! 

With just two days to explore we created a plan of action, and as military as this sounds, it was a great help! 

Day 1: 

After arriving on the train just before lunch we set out for our apartment for a quick freshen-up and to dump the suitcases!  It wasn't long until we were back on the streets, walking the Royal Mile, and soaking in the Scottish drizzle. 

First stop was Camera Obscura, a museum I've visited many times but it never gets old!  This time armed with my new camera I set out to capture the optical illusions.

Camera Obscura (IG @rhiarhiajones)

Camera Obscura (IG @rhiarhiajones)

Camera Obscura  (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

Camera Obscura  (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

Camera Obscura  (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

Camera Obscura  (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

Next up was Whistlebinkies, a fantastic live music venue and a great spot to rest our feet after a long day! We managed to tuck ourselves away in a private seating area which I can only describe as an indoor bunker! 

Day 2:

The Surgeon's Hall, well what can I say about this popular museum?  Do NOT visit on a full stomach and be prepared to leave feeling a little worse for wear... While the museum contents were a tad gory, the building was absolutely beautiful! 

The Surgeon's Hall  (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

The Surgeon's Hall  (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

The Surgeon's Hall  (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

The Surgeon's Hall  (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

Afterwards we headed to Greyfriars for a well-known and trusted Nandos, before wandering around the world famous graveyard in hunt for the oldest tomb. We also petted the lucky Greyfriars Bobby dog, but I'm still waiting for my lottery win! 

Greyfriars (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

Greyfriars (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

Greyfriars Bobby  (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

Greyfriars Bobby  (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

We also visited the Natural History Museum, where I ran around like an over excited child... This was my first visit to a museum of this sort, and I highly recommend it. If you're not wanting to visit for the displays, you can't miss out on the building, and with free entry it's hard to say no!

Edinburgh's Natural History Museum  (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

Edinburgh's Natural History Museum  (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

Our last evening was filled with a free ghost tour of the city, which wasn't very scary, and a great game of the classic Cards Against Humanity.

Until the next time, goodbye Edinburgh!

On the Royal Mile  (IG @rhiarhiajones)

On the Royal Mile  (IG @rhiarhiajones)

Edinburgh Waverly station (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

Edinburgh Waverly station (IG @rhiarhiajones) 

Ladies in Amsterdam

June 2015, the month I visited Amsterdam with my best friend and righthand girl, Viks. Now, when you think of young people in Amsterdam the usual images of partying, legal highs and naked ladies did not apply, we spent a lovely week living it up as honorary OAP's, no really, it was so chill!

We decided to stay a little outside the city in Volendam, and without a space cake or red light in sight we sat back and relaxed at Hotel Spaander.

Hotel Spaander was utterly amazing and I would recommend anyone to visit! We spent every evening in the spa and enjoyed stunning sea views from our balcony, it couldn't of been more perfect. 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

Neither myself or Viks had been to Amsterdam before and my expectations were dwindling after hearing reports of alcohol fuelled weekenders which aren't really my cup of tea. But after a quick Google and browse through the Lonely Planet travel guide my worries were gone and I was left looking at Amsterdam with fresh eyes

Looking back on our time in Amsterdam I still find it hilarious how many maps we needed to travel around the city. We somehow ended up with 4 maps and still got lost!? I feel that we were probably being little dumb here but it made for some great laughs and I would advise anyone visiting the city for the first time to take a good map with you!

In between relaxing in the spa and getting repeatedly lost here's what we got up to:

Anne Franks Huis: 
Before arriving in Amsterdam I was really excited to visit the world famous Anne Franks Huis, that was until I saw the queue... While it was a great experience I don't think I'd revisit after spending 3+ hours just waiting to get through the door!

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

The Artis zoo:
I'm a lover of zoos, well nice zoos who look after their animals, and I really enjoyed our day at the Artis. It turned out to be the hottest day of our holiday and we were happy to be away from the city centre heat and under a little shade.

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

Canal cruise:
To give our feet a little rest we bought a ticket for a canal cruise, this made it easy to see a little more of the city a lot quicker! The breeze and break from the heat was also amazing!  

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

The sex museum:
After hearing so much about it we decided we just couldn't resist... Probably the weirdest museum I have ever step foot in!

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

(@rhiarhiajones) 

(@rhiarhiajones) 

Zandvoort:
After a few days in the city we took the bus to Zandervoort and enjoyed a day on the coast. If you're heading to Amsterdam soon, you have yo visit this adorable seaside town!

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

The Amsterdam ice bar:
Our canal cruise tickets came as part of a deal which got us into the ice bar. I loved it in here, the atmosphere was brilliant and accompanied with a good strong cocktail was the perfect end to a busy day! 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

Food eating: 
As possibly the world's fussiest eater I was a little worried about what I would eat in Amsterdam but we soon found my sweet tooth was catered for!

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

 (@rhiarhiajones) 

It's safe to say that our time in Amsterdam was amazing, even if it wasn't quite what you'd expect from a couple of young ladies! We're now busy planning our next trip, will it be Rome or Barcelona? 

Making decisions

For those of you who know me, you'll be aware of how dreadful I am at making decisions. I can easily spend 2+ hours deciding what I want to eat for my tea before eventually falling into bed with nothing but a bowl of plain pasta in my stomach.

Not only am I bad at making decisions but I'm also not very good at sticking to a single choice once my mind is made up. To put it simply, I am probably one of the most indecisive people in the world.

However this has all recently changed, well kind of.

For many years I have dreamt of travelling the world, visiting far off countries and spending my time volunteering, but I have never once committed to a plan (and believe me, there were many many plans). But I've decided to make 2016 my year of not only making decisions but sticking to them too. 

In December I committed to moving out of my parents and in with my boyfriend. In January I made the choice to buy new furniture and committed to purchases by handing over a lot of money (cry). In February I fancied visiting a new Scottish Isle and, with a little help from the fella, decided on a camping trip to Islay. And finally in March I have followed through with my backlog of plans and can finally say I will be volunteering abroad.

In October 2016 I'll be working alongside Edukid, a charity dedicated to providing quality education for underprivileged school children in Palestine, Uganda and Cambodia. My trip will see me spend a week in Cambodia learning about how Edukid are supporting both children and their families. If you'd like to know more about Edukid please visit: www.edukid.org.uk

In advance of my trip I will be raising funds for the charity. If you'd like to show your support you can do so by donating through JustGiving here: www.justgiving.com/rhiarhiajones

I'm now counting down the days to my holiday on Islay as well as a once in a lifetime trip. I couldn't wish for a better start to 2016 - Here's to better decision making!

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