Thursday, 1 May 2014

Hanging by a thread...

Another place we'd vowed to return to was Kielder - following our spectacular introduction to the area courtesy of the Calvert Trust we'd promised to return early in 2014 before the midges took up residence.  It's nothing personal, I'm just allergic to them and do a great impression of a puffer fish if I get too many bites.

On day 1 it peed down so all we managed was a hike and a bouncy boat ride.  On day 2 a dose of insomnia was put to good use when I decided to nip down to the lake shore to watch the sunrise over the lake and commune with the red squirrels.

Daybreak over Kielder
After a bacon roll to bring me back to my senses it was back to re-visit the Calvert Trust to try our hands at the bits of the climbing wall which had previously defeated us and to tackle the Velcro Olympics which we'd missed on our first visit.

Steve made it look easy.
I think the climbing wall was meant to be the main event, but personally I was counting down the seconds until I could have a go on the giant inflatable Velcro Olympics.  And don't try telling me it's just for kids - 8 Velcro suits and only 2 of them in kids sizes?  I rest my case.  Mind you while the kids raced through 10 or more times we were knackered after 4 attempts - the moral of the story clearly being that a diet of coco pops, Nutella and ice cream is what's needed next time I'm out on the fells.

Winner got the camera, loser got their photo taken...
On day 3 we took to our bikes for a lap of the lake.  27 miles all told but with plenty of excuses to stop along the way.  The assorted art installations impressed and bemused us in equal measure but most are practical as well as pretty which means there's always somewhere to have your flask of tea and your sarnies.

Belvedere ("Good View" in Italian)
The Janus Chairs were our clear favourite - can't think why...

View from the Janus Chairs
After a soggy start we had excellent weather which is perhaps as well as it's an energy sapping ride for hobby cyclists like us.  Having spent the day enjoying such a wonderful free spectacle we thought it only right and fair to donate some of tourist pounds to the support the local breweries - a vital part of the nation's economy...

Kielder Water
Kielder Water near Leaplish