Tuesday, August 26, 2008


On Saturday morning we caught the Eurostar train from St Pancras Station, London to Paris. It took us about 2 1/4 hours to get to Paris and we were only under the English Channel for about 20 minutes. When we arrived in Paris we were at Gare du Nord station and we took a taxi to our apartment on Rue Boileau. That afternoon we went to the supermarket and got some food on our way back we got some fruit from a man selling fruit and veges - Mum tried to speak French. We got some pain au chocolat (chocolate filled pastries) - they were good.
The next day we took the metro to Trocodero and we saw a big water feature in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Looking up the Eiffel Tower
Looking down from the Eiffel Tower to the Trocodero
The tower was really tall and we took the lift to the top floor - we didn't do any walking on the stairs. We walked along a little island in the middle of the river Seine which has France's Statue of Liberty (which I saw in the National Treasure - Book of Secrets movie).
Looking up towards the Statue of Liberty
We also took a bus tour on Sunday and saw all the land marks of Paris (Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysee).
Notre Dame Arc de Triomphe

The next day we took the Eurostar home.
By Josh

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rebecca's Watersports Camp

The first day that we arrived at camp we played some games and met people - later on we found out who was in our rooms. There were 4 people in each room and we were also split into groups for activities. I was in group 4 - 2 rooms of boys and 2 rooms of girls. The girls team leader was called Cat, the boys team leader was Matt. That night for tea we had a choice of fish cake (ew) or beef pie (ew) luckily there was some salad as well, for dessert we got a piece of fruit or orange segments & cream (really ew).
The next day we started our activities. In the morning we had windsurfing which was really cool, the instructors were called Chris & Dave and they were really good teachers. Everyone managed to stand up by the end of our session. In the afternoo0n we had our first sailing session - I didn't like sailing because it was very boring all you did was sit or capsize. Capsizing wasn't fun, but neither was sitting. I got hit on the head by the boom about ten times but that didn't matter too much cos we were wearing helmets. We got a cooked breakfast that morning, for lunch we got a sandwich, apple, packet of chips and a chocolate bar (that is what we had for lunch every day). For tea, after sailing, we had lasagne (fairly nice). We went to bed at 9.30 (the 12 & unders), the older kids got to go to bed at 10pm.
On Tuesday, in the morning, we were raft building and in the afternoon we went cata-canoeing - don't know what we had for tea that night.
We had to get up at 7.30 and on Wednesday we had archery in the morning which I was no good at but some of the boys were really good. In the afternoon we went kayaking on the river. Kayaking was really fun and at the end we had a big mud fight and got to go down the big mud slide. For tea that night we had jacket potatoes with cheese & baked beans.
Thursday was our last day and in the morning we went sailing for the last time and in the afternoon we we canoeing. That night we had our disco - there was a VIP area and to get in you had to have won the VIP points competition (our group won!) The music was really wicked it was loud and brilliant and everyone danced and there was lots of jumping. It was awesome. We got to go to bed late that night.
On Friday morning we came home. Windsurfing was my favourite activity.

from Rebecca

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Camping in Cumbria

We got back from camping yesterday and today we have been busy with loads of washing, scrubbing and drying dirty, wet tents, and scrubbing muddy gym shoes.

We had a wet week in the Lake District and the camp site became quite muddy in places - especially the path to the toilet block... In fact we had to buy a pair of wellies at the camp shop just so that we didn't disappear in the mud! I had wanted to write about how we had a week of glorious sunshine in the Lake District...nevermind. We did get some clear patches and we were able to bundle up in our jackets and get out and about (true Southlanders!) The only disappointing thing about the weather is that we weren't able to get into and onto the lake as much as we would have liked.

Our flash wellies that saved us from being covered in mud every time we trekked to the toilet!
Highlights of our time in the Lake District...

* having a climbing lesson at Keswick indoor climbing centre - Rebecca & Josh spent the afternoon climbing with Amanda belaying them.

* visiting the Rheged Centre and watching two IMAX films. The first film was about climbing Mt Everest and followed a team which included Tensing Norgay's son and they were on the mountain the same time that Rob Hall (NZer) died on Everest. The second film was about the Grand Canyon and we explored through the ages as people went down the river in canoes and also had film flying along the Grand Canyon - it was very impressive.

* Rebecca & Amanda went pony trekking on the fells.

* We went for a couple of good walks - one took us up a hill and gave us a great view along the lake (Ullswater). Then we saw the weather coming in and had to run down the hill - still managing to get quite wet!

We had a fantastic time and were pleased that the new tent stood up to the wind and rain of the Lake District - oh the joy of camping in England in Summer...

Friday, August 1, 2008


Lionel has 2 weeks holiday coming up and so we are looking forward to getting out and about with him. On Wednesday we head up to the Lake District where we will be camping at Ullswater for a week. We have bought ourselves a family tent to go along with the small tent which we shipped over from NZ, so we will have plenty of space. We are a bit short on the 'luxuries' of camping which we were starting to build up in NZ and we certainly will miss camping with friends (Mahenos and Comerfords!) however it will be great to get amongst the mountains and lakes. I say mountains but actually they don't even quite reach 1000m and so really just big hills...

We have a few days back home from camping and Rebecca heads away for 5days on a 'Watersports Plus' camp and so as you can imagine she is really excited about that! It is up on the River Severn (near Gloucester) and is run by the Youth Hostel Association.

Rebecca just gets home from camp (22 August) and we have a night in London before catching the Eurostar over to Paris for the weekend. It is a long weekend and Lionel gets the Monday off work and so we will make the most of that!

All in all the next few weeks sound very busy, but also very exciting!