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Big Adventure

May 2018 - May 2019
Travels in a motorhome This blog is written to remind us where we have been and what we have done
  • Day359

    Foyes

    Yesterday in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    We have booked this site on the southern shore of Loch Ness for three nights. We will be speaking with the fracture clinic on Monday to review the ongoing treatment and best location for us to be.
    Sunday saw Karen spend a few hours with the sewing machine whilst I took myself off for a walk in the surrounding hills and along side Loch Mhor, it was a little grey overcast day but good for walking. Loch Mohr is a feeder loch for a hydro power station at Foyes on the side of Loch Ness below.Read more

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  • Day359

    Inverness

    Yesterday in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    We returned to Inverness to the A and E Department where Karen was diagnosed as having ruptured her achilles tendon. She is now in plaster from toes to knee and provided with crutches. No weight to be applied to plaster, can't get plaster wet - probably for six - seven week period so this has changed our plans again.Read more

  • Day358

    The Black Isle

    May 17 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    After a false start due ta misplaced clip on the gear system we were able to set off on our travels. We had decided to leave the north coast until next year so were planning to head westwards to the western islands. First though, we thought we would have a look at The Black Isle, Cromarty and the Moray Firth's famous dolphins.
    The site we chose was very peaceful tucked away next to the Links golf course on Chanonry Point. we walked down to the point in the evening on the rising tide but no dolphins to be seen.
    The following morning after breakfast we did the walk again. Karen tripped on a metal stud in the footpath causing her great pain.
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  • Day356

    Inverness

    May 15 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We stayed in Inverness for another two nights - this time in the space at the rear of the Fiat dealership as Hazel was immobile. Andrew and Jackie who were in the Hymer were stuck too as their van needed specialist treatment to the gear box, a job that needed to be done near Glasgow. A and J are from Budleigh Salterton near Sidmouth in Devon so we will meet up with them later in our travels.
    We spent the day cycling down the Caledonian Canal which starts in Inverness and enjoyed the sunshine by the canal side. Bluebells and yellow gorse in flower made the tow path very colourful.
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  • Day354

    Inverness

    May 13 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    The day started with the news that owing to reasons outside of their control Syd and Jo were having to postpone the trip up north. (I am going to have a struggle finishing the large can of beer I bought for our reunion.) We resolved to do they trip together another time which we will be pleased to do as the little we have seen so far reminds us so much of the beauty in New Zealand. The weather has improved too and we have been sitting outside for our meals. We can't believe how lucky we are to be bathed in sunshine this far north.
    The A9 road from Perth to Inverness passes through some beautiful and rugged countryside. We didn't linger as the worrying red light on the dashboard of the van refused to turn itself off so we hot footed it to a Fiat dealership in Inverness.
    Its just as well we like it here as we may be some time as our Hazel requires major repairs to the fuel/turbo system Ouch. Parts are not in stock so we shall probably be here for a day or two (at least) - more than we expected. There are worse places to be stranded as our current view is a field full of sheep with spring lambs who are very frisky.
    We spent the day on site waiting for the parts to be delivered to the garage. Karen had a great day with her needlework - working outside in bright sunshine. Alan took his road bike out for the first run of the year. I took the B9006 to Nairn then the back roads to the sea side. Nairn has a nice stray and is on the mouth of the Moray Firth. Bathed in sunshine it looked quite pleasant and a long beach too.
    We took the van to the garage first thing Wednesday morning and set off bright and early on our bikes to visit the Culloden Battlefield, which is a Scottish National Trust site. It is the site of the final battle between the British Government and the Jacobites in April 1746, resulting in a defeat for the latter led by Bonny Prince Charlie. Clan Maclean were represented by family members on the losing side, although how many were there history does not record.
    The displays in the visitor centre are very well done and very informative. We took part in a quiz presentation - one other member of our team clearly had not bothered to read any of the information in the displays and was adamantly wrong on virtually all of the True or False questions. We walked through the battlefield in glorious sunshine.
    After that we cycled down into Inverness to find the river (Ness) and we rode along the river side to the Botanical Gardens. The gardens were full of colour and the riverside very green and pleasant.
    Returning to the garage the works had not been completed so we are parked up against another Autotrail in the garage car park for the evening - we should be on the road again tomorrow. The adjacent van is four years younger than ours and is in for a complete engine rebuild and another van will join us later this evening on a low loader recovered from Skye - a 2004 Hymer A class which has a fault with the automatic gear box. We are not sure if we are meant to feel comfort for our problem or worry about what could come next. The garage clearly does good business repairing Fiat based motorhomes.
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  • Day352

    Pitlochry

    May 11 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    We spent a couple of nights here on our way up to meet Jo and Syd in Inverness prior to doing the North Coast 500. We set off bright and early from Berwick (bright and early for us that is). A worrying red light appeared on the dashboard which caused us to stop on the outskirts of Edinburgh to review the handbook. Probably a little problem with the fuel injection which could wait until we got to a Fiat dealership.
    The countryside got more and more stunning as we travelled further north and the valley in which Ptilochry is located is fabulous.
    We cycled into Pitlochry from the site which is a nice village full of woollen mill shops, outdoor pursuits stores, cafes and restaurants and with an interesting hydro electric dam and visitor centre. There were no salmon in the fish ladder next to the dam as it is probably a tad too early in the season.
    We then cycled to the Queen's View where Q. Victoria apparently was taken to have a look see in 1866. We very nearly got there too but Karen' gears stuck and the hill was never ending - first time on a bike for 5 months so we decided to turn back before too much fatigue set in. Turns out it was a big mistake the viewing point was only another 300 metres (uphill) round a couple of bends ( we know this because we visited the following morning on our way out of Pitlochry) and it is well worth a visit. It was very peaceful then two American F16s thundered down the valley. Schiehallion in the distance looked to be an inviting climb - one for another visit - with snow on the summit.
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  • Day349

    Berwick upon Tweed

    May 8 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 7 °C

    We arrived in Berwick mid afternoon and found a pitch with wonderful sea views. We soon made the van cosy with heating on full. Our first full day in Berwick we spent in the van - Alan working on his final job before full retirement kicks in and Karen sewing Kirsty's quilt (a long overdue project!!!!). The next day we walked from the site into Berwick - in glorious sunshine!!! Still chilly outside, but it does make a difference when the sun comes out! What a beautiful place Berwick is - a walled city next to the sea. We walked the walls of the city and walked along the pier. Also looked at the shops on the High St. All very nice. Back to the van for lunch. Alan spent the afternoon working (a tight deadline on this job means it has to be tied up soon) and Karen sewing again. The campsite is filling up, and is apparently full on Sunday. A very nice site that we would like to return to sometime, as there is so much to see in this area. Sadly we have to move on, as we are starting the North Coast 500 tour on Wednesday and need to get up to Inverness where this trip starts.Read more

  • Day345

    Redcar

    May 4 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌬 9 °C

    We travelled up the A1 on Saturday heading for the north east to visit Karen's family. A quick stop en route at Newark for us to buy essentials for Hazel at a motorhome dealership. The journey took longer than expected, although the roads were not too busy. Very windy as we approached Redcar with spots of rain. It was good to see Karen's parents again after so long and to catch up with their news. We stayed in Redcar for 4 nights, sleeping each night on the Stray overlooking the sea. There were a few other vans also staying over, but we reckon the hostile weather kept the numbers down!!!! Very cold, wet and windy for 3 of the 4 days, but we managed to get out and about. We spent a lovely day in Whitby (one of our favourite places in England) and enjoyed a belated birthday celebration meal at the Jolly Sailors pub on the moor road. Great food as ever there. We left Redcar in torrential rain and howling wind to make our way further north. Thank goodness we didn't get rid of all our winter clothes when we set off travelling. They are very much in use at the moment!!!!! The weather can only get better!!!Read more

  • Day339

    Lee Valley

    April 28 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Arrived late afternoon to set up Hazel for a week on site.
    We travelled to Walthamstow Monday morning to assist Stew and Em with Magnus and Jemima for a few days whilst Em does induction at her new hospital.
    Magnus at school which he loves and Jemima an absolute treat - big smiles all round.
    We have been reminded of the after school visit to the park which we have enjoyed in the afternoons.Read more

  • Day337

    Winchester

    April 26 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Parked up with Mike and Lizz, Mike dropped us off for an evening with Syd and Jo, Roland and Pam. Meal at the White Horse in Otterbourne which was very nice - company as great as usual. Even managed, just about, to arrange our rendevous with S and J in Inverness for the North Coast 500.
    Lazy morning helping Syd move some gear into his workshop whilst Karen met Fran and Debbie for a chat in Winchester. Great to catch up with old school colleagues - non stop talking for a few hours!!!!
    Saturday evening saw us at Elaine and Graham's (sans Graham who had previous engagement) with Mike, Lizz, Steve, Lynne, Jo, Anne for an evening of fine food, wine and chatter. Graham returned just prior to midnight looking very dapper.
    Thank you to Syd and Jo and Elaine and Graham for your hospitality.
    Sunday saw us move to Lee Valley prior to a few days helping with the grand children.
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