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Becoming local tourists

Three months ago today we returned home from our big adventure around the world. We met a fair few people who had travelled in the past and we were keen to find out how they had settled back into 'normal life'. We received two similar tips from two different people on opposite sides of the world.

1) Learn how to see your local area as a tourist would (thanks Fred).

2) Buy a Lonely Planet guide for England and keep 'travelling' locally (thanks Lee).

We also made a list of things we wanted to do when we got home so that we had things to look forward to. One of those things was 'Devon trip', which we managed to squeeze in the week before last. We stayed at Foreland Bothy which you can just about see in the middle of the photo below.

A steep, winding 1.5 mile long road leads to the bothy. The remoteness of the bothy is one of its main appeals. We saw wild red deer and countless Exmoor ponies. The 'view from the loo' wasn't too shabby either (top right).

Bothy facilities are basic but perfect to 'get away from it all'. Unlike most bothies, this one isn't free to use but the £27 a night paid to the National Trust does include free entry to NT properties and gardens, and we certainly got our money's worth with a trip to Dunster Castle.

We were also able to take a peek at England's tallest tree (last measured at 60.05m in 2009). Bearing in mind the trees we saw in the Amazon were 60-70m high, it's a pretty big tree! The only way I could get a photo of it was using the panoramic setting on my camera (to put it to scale, the fence around the tree was at my hip height).

Aside from our Devon trip, we've been trying to make the most of any free time in the evenings and weekends to see more of Kent and London. So far so good...