Our campervan shenanigans continued as we made our way through God's country from the Lakes District onto the Cotswolds…
* Left our campsite rather early to make our way to a little village called Hawkshead, which is famous for being the home of Beatrix Potter, author of the Peter Rabbit children's classics. Jess was keen to explore the various Beatrix Potter galleries and holiday homes. And I was keen to sit in the car and finally enjoy being able to read English football magazines. Happy days all around!
* Jess discovered so much about the incredible Beatrix Potter - how she saved a particular breed of cow from extinction, and how her generous fortune was bequeathed to the National Trust (as if a lifetime of taxes wasn't enough!) so that her legacy could be preserved.
* Made our way through the narrow stonewall-lined streets of God Knows Where in the hope of finding a nifty place to camp for the night. Jess accurately referred to it as "driving along Postman Pat's mail route".
* In the end we settled on Kirby Lonsdale - one of the best kept secrets on Earth! A quaint little town in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria noted for Devils Bridge - a bridge over the River Lune dating back to 1370.
* Had dinner in Kirkby Lonsdale at a place called The Copper Kettle. It was like eating at Nanna's house - 1970's style carpet, sticky laminated placemats with photos of famous cities, and your basic meat and three veg meals. Ahhh the feeling of a home cooked meal after a week of campsite snags and pub grub. The place was owned and run by a couple in their 70s - hubby was the chef and wifey was the waiter. Hubby had spent time as a chef on the Queen Mary and had been to Melbourne over 50 years ago. He asked us if the pubs still close at 6:00pm. It's closer to 6:00am these days!
* On the way back to the campsite I found a pub that served Iron Maiden beer! On tap! God I love England!
* Spent the morning in Kirkby Lonsdale getting amongst the locals. Had an award winning pork pie from the local butcher. It was cold…. Refrigerated cold. Cold pies and warm beer seem to be the story of England so far. This place has so much potential, but when it comes to food and beer they have it all arse about.
* Spoke to Jess' folks before we hit the road. Jess' dad is a Wolverhampton Wanderers fan from the 1970s. He jokingly suggested we visit Wolverhampton's Molineux Stadium for him. We weren't kidding…. Took some snaps out the front of Molineux and then discovered that the club shop was open. Safe to say that Jess' brother Peter is no longer the Golden Child of the Sartori household.
* Ended up staying in Wolverhampton to watch the Socceroos take on Spain at the local Aussie Pub. Wished we hadn't. At least they had some Bundaberg ginger beer in stock.
* Made it to Northleach by 8:30 for another night of camping. Daylight savings in the UK means that it's sunny skies until about 10:30pm. And the sun rises again at around 6:00am. How can you not love a place that gives you 16 hours of daylight and Iron Maiden beer (albeit warm)?
* First day exploring the Cotswolds. Started in Burford, then made our way to Bourton-on-the-water (every town in England seems to "on the" or "under" something). Words cannot describe how pretty these places are. It was like walking through an imaginary village that you read about in fairy tales.
* In the carpark at Bourton-on-the-water we spotted a campervan with Queensland licence plates. Eventually met the owner of the vehicle - an Aussie couple in their mid-late 70s. Asked them how the hell their car ended up here. He said he took a wrong turn on the way to Mildura.
* Turns out that, for the past 7 years, they have been campervanning overseas at 6 month intervals. They ship the car overseas and camp for 6 months, before putting the car in storage wherever they are and then heading home for 6 months. When they're ready to go out again, they fly back to where the car is being stored and the journey continues. So far they have seen almost all of Asia and Europe - basically from Singapore upwards. Suddenly our trip doesn't seem that amazing…
* Went to the motor museum at Bourton-on-the-water to check out some vintage wheels. Stumbled across the one and only Brum. Jess was going bananas. I had no idea who or what Brum was. I guess that's what happens when you grow up with older brothers - while the other kids are watching Brum and the Wizard of Oz, you're watching the Godfather Trilogy and Sylvester Stallone movies.
* Spent the day in Stratford-upon-Avon. One word: Shakespeare. We saw his home, his lover's home, his grave, his Brother in Law's home….basically everywhere he may have set foot in or passed wind in at some point in his life. Got swept up in the Shakespeare mood and bought some of his works. Couldn't understand a bloody word. Best I stick to those Godfather movies…