Monday, 31 December 2018

A night on a site

Yesterday we drove down to the mull of Galloway lighthouse, which had stunning views across the sea in all directions. We could even see the Isle of Man! It was a bit grey & misty though so didnt really take many photos....apart from the obligatory lighthouse photos.





On the way there we stopped at a wee village called Sandhead...they had open public toilets and a village shop. Perfect! Even though we have a toilet on board, we do try to use it as little as possible (less emptying needed)...so public toilets that are actually open and clean are a total bonus! The village shop was well stocked, so we topped up on supplies too. There was also a park up spot closer to the shore....a bit close to houses for us though.

On the way back from the lighthouse we stopped at port Logan briefly before heading on to our site for the night.

As this was our 4th night away, it was time to stay on a site for emptying & refilling.

At this time of year, there isnt much choice of sites as many of them close for winter. We were lucky enough to get a space at Castlecary holiday park  a lovely site with an on site pub and it's very own castle! It also had a duck pond, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and crazy golf, although these were closed for the winter.


Staying on a site is quite different to our usual off grid park up spots.  You can hook up to the electric...so no worrying about the leisure battery charge. We can use the electric heating/water heating, so saves our gas. I also get to use my electric straighteners instead of my gas ones. The downside is the lack of views...and always having to keep the dog on a lead.

Castlecary was a lovely park though, it would be ideal if you have kids, as there's plenty to keep them occupied.

The bathroom facilities were a bit dated, and not the best we've seen.

By far, the 2 sites that have the best facilities are Dornoch Firth Caravan Park and Machrihanish camp site both have superb facilities!

Now it's New Year's eve and we need to hit the road to find somewhere for tonight.....not sure where that will be yet!

Happy New Year to you all, when it comes......happy travels for 2019!

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Lesson learned...

Last night was our 33rd night spent in our motorhome. The first 32 nights were peaceful....sometimes windy...but never any trouble.

That all changed the night we spent in Girvan! As I said last night, I found out about this place to park up through a Facebook group dedicated to Scottish motorhome wild camping. In the summer there has been as many as 25 vans on one night....too many for me, but maybe it was safety in numbers.

We parked up at about 6pm...there was already 2 other mohos and a campervan there, so all seemed ok. There was a couple of kids in cars....nothing out of the ordinary. So we went off in the search for our chippy tea.

The one that was closest to where we were parked was closed. So we walked up the high street...everything was closed! Apart from a betting shop and a pub. There were numerous people staggering and holding on to the walls to steady themselves....again none of our business really. We eventually found a chippy open!

The outside of the chippy stank and there was rubbish everywhere. When were walking back to the van with our suppers there was 2 groups of feral kids and then another further down the road.

Whilst eating our chips boy racers were booming music...We should have just decided to leave after we had eaten. Next time we will!

It had been quiet for a few hours, so we went to bed. We were woken up at 1am by music, shouting and what sounded like cars parked either side of us honking horns at each other.
We thought the little shites would soon get bored, so just tried to ignore them.
Then at 2am they upped the ante.....screaming, shouting and tapping on our windows.

We thought about calling the police, but thought that in reality, this would achieve nothing. They did eventually give up and go away.

At 7am I woke to hear a knocking on our window again....that might have been a dream though! Haha!

I got up....one of the moho s had left.....the other had moved and was sitting with lights on and engine running. It was also blowing an absolute hoolie!
I decided to move the van to a more sheltered spot, and it seemed like the little shites had all gone home to sleep it off.

The moral of this story is...if we park up and don’t feel comfortable, we will just move!

After we had a few more hours sleep, we woke up to see the view....I think last night’s experience left me feeling very unenamoured with Girvan! We will never go back there!


We then drove on, stopping at stranraer....another place we will not rush back to!

We then found the gorgeous village of portpatrick. A stunning little fishing village with views across to northern Ireland. This is what we love...finding little gems in unexpected places. We decided to stay here the night ❤
Today’s tunes: The Beatles, no 1s
Tonight’s dinner: Moroccan quorn, bulgar wheat & veggies....amazing one pot easy meal 😉
Miles driven today: 37
Fingers crossed for a better night's sleep tonight 😁








Friday, 28 December 2018

It's the simple things.....

Well here’s the view we woke up to this morning....well not exactly....I woke at about 8.30am...the street lights were still on and the view I was hoping for was covered in mist.
I let TJ out for a wee, and made some freshly cooked pancakes (with bananas and toffee sauce...yummy)
By the time we had finished breakfast, the sun was starting to break through the clouds and it had stopped raining! Here’s the views we eventually saw.....stunning!



We then drove back into dunoon to buy our ferry tickets across to gourock . The tickets are much cheaper to buy in the local shops than on the ferry itself....hugely cheaper!
While I was in the shop another customer kindly advised me which tickets I would need and asked me where we were heading....I told him that we were just heading south. Both the customer and the shop assistant were very friendly. Also the views across to the Argyll mountains were stunning in the morning sunshine....showing us what we missed when we drove across them in the dark last night.

 We will definitely come back to this area and sat planning another trip whilst we were on the ferry. Scotland is so beautiful and stunning, we always lack time, not ideas or inspiration!

After the ferry across, we started the road south. We stopped at Largs, which was full of people leisurely walking along the promenade in the sunshine.....such a gorgeous afternoon.


Next stop was Troon, we stopped to take photos of the sunset.

We drove onto to our planned stop for the night Girvan Harbour.....and a chip shop 😁
This stop over spot was recommended by the Facebook group I follow....Scottish motorhome wildcampers....as we drove down the A77, as it dropped down in to Turnberry, what a view we got of Ailsa Craig in the very near darkness....it almost looked like a cloud! I cant wait to wake up and see the view in the morning ❤

Today’s tunes: Meatloaf, Bat out of Hell/Fleetwood Mac, rumours  & queen, bohemian rhapsody.
Tonight’s dinner: chip supper, followed by a hotel chocolate selection and Baileys 😁
Tonight’s entertainment: we still didn’t feel like watching tv, so played scrabble.
Miles driven today: 75 miles
How many years old I am today?......48 😁 life just does get better the older you get....or maybe you just learn to take pleasure out of life more? I wouldn’t change a thing ❤


Thursday, 27 December 2018

Road Trip!

Do you know what one of the best things about going away in a motorhome/campervan is?

How much do you love road trips? Impulsive, relaxing, ‘let’s see where the road takes us' type of trips?

How often do you wish that you didn’t have to drive back along the road you just came.....or that you could just stay out and not go home.....and do it all again tomorrow?

That’s what it’s all about! The sense of freedom and excitement.....not knowing what’s around the next corner, or what tomorrow will bring. Just living in the moment......

Today we set off on our 7 day trip, we were delayed in leaving Inverness.....which means that we haven’t got a clue what the scenery around us looks like...We arrived in the dark...all we know is that we are by the sea, south of Dunoon.
Can’t wait to wake tomorrow and see! Tomorrow is also my birthday 😁 my first birthday spent in the moho.

Tomorrow we are getting the ferry to Gourock and then heading south along the coast.

  • Today’s tunes were from Deacon Blue....Paul McCartney and Mumford
  • Miles driven today....206
  • Dinner was cooked in the moho....Quorn Korma with pilau rice & pershwari naan.....followed by mince pies and brandy cream....tomorrow night I want chips 😋😍😅
  • Today's lunch stop was at Glencoe.....stunning place ❤




Sunday, 23 December 2018

It's all in the planning

Although having a motorhome with all the luxuries of solar power, toilet, shower, heating etc does give you the freedom to go wherever the road takes you.....you do still kinda need to plan for wild/freedom camping trips.

It's good to have a variety of options when it comes to parking up. We always go by our rules of:

  • Don't park up near an existing campsite....it's just rude
  • Don't park up where people can look out of their front room window and see you cooking your bacon rolls....again it's rude!
  • If there is already a number of mohos/vans parked up, then look for another spot....we don't want to deprive locals of a parking spot at their local beach/beauty spot.
  • We always leave no trace! No rubbish....no dog poo...
  • We always try to shop local wherever we park up for the night....it contributes to the local economy.... and we get to sample some very tasty local delights!
  • Every 3 or 4 nights we plan to stop at a campsite....to empty our toilet, take on fresh water and top up the electricity (especially in the winter when the solar panel has limited hours of daylight to to its stuff) 
  • We also never stay more than one night. We arrive early evening and leave in the morning.
What we get from wild/freedom camping is the freedom.....the unobstructed views....and the lack of rules that campsites usually have. (Usually to do with dogs)

Since we've had our van, we have only stayed on a campsite twice....they were lovely....but not quite the same as the feeling you get wild camping. 

To help with planning our trips, I study Google maps/Google earth to identify possible places. There is also a fab Facebook group dedicated to Scottish motorhome wildcampers, they have a map with lots of information on where you can stop and top up. I also I use apps such as 'search for sites' and park4night' ......both very useful!

We have our next trip coming up in a couple of days time...here's our planned route for 7 days....I will of course share the details of our trip....so look out for updates as we travel....from 27th December 🚙😎👍❤😁🤩 I really can't wait!

Thursday, 20 December 2018

We're on the road to nowhere.....or maybe Tomatin

This trip out was only for a few hours, work commitments were proving to be a challenge.....but only a few hours away in the moho was such a wonderful  escape!
Time stretches.... a night away feels like a weekend.... a weekend feels like a week and as for a week......well you get the picture.

This particular Sunday we just had the afternoon & evening, so decided to stay local(ish) and just drive, park up, and cook some dinner.

We drove down the Tomatin Road and followed it all the way along the River Findhorn until we came to the car park I had identified on Google maps.....I spend a lot of time studying Google maps 😂


The car park would be perfect for a wee overnight stopover. It offers no services.....but complete solitude and amazing scenery. It was the short escape that we needed!


Here's a few photos inside of our van. It is a home from home, but even better than that! Just park up and relax...that's all we have to do....well we do have to turn the gas on for heating & cooking. But that really is it!

We weren't planning on getting the tv, but the van came with an aerial fitted....so we got one just in case....it is nice to have the option. But on nice evenings we are usually out walking TJ.

This trip we went for a walk along the valley after dinner....We put the heating on before we went out, so would go back to a toasty warm van 😍

Whilst we were walking, we felt as though we were being watched.....we looked up on the hill tops and saw loads of deer....all watching us! How amazing 😍
Not sure if you can make them out in this photo?

After a hot chocolate/biscuits we drove back to Inverness.
We decided to take a road that went up over the hill tops....What a road and what an adventure! We ended up coming out by the Farr wind farm over some seriously dodgy roads...We won't repeat that route again but will definitely go back to this secluded park up spot 😁

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Our first 'wild' weekend!

So on to our very first adventure....We decided to head out to the stunning west coast towards Gairloch.
Lunch with a view...Loch Maree

We stopped at Loch Maree for lunch and then headed further west.
We were heading for Firemore Beach, which I had read had a small community campsite. When we got there we discovered it didn't open till May! We spoke to another moho owner who told us about a car park just a wee bit along the road...and so we had our first night in the van 'wild camping'....well, it was hardly wild..with central heating, hot running water and a solar panel providing us with electricity!

Firemore Beach



TJ....making himself at home ❤



The next day we moved on towards Ullapool via Mellon Udrigle and lots of rain. We spent the night close to Corrieshelloch Gorge, we certainly had a stunning view! We shared our parking spot that night with 4 other vans. The viewpoint had plenty of space and we all left early the next morning.


Corrieshelloch Gorge


The next day was our third day on the road, as it was nice weather, instead of heading home we took a wee detour to Ardmair and Achilitibuie....What a stunning day and what a perfect first weekend away ❤❤❤
Ardmair

Achilitibuie 

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Welcome

Welcome to our blog....and our first post.

I think the best place to start is from when we bought our very own motorhome in March 2018.

I had always wanted a motorhome....ever since my kids were little, but life trundled on and it always seemed such a distant dream.

When we got our gorgeous puppy TJ in 2017, our needs changed. We No longer wanted foreign holidays, we wanted a way in which we could holiday with our little boy without stress.

We decided to hire a campervan in March 2018 to see if the reality matched up to our dream. We done the NC500 over 5 days and could not have enjoyed it more! We enjoyed it so much that when we returned home, we went motorhome shopping!

We had decided after hiring a smaller campervan, that we would prefer a bigger coachbuilt motorhome. We wanted the extra space...... and the bathroom! Something under 6m would be perfect.

After visiting a couple of dealers we put a deposit down on an Elddis Majestic 135.....complete with flushing toilet, central heating, solar panel, awning, reversing camera, and a fitted kitchen!

Nothing could beat our excitement!

Now writing this 9 months later.....We have explored 4500 miles in Scotland! Every time we go out, we have new experiences and see new things.

I will try to recap some of our travels in some catch up posts so you can see where we have been.

In the meantime, it's only 9 days till our next adventure.......