Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Arriving in The Highlands

I'm sitting in a lovely campsite near Onich overlooking a loch and the sun is shining. I've even been sunbathing this afternoon - panic not there was no swimsuit involved, just a summery frock.
Last night I stayed at The Falkirk Wheel. What an incredible piece of engineering. It took me a couple of hours to work out that the canal boats were actually lifted onto the Union Canal from the Forth & Clyde - yes I am a bit thick when it comes to engineering. It was £10 to stay overnight in the car park and there were four or five other vans there.
The drive was much more relaxing today despite being rather curly at times. I seemed to be following Graham's route to John O'Groats which was rather lovely. The road wound its way up through Glen Coe and the scenery was magnificent. Unfortunately as I was driving I couldn't take any photos. 
Below are some photos of my campsite tonight.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Scotland ... I've arrived

I pitched up to The Three Merry Lads in Sheffield yesterday afternoon and had a rather gorgeous view over  Redmires Dam. 
After a rather lovely evening of chicken fajitas and red wine at my friends' Deb and Paul's house I slept well in readiness for my venture today. 
While there were far fewer trucks on the A1M today the roadworks were virtually continuous all the way up to my turnoff towards Jedburgh. My 4 hour trip turned into a 6 hour one so I'm now having a well-deserved cider in the Horse & Hound pub near Hawick in Scotland. Dinner is at 615PM - a little earlier than my usual but as I haven't had lunch and am about to pass out from hunger I am keen to get stuck in. 
Hopefully the food will be better here than the last two places I stayed. Although it is great to stay at Britstops as it's usually free the food in the last couple of pubs has been average at best. The beverages, however, have been great.
After seeing in a magazine that a willow pig is the latest in essential items to own, imagine my e3xcitement when I came across one such pig in a garden centre. I'm not sure if the hedgehog shares its essential- tag but I refrained from the purchase of either.
Tomorrow I will head up to Falkirk's Wheel and catch up with Mr Fluffy in a few days.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Heading North

While Graham has views like this: 
I have Emmerdale in the background and a view of this: 
Day 4 and I have braved the M5 M6 to get to The Wheatsheaf pub just off J11 on the M6. I spent a lovely day in Wells yesterday with Graham's mother then had a hideous drive up past Birmingham today.
I had a little lie down to recover from the stress and I'm hoping the driving will be calmer from now on. By the way....I hate trucks.
I was overtaken by about 12 in a row in a 50 mile an hour zone with skinny lanes.....and I was going about 50 so I hope they get booked. I also witnessed a Chinese chap texting in the outside lane of the M5 - he barely looked up from his phone. I certainly get a good view from up in my high cab seat. 
Will be heading in the direction of Sheffield from tomorrow. Hopefully will catch up with friends there that I haven't seen for ages.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

First Day Complete

Well I have made it to Chelstons in Taunton on day one of the support team challenge. I'm all plugged in and watered up in readiness for my first night in Dickie.
May I say that I've just eaten what can laughingly be described as pasta with sauce. If you are ever tempted to eat Budgens home brand refridgerated pasta, do your self a favour and buy something else. It was the most flavour-free meal I have ever had the non-excitement of eating. Hugo is currently chewing on his tail which, I'm sure, would be more tasty than my pasta.
At least I have some of Helen's yummy scones to fill my gastric void.
I'm up early tomorrow to get the van in for its service at 8AM - hideous - then on to Wells to meet up with Graham's mother for an interview about his family history. 
Looking forward to getting up to Scotland to experience this gorge scenery.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Finally Off to Scotland

It seems like I have been preparing for this support mission for ages but today I am finally off. After a quick visit to the vets this morning to check out Hugo's protruding buttocks I will be finalising the packing and heading for Chelstons near Wellington for Dickie's service and MOT.
Luckily I can stay overnight at Chelstons rather than get up at dawn's crack tomorrow to be there for 8AM. It's about a 2 1/2 hour drive so not too stressful.
Despite being a tad terrified about driving to Scotland all by myself in such a large van, I'm kind of looking forward to it as well. My own little adventure.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Solo Support Team

My partner Graham is currently walking from Land's End to John O'Groats and is making great progress. He left Cornwall March 21st and is now in Edinburgh.

I am now about to undertake the terrifying task of driving Dickie from Cornwall up to Scotland by myself (with the help of our small dog Hugo).
Kerriann holding Hugo the dog
me and Hugo

The furthest I've been before is from Boscastle to St Austell and back and then to Wells and back; both on support missions for Graham's walk. I managed OK after my initial trepidation but I have not driven quite this far in the van before. 

This section of our blog will cover my trip from Cornwall to Scotland in our (to me) gigantic Hymer and hopefully the 'not very exciting' adventures I will have along the way.
Silver Hymer parked by a loch
Dickie in Scotland last year
So if you see me on the road give us a wave.
Click on the link to catch up on Graham's blog