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Archive for the ‘Rivers’ Category

I wanted to write a review from the viewpoint of a wheelchair user because unless you are in a wheelchair others cannot fully grasp the sometimes minor and sometimes major challenges we face.

The resort can be booked for 2, 4 or 7 nights and our 4 night stay started on the Monday night.  I am so grateful for @marvellousmrsp for giving us the spare room in their lodge because it was such a wonderful experience going away with a few friends to such a gorgeous place.  The resort is divided in different areas like little suburbs around the main Bluestone village.  I can still manage to push myself much of the time but if I was booking a lodge for myself I would request one with an entrance more level to the road.  This wouldn’t be any issue if you had one of these amazing chairs from @trekinetic and they tell me that I can upgrade my Trekinetic K2 if necessary – 🎉GTE-parked

The lodges are spread out so you don’t feel as if you are on top of each other like in most static caravan parks and the forest and trees all over the place make for a truly beautiful site with wonderful views of the lake and the Preseli Mountains.

I had plenty of space to store my wheelchair and walker in the entrance hall without cluttering up the lodge and the carpet in the entrance was designed for cleaning plenty of muddy boots and wheels.

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The space was bright, open and airy and we immediately felt at home….

I had the downstairs bedroom which was next to a very spacious bathroom with a wet room shower and a full bath.  I was able to wheel myself around without any issues and right up to the basin.  Our bathroom didn’t have any grab bars or aids so you would need to enquire if any lodges have them if you needed them.

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The kitchen cupboards were all on the low level and open-plan and accessible with everything you need to make meals if you don’t want to eat out.  The resort has a great selection of restaurants and small eateries to choose from if you prefer to not cook at all.

As a wheelchair user I was allowed to keep my bus outside the lodge and use it to get around.  All other guests are required to remove their cars to the car park for the duration of their stay.  Golf buggies are available to hire and are everywhere and looked like so much fun.  Remember to consider this when saving for your holiday as the site is in the hills and quite extensive so anyone who struggles to walk any distance would need one – or just want one for the sheer fun of it! There is an on site bus and train that is free to use as well – after all, at the end of a day swimming and playing it is nice to be driven home.

Bicycles with trailers are also invaluable as well as the wheeled and collapsible cart I took with.  @tootsiestalesuk loved it so much that she immediately added one to her shopping cart.

 

The many and varied willow withy artwork around the resort are gorgeous and add to the whole magical forest theme.

I definitely built up a bit of extra muscle and got a fair bit of exercise during our stay. The surroundings are so lovely that you want to get out and explore / which is what this place is all about. There is also a beach and many other activities nearby if you want to explore further afield, but we found that there was so much on site we didn’t need to or want to go anywhere else.

The swimming arena isn’t just for swimming, but has a river, slides, obstacle course and waves. We spent a very happy afternoon poolside and although the main lift was broken on the day we went, there was an alternate lift we could use to gain access to the change rooms and the pool. I was asked if I needed the pool hoist, which I don’t, but it was good to know one is available.

There are plenty of great coffee houses and kiosks around the resort and we made good and frequent use of them for our daily coconut latte fix 😁.

Everywhere we went we were met with the friendliest staff imaginable. They went out of their way to help and provide assistance. One lovely lady even offered to push me up the hill from the Village to our lodge before they realised I didn’t know I could use my car – great customer service is invaluable, and it abounds at Bluestone resort.

A well deserved award for a resort that is beautifully maintained and is thoughtful to the environment.

If I could sum up our stay in only one photograph, it would be this one which I’ve titled ‘Free Range Kids’, as per @bluestonewales manifesto….

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After our four nights stay, we had made new friends, seen wonderful things, been on wheelchair adventures, enjoyed lots of great coffee and generally had a fantastic time.

Would I come here again? Would I recommend it?

Absolutely, definitely, 100%!

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We woke to the most glorious, crisp winter day. Having arrived at around 5pm the evening before it was our first opportunity for a bit of exploration….and to find a coffee shop – coffee is extremely high on my priority list and we needed to see if by some remote chance a coconut milk latte was possible in the Welsh wilderness.

Our walk down from the cabin was stunning and we had plenty of opportunities to get some great pictures.

Who doesn’t need a picture of themselves taking a selfie of themselves…

The head….

And the tail of the Welsh dragon…

We arrived in the village and had a quick wander around….

I found it….Ty Coffi….the village has a coffee shop (jumps for joy)…

The best bit? They served a very fine latte with coconut milk so our week here is going to be just fine. Lovely place and even lovelier people serving us. We got our ‘free with your first drink’ reusable cups which we will most definitely make use of each day with a 10% reusable cup discount – better and better.

Next we headed further downhill through the forest trail to see the festive lights. They did not disappoint – even in the daytime. Here are a few of our favourite pictures….

My trusty steed never disappoints and got me down and back up the green route – the easy option, but not for anyone of faint heart and weak pushing arms!

A lovely lady gave me a push over one of the uphills and between my pushing the wheels and Maryam pushing from behind with her walker, we managed the slow ascent eventually collapsing onto a bench at the lake. What’s the saying about the blind leading the blind?

A short bus trip back up the hill was definitely required because no way was I able to wheel myself that distance and elevation. Free bus or train trips run every half an hour and it was no time at all before we arrived back in Preseli View ready for a cuppa and a rest.

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Take 4 ladies of varying nationalities, each with their own unique cultures and origins,

2 children,

2 cars,

1 wheelchair,

1 walking frame,

3 walking sticks,

and a smattering of health and disability issues.

Put them together in a log cabin in the wilds of Pembrokeshire, Wales and you are bound to have an interesting holiday!

Day 1 and after a drive from Lancashire for one car and another from Milton Keynes we were so happy to be greeted by the friendliest staff at the reception gates.

In no time we were checked in and directed to our cabin at 43 Preseli View.

We’re in a lovely four bedroom cabin with 3 big bathrooms, open plan living, dining and kitchen and a nice big entrance that acts as a mud room where we can store all the shoes, coats and mobility equipment.

After unloading all our stuff Using our trolley to help with the load and fewer trips, I headed off to find out how I could move my car off site and then get back to the cabin. When I was told that because I’m disabled and have a blue badge I could keep and use my car on the site I was overjoyed because you should see the hill we are staying on!

The choice of bedrooms was between a twin downstairs and 3 bedrooms upstairs so that was an easy one because the South African wheelchair lady and the Iranian knee replacement lady both don’t do stairs, AND there is a lovely big bathroom next door; one that I can get my wheelchair or my walker into.

An early night was definitely in order and the impeccably clean white linen was calling very loudly by this point.

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On those rare occasions that my human leaves me to sit in another location, there is nothing nicer than mucking about on boats!  I thoroughly enjoyed the views across the Saar river in Saarland, Germany on my latest boat trip…..

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Trekinetic wheelchairs are all about adventure!

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In February we took a trip down to London for our daughters birthday and as always, we never pass up the opportunity to visit somewhere new;  this time round it was Greenwich and the Thames Barrier.

If you don’t already know, this landmark is what protects the city from the high tides of the Thames River.  It is a beautiful piece of engineering and I can highly recommend a visit to it when you are in the area.  There is also a walk all the way along the Thames from the barrier through the city which in nice weather I would definitely try – it is a long but very interesting walk and if you want to do this yourself make sure you go onto the Thames Barrier website to check the maintenance times because when they are running tests the entrance gate to the pathway (at this point) are closed for a few hours.  I doubt if this is wheelchair friendly all the way, but I would love to give it a try one day.

We went on a day that the tea room and visitor centre is usually closed but was open because of the school holidays.  They serve a good cup of tea and a small selection of snacks and you can see some footage of the building of the barrier which I found very interesting.

Our challenge for the day was finding the elevator out of operation but I am fortunate to have a Trekinetic K2 and the flight of low stairs was a breeze with help from hubby.  I would suggest if you cannot negotiate stairs then you ring ahead to make sure the lift/elevator is operating.  You will also find a flight of stairs down to the walkway – this is apparently because they cannot have a slope as this area would be susceptible to flooding if the river rose too high.  You can however wheel along the top path and still get amazing views of the river and the city.

This is a great place to get really interesting photographs and we had a thoroughly good morning out.

Be warned it can be very chilly down by the river so I would suggest wrapping up warmly.

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Having not been very well recently has affected my usual get-up-and-go (and my blogging apparently!).  In order to get away, even if it was just for 2 days, we headed off with the family to try a little camping.  It has been so long since we went away and back then we had a huge motorhome which is now a thing of the past.  The aim of the weekend trip was to see how we managed with a tent and me in a wheelchair.  The campsite we found was absolutely beautiful and so peaceful.  It had just the right amount of facilities with a couple of toilets and showers and a little cleaning area.  Only 10 tents allowed which made it peaceful and quiet (until our grandsons arrived that is!) – just what we needed.

My Trekinetic K2 was ideally suited to this location as it was quite hilly and the toilets were over the grass and up a stone driveway.  No problem as hubby provided the necessary propulsion because of the injury to my shoulder.

On the Saturday afternoon we took the family down to the little stream (or beck as it is called in Cumbria) along the farm ‘roads’.  Going downhill is always fun, but coming back uphill is a much bigger challenge.  Now for the confession – on this trip, the pictures of me are a little staged because coming down the hill I managed pretty well with some assistance but I needed both hubby and my daughter to give me a push back up again!!  I was quite useful though in shouting warnings of any impending dung heaps which they tried valiantly to avoid – not always successfully. Oh well! what else can you expect when out bundu bashing and enjoying the countryside.

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And by the way, how come I always seem to have a child hitching a free ride??

Camping proved to be wonderful in the great weather; I think we had better try it a few more times before we decide if we can camp around Canada though.  I must say though that I think without the Trekinetic K2 a lot of campsites would be much more difficult.  Now all we need is to find a more comfortable bed and I think I could do this more often.

Definitely a worthwhile weekend experience; and here’s to many more happy camping holidays!

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It was a holiday here in the UK on Monday and we went out for the day with a couple of great friends.  We had a lot of choice but decided on Saltaire in West Yorkshire because I have just finished reading an amazing book on the cotton mills in Lancashire and wanted to see this World Heritage Site first hand.  It turned out to be a wonderful day and seeing the mill buildings was amazing and worth the trip.

As always when I am out and about I like to ‘check out’ the facilities and report back in case you ever land up in the same place and on this occasion I was not disappointed because it turned out to be the BIGGEST disabled toilet I have EVER been into!  You can definitely swing the proverbial cat around in here; in fact, you could host a large party in this toilet – it was clean as well which is always a great plus point for me!  No problems at all turning around in my wheelchair; how often have I got stuck on the basin or a dustbin and had to spend ages manoeuvring around and eventually having to back out of the room at the same time trying to open the door – you know what I’m talking about because no doubt it has happened to you too!

Seriously, this picture cannot do it any justice because I have taken it from the corner of the room as far back as possible and cannot even get half of the room into the picture….

 

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See how small the basin and toilet are in comparison to the window!  This is a typical huge window in a cotton mill and I am pleased that these buildings are protected and cannot have them replaced with those dreadful modern plastic units.

I can definitely recommend spending a penny here! 🙂

 

 

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Sherlock Holmes is obviously on the case but why is he on the bank of the Moskva river?

Answers on a postcard to:
Baker street, London

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At the outset I need to clarify that I believe our families are genetically pre-disposed to being adventurous. After all, my hubbies family were part of the original Europeans to immigrate to South Africa back in the 1600’s and believe me they had to be tough to survive travelling around with 16 oxen pulling them and all their possessions in what amounted to a box on wheels for thousands of miles! Also, my brother in law lives in a country that is very familiar with ice hole fishing, dog sledding and no daylight all winter! Yes, they are a tough breed and I was going to need all the help I could get to conquer Johnson Canyon. Don’t they say ignorance is bliss? So with only a slight worry tapping a tune in the back of my brain, one large Canadian, one large South African and one slightly smaller lady in battered wheelchair set off to achieve another milestone on our quest to overcome as much as we could in the time we had been allotted. How hard could it be? I suppose the clue really was that no other wheelchair or disabled hikers passed us on the entire trail and those people with babies had them in their arms or on their backs! The other thing was the well meaning glances we got from those returning along the path from the top of the falls.

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Let me just say at this point that we at least had enough sense to agree that the first set of falls was enough of a challenge for 2 unfit blokes, 1 unfit woman and a wheelchair!

Decision made, and off we set, heading up the nice path indicated on the map… this is easy! Round the bend and up an incline… okay, maybe a bit more challenging than it looked at first glance. Luckily we had wonderful dry weather because I don’t think we would have got too far in rain or snow. The path was well maintained for the tourists and for the most part it was fine (for walkers, not wheelers). It was the trees that suddenly appeared in our path that raised a few worried brows; so we took these opportunities to rest, recover and reconnoitre! I can tell you with all honesty that without the two burly blokes with me, there is NO WAY I would have got near the top, and I would have had to be air-lifted out! They manfully each grasped a handlebar and pushed, heaved, shoved and occasionally lifted me over the worst bits – I cannot remember how many times I asked “are you sure we shouldn’t turn back?” But, hardy stock that they are, we forged ever further up, up and onwards. The views were superb and we used this as an excuse to stop often and admire the scenery. When we eventually got to the first set of waterfalls, it was all worth it; for me anyway! Did I say thank you enough to my brave companions? If not, a BIG, BIG THANK YOU for giving me this amazing memory.   So, in short, this is NOT for the faint hearted, but then again faint heart never won fair mountain (ha ha, you get it?).

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It was around this time that my husband and I realised that a normal wheelchair was just not going to do the job for us! And, as an aside, maybe we could all loose a pound or two and get fit….

Now, can anyone tell us an easy way down this mountain?…..

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