Thursday, 17 April 2014

I would walk 500 miles...

(photo courtesy of Rob)

Our trip to Scotland was our first test of what is to come next year. It was eye opening to say the least...

Day 1 and 2 we stopped off in Appletreewick which is at the bottom of the Yorkshire Dales. We camped at Masons Campsite, a small site in the middle of rolling countryside. The campsite facilities were great and well looked after! After opening the tent and putting up all parts of the awnings and back canopy we trotted up to the nearest pub for ale and cider - this made for a great evening! During the next day or so we walked for miles finding the other pub in the area. From this we took away that actually the back canopy (see photo) is not a necessity, possibly nice to have during a long stay but quite fiddly to put up. The awning and the sides were invaluable because in the windy, rainy weather it was nice to have somewhere to huddle! Food wise we worked out how to make some AMAZING toasties on Rob's grill which would keep us in good stead all week!!

Day 3 we drove up to the Lakes stopping off in Windermere for a drink and a quick Internet session to find our next campsite. Finding a campsite was fairly hard due to the reluctance of open fires in a lot of caravan/camping sites. We found one just outside, again in rolling countryside, called Park Cliff. This campsite again had great facilities and very friendly staff. We walked up to Gummy Hill for fantastic views of the Lakes! We hired out kayaks on Lake Windermere the next day which was great fun, even Belle (Rob and Mandy's dog) enjoyed sitting in the middle of their kayak - Charles maybe realised that having one pair of shoes is not the best of ideas.. especially when they get wet however his shoes tied to the roof rack to dry out caused a lot of amusement from all sorts of passers by!

Day 4 and 5 was the long drive up to Scotland via some breath taking scenery. Luckily the radio (which was initially not working) was now cranking itself up! In Galloway Park we found a campsite called Balloch Dee. It was a small, peaceful but with a lot going on! We camped in the middle of a field, met a companion for the night (with a Defender travelling from Amsterdam to Ireland), set up the fire and sat under the stars. Galloway Forest the next day provided the scene for our 35 mile bike ride, past three Lochs on hilly paths. Safe to say we were knackered by the end but we were rewarded by beautiful views!

From this mini-adventure we have realised more about what we need to store and where... for example having the boxes with the kitchen stuff on the top of the roof is a hassle, however having the bike stuff in the car is a waste of space. It was a good exercise in what should go where! We also have become adept, and quite fast at putting the tent up and down... definitely team work involved! Regarding the mechanics.. I have no idea.. I have yet to be told anything more we need to spend money on but I am sure there will be lots!

Things we now need!!

Blanket (in the cold!)
Decent cheese grater
Can opener
More storage boxes
Two decent wind/rain proof coats - one for the day and the other for the evening
Toastie making grill