Thursday, 8 July 2010

Thursday 8th July

Good morning
This is my 4th day back in Chudleigh and although I am missing being out on the road I am also enjoying being home.
Everyone has been very kind and welcomed both Simon and me home( not forgetting Murphy) with quite a few donations coming in.
A BIG thank you to everyone who has donated but I also realise that there are so many charities out there that to give to all of them would not be possible.

I will now finish off the last few days of the trip.

Friday :
Packed everything up, sat in the sun with a cup of tea and read my book then I drove to Corfe Castle, Elsie followed in her car.
While Elsie stayed in the car park painting a picture of the Castle I walked with Murphy up the hill to the Castle, had a good look around then walked around the village and back down to the Camper.

Entrance to the Castle and the railway station

Our next stop was Lulworth Cove, heaving with tourists and school groups studying the coastline.
Walked along the coast, took some photo's then met Simon and Noel for a drink before they set off cycling again.
We dove past Weymouth and set up camp at West Fleet on a flat piece of grass, unwound the awning, put out the table and chairs, sat in the sun and waited for the cyclists to arrive.
Had Dinner, relaxed had a drink and a chat until bedtime.

Saturday :
Simon and Noel set off about 9.30, we left Fleet and made our way to Abbotsbury Swannery, spent a couple of hours watching hundreds of swans feeding, learning about the history of the Swannery and finding our way around the Maze.
We then made our way to Charmouth to look for fossils, the place was full of people all with the same idea so decided to return another day.
Stayed there for lunch and again met Simon and Noel as they cycled the coast.
Made our way to the campsite at Salcombe Regis, set everything up and took it easy in the sun.
Swans at Abbotsbury
Part of the Maze
Prototype bouncing bomb from the Dambusters recovered from Fleet Estuary.

Sunday :
Simon set off with 4 friends for the last leg of his epic journey around the coast of Britain.
Elsie left at about 10.00 and I left at 11.30 making my way to Exmouth, Starcross, Dawlish, Teignmouth over Shaldon bridge to Babbacombe, Torquay, Paignton and arriving at Dartmouth via the ferry from Kingswear at about 2.00.
Had lunch with Jean, Ken, Joanne and Steve, Guy, Lisa and Stanley. then waited as other friends and relatives arrived.
Met up with Harriet and Dean and waited for the cyclists to arrive.
At about 4.15 the group which had increased in number arrived with Simon at the front to a grand reception from all the well wishers.
He was presented with a cake decorated with "Cycle the Lights" made by Kate.
 A BIG thank you to Alf Resco's who stayed open for the afternoon giving them drinks etc.

I then returned home to Chudleigh, unloaded some of the camper, parked up and went indoors to find that Harriet and Dean had got the house tidy and dusted.
Harriet made me a cup of tea and Dean presented me with a Bargain Bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
A great end to my trip and I will resume my diet tomorrow.

Bought some flowers, went down the cemetery, sat for a while trying to decide my plans for the future and decided take life as it comes and see where it leads.
I am sure there many good things ahead.

I would like to finish by saying how proud I am of Simon's great achievement as only I know what he really went through on parts of the trip so WELL DONE.


Thursday, 1 July 2010

Thursday 1st July

Hard to believe we have been away for three and a half months with only 3 days to go.
We have had a brilliant trip and I will be sorry when it ends but I am also looking forward to getting home and sorting everything out.

Monday :
I drove to Southampton to the Red Funnel Ferry Terminal in plenty of time, boarded the Ferry and took Murphy onto the top deck for the 55 minute trip to East Cowes Isle of Wight.
Lovely weather and great trip with calm water and plenty to see.
I drove around the east coast of the island to Ryde, Bembridge and Sandown reaching the campsite near Shanklin just as Simon and Noel arrived from a different direction. Elsie arrived half an hour later.
The pitch was on grass (which we prefer if it is dry ) large and flat with plenty of room for the camper, one car, 4 people, 1 dog and 2 tents.
The site was Ninham Country Holidays touring park Tel. 01983 864243 who very kindly allowed us to stay for half price so a big Thank You.
Sat around in the evening eating, drinking and talking until bedtime.

Tuesday :
Simon and Noel set off fairly early, when we were ready Elsie followed me in her car around the rest of the island.
We went to Ventnor, Niton and stopped at Blackgang Chine where we went around The Disappearing Village with a new exhibition based on the tv series " Coast".well worth the 4.50 entrance charge.
Took us about 2 hours to see everything then drove to the Needles lighthouse at Alum Bay where we met Simon and Noel who stopped for a cup of tea then off again as they still had a long ride to East Cowes where we all stopped for the night.
Wednesday :
I caught the Ferry at 11.00 to Southampton, Elsie caught hers to Portsmouth at 9.00 and Simon and Noel caught the 10.30 to Southampton.
We each went our own way, I went to Lymington, Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole before making my way to our next campsite at Herston near Swanage, had 2 large pitches on grass so I set up the camper, wound out the large awning, put out the table and chairs, put the kettle on and waited for the rest to arrive.
Great evening just chilling out in the evening sun.

Thursday :
After Breakfast we sat around reading then we all ( including Murphy ) walked to the train station and caught a Steam Train to Swanage where we spent about 4 hours looking around, had lunch and sampled the local Piddle Ale.
Did a shop then caught the Steam Train back to the campsite where we all collapsed in the heat and in no time we were all asleep.
We are now preparing the evening meal, they are having Curry and I am having hot smoked Salmon Ploughmans.

Hope to see as many as possible on Sunday 4th July in the afternoon at Alf Resco's
All for now

Monday, 28 June 2010

Beachy Head
View from top of lighthouse Dungeness
View of Ferry Port from the White Cliffs of Dover
Simon at Whitstable

Monday 28th June

Friday :
Simon spent the day in Brighton, I decided to chill out at the campsite, I wound the Awning out, put out the table and chairs and read my book in the sun.
Took Murphy for a walk, had coffee with a couple in a neibouring motorhome and then watched the football.
Saturday :
Justine ( Daniels Partner)and Neve came to see me on Saturday morning, we had tea in the sun then I was driven into Brighton.
We had a good look around The Lanes shopping area and was impressed by Snoopers Paradise a lot of small shops within a large shop full of so many collectables I could have browsed all day.
We met Simon had lunch and sat in the park.
While Simon and Justine had a drink Neve and I went for a look around the Pavilion , blown away by the magnificent Dining and Music rooms probably the best rooms I have ever seen, highly recommended if you are in Brighton.
When we came out Jeff (Daniels friend) and Zoe had joined Simon and Justine for a drink, I then had a cab back to the campsite took Murphy for a walk and Justine came and collected us both drove us back to her place and cooked us an evening meal which we ate in the garden.
Simon and I had a cab back late evening luckily the cab driver was ok with Murphy on my lap.
Got back and went to bed.
Sunday :
Simon rode off to Brighton where he met up with some mates who cycled part of the way with him.
Justine and Neve came to see me again, we sat in the sun,they helped me pack up, took me to Asda for a shop and then we went to a cafe for light lunch.
I then set off on my days trip through Brighton, Hove, Worthing stopping to take in the views then finished at Bognor Regis where we stopped for the night.
We were joined by Elsie ( Simon's Girlfriend ) and Noel ( Simon's Friend ) who have joined us for the rest of the trip.
Off to the Isle of Wight now so I will let you know how we get on.
All for now

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Thursday 24th June

Sunday afternoon :
While we walked around Tankerton Simon's friends Warren and Claire + baby Layla ? were in the area and joined us at the Fete, had a good afternoon, watched a couple of vintage planes do a couple of bypasses then walked back to the site for a quiet evening.
Monday :
I drove to Herne Bay onto Margate, Broadstairs And Ramsgate down through Sandwich (amused to also see a sign for the village of Ham ) and down for a stop at Deal.
Next stop was the National Trust site of the " White Cliffs of Dover ", Walked along the clifftop in the sun with Murphy and watched the Ships docking loading with Lorries and setting off for wherever then the next ships would arrive, just to think this is going on 24/7.
Had a pot of tea at the cafe but to my dismay I was informed that 2 coach loads of Italians had devoured all the food except Cakes and Crisps and I am off both of those.
Made my way to Folkestone then to our Campsite at Hythe, set everything up and took Murphy for a walk around a large dog walk on the site.
Tuesday :
Simon"s friend Rob arrived from London  to ride for 1 day. Rob rode the spare bike and I met them in the afternoon at  Dungeness. What an amazing place, Large Power Station, 2 Lighthouses and the whole area was covered by Shacks, some made from old railway carriages, some made from bits of wood and galvanise but not unsightly just interesting.
I climbed to the top of the Lighthouse and what a view 360 degrees?
When Simon and Rob arrived I looked after the bikes while they climbed to the top of the Lighthouse.
We had a cup of tea in the cafe and watched the smallest Public train pull into the station, fill up with passengers and off again to Hythe, about an Hour trip each way, the carriages were very small like at Paignton Zoo.
Went to Rye then onto Fairlight Wood campsite set in woods, very small and quiet and great sunshine.
When Simon and Rob arrived Rob said he was blown away by the ride and would have liked to ride till the end of the trip but he had to get back for work.
I drove Rob to Hastings to catch the train home then Simon and I returned to the campsite for a peaceful evening. ( nearly finished my book " The girl who kicked the Hornets nest")
Wednesday :
Through Hastings to Bexhill onto Eastbourne then stopping at Beachy Head for a couple of hours relaxing on the clifftop, had a long conversation with a chaplain who was 1 of 16 who regularly patrol the clifftop trying to stop people from committing suicide in fact they had 2 call outs this morning both ended OK.
Travelled on to Seaforth and Newhaven where I met Simon and Mark (Lofty) who was riding with Simon for the day, they were making their way to Brighton to watch the football.
I drove to Sheepcote Valley campsite and booked in for 4 days.
Set up the tv and watched the Football (that was a bit better ).

Went for a walk to Brighton Marina, heard a Fire engine and unfortunately for a young lad his VW camper caught fire and was totally destroyed, black smoke everywhere.

Thursday :
Simon and I walked to Asda at the Marina did a shop and walked back, had lunch and Simon rode into Brighton to meet a friend.
All for now

Monday, 21 June 2010

Monday 21st June am

Good morning
Thursday :
Drove to Winterton on Sea then stopped at Great Yarmouth for a walk around then through Lowestoft and Southwold stopping the night near Leiston.
Friday :
Went to Woodbridge past Ipswich and stopped at Tiptree where I visited the Wilkin and Sons Tiptree Jam Factory.
Spent some time looking around the Jam Museum, resisted the temptation to have a Cream Tea with Tiptree Preserves but spent a few pounds on Jams etc. in the shop.
Very enjoyable couple of hours.
Then parked in a field at Saltcote near Maldon, we had the whole field to ourselves.
Took Murphy for a walk to Decoy Point on the estuary, saw a Causeway leading to an island which turned out to be Osea Island, a bird sanctuary but also a Rehab centre for the rich and famous.
The island is completely cut off at high tide.
Had a good relaxing stay even though in the next field a group of Morris Dancers camped for the night, we expected some noise but they were fine.
Watched England mess things up again then went to bed
Saturday :
Went to Chelsford to visit Sandy one of Ann's oldest friend, had a chat and a cup of coffee then we went to her Son and Daughter in laws house( Alexander and Jane ) for lunch, met their daughter Amilia ?? then realized I had to get to Whitstable by 6.00 as that is when they shut the gates to the campsite.
Got there at 5.50 but I had been misinformed as when I got to the site there were no gates just the reception was closed.
When Simon arrived I took Murphy for his walk along the seafront towards Herne Bay, lovely evening.
Sunday :
Simon had a day off so we walked to Tankerton where on the green beside the sea was a fete in aid of various charities, lovely sunny day, lots to see and do.
I have got five minutes to leave the campsite so all for now

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Thursday 17th June am

Hi everyone
Tuesday :
Drove from Sandringham through Hunstanton along the coast to the Muckleburgh Collection at the Weybourne Military Camp.
A museum of Military Vehicles, Uniforms and Weapons including a Harrier Jump Jet, a Doodlebug and Surface to Air Missiles.
Spent about 2 hours there, waited for Simon and then had late lunch while working out where we would stop for the night deciding on a site near Cromer.
Parked near the clifftop with great walks along the coast.
Wednesday :
Day off for Simon so we caught the bus and spent most of the day in Cromer looking around the book shops and Collectors shops, had lunch and finished the day by climbing up a stone spiral staircase with over 160 stairs to the roof of the tower with an amazing view over the town.
Back at the campsite we chilled out in the sun reading until bedtime.
All for now

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Some more Pictures

Lighthouse and Horns at Marsden Bay
A touch of Holland
Dad's Army Pillbox
Sign at Spurn Head
Humber Bridge
Campsite at Sandringham

Tuesday 15th June

Good Morning
Saturday :
Harriet and I walked Murphy along the clifftop for an hour then we had breakfast and started our journey down the coast past Hornsea and stopping at Withernsea where we looked around the market had breakfast and walked through the town.
We then drove down to the nature reserve at Spurn Head where we could look across to Grimsby and Cleethorpes, we carried on through flat fairly uninteresting countryside through Kingston upon Hull over the Humber Bridge to a quiet, clean campsite almost under the bridge at Barton upon Humber.
After pitching the tent on a flat grass pitch we set up the TV ready for Englands exciting football match against the USA.
We had plenty of Drinks and Food and settled down to a watch what turned out to be a rubbish match.
I know Green made a blunder but the rest of the team had the whole of the second half to win  the game. it turned out to be  get the ball, kick it up the field and give it to the opposition over and over again, perhaps they are not paid enough.
Otherwise we had a good evening, at about 10.00 Harriet and I walked up to a viewpoint beside  the Humber Bridge it was getting darker, the bridge was lit up with the lights shimmering on the water.
Sunday :
In the morning we went for a walk then Harriet and Dean set off for the drive home to Devon.
It was a great weekend and I was so pleased to see them.
I drove down through Immingham past a huge Industrial complex and Docks, this is where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in 1608 for Holland on the first stage of their journey to America.
Drove through Grimsby stopped at Cleethorpes then a short stop at Mablethorpe to Sutton on Sea where I bought some food from a friendly couple running a Delicatessen finally reaching the campsite beside the beach just before Skegness, Murphy had a great run on a very long beach.
Monday :
A long flat drive past many fields of Vegetable to Boston then on to Kings Lynn and finally to a brilliant campsite on the Sandringham estate ( the Queens Norfolk Retreat), all the Tent, Caravans and Campers where spread out over a large site on grass and woodland, this really felt like camping in the wild.
Simon had a hard ride and arrived at about 6.30 quite tired but after a shower and meal he was fine again.
Tuesday :
Simon has set out this morning towards Cromer.
All for now

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Saturday 12th June

A day with a little sadness.
Today is the 1st anniversary of my wife Ann's passing after her long fight with Ovarian Cancer, I have deliberately not mentioned the illness while I have been travelling as I wanted to concentrate on the positive side of the trip and it has been positive with Simon and I having a marvelous time.
I was thinking that maybe today everyone could spare a few minutes to say a prayer not only for those that have already passed away but for all those people who are suffering with Cancer at this moment in whatever form and wish them a speedy recovery.
Also a prayer for all the carers, family and friends who spend a lot of  time caring for those who have been struck down with this terrible illness.
I personally have decided to look ahead and enjoy whatever time I have left although the wonderful time I had with Ann will always be with me.
Thursday :
A dry day so I walked Murphy around Marsden Quarry Wildlife Park then along the sea front to the Souter Lighthouse.
I then drove to Sunderland, Hartlepool and through Middlesbrough to our campsite 1 mile before Whitby.
In the evening I took Murphy down to the beach and walked to Whitby, lovely evening and it gave Simon time to do his Meditation.
Friday :
In the morning I drove to Robin Hood Bay, stopped for a while then Scarborough, stopped for lunch  drove to Bridlington where I met Harriet (my daughter ) and her husband Dean who drove all the way from Tavistock to be with me on this weekend.
Had a great time looking around and eventually ending up at Atwich near Hornsea in a campsite on a cliff top overlooking the sea.
They pitched the tent then we all walked to the local pub for an evening meal, when we arrived back it was so calm and warm with a brilliant sunset we sat outside until bedtime.
all for now

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


Edinburgh Park
Bamburgh Castle
Lift at Marsden Bay with the pub below
Birds on a rock at Marsden Bay
Entrance to the lift at Marsden Bay

Wednesday 9th June

Have had a problem getting a connection, will see how we get on today.
Saturday :
Simon & I caught the bus into Edinburgh, started by looking for an internet cafe or anywhere with WiFi, eventually we ended up at Starbucks where I left Simon to take things a little easier.
I walked through the park on a very sunny day towards the Castle.
After a long climb I reached the Castle, masses of tourists around, I spent 3 enjoyable hours exploring the Castle and Museums, I then walked down the Royal Mile, with so many people from many countries around it felt very exciting but unfortunately I didn't have time to visit all the places I would have liked to so I have decided I will return at some point and spend a few days at Ediburgh especially as the Campsite was so good.
I returned to the Campsite late afternoon, took Murphy for a walk through the Gardens and woods, sat in the sun reading and resting my feet which over the last 12 weeks have taken quite a pounding.
In the evening after Dinner Simon & I walked to the Pub, had a couple of real ales and had a good chat about the trip.
Sunday :
Left Edinburgh and drove along the coast to North Berwick, Dunbar and stopping for the evening at Coldingham near the lighthouse at St. Abb's Head. As the weather was wet and misty there was not a lot to see.
Monday :
Better day today, after driving to Eyemouth and Berwick upon Tweed I carried on along the coast until I had to make a decision whether to go to Holy Island and Lindisfarne Castle or Bamburgh Castle.
I decided on Bamburgh Castle and I wasn't disappointed as not only was the Castle Stunning but the China , Furniture, Weaponry, Silver and Paintings where a treat to see.
Simon was at the car park when I left the Castle so he stopped for a bite to eat and a cup of tea before cycling off to our next campsite at Craster near Alnwick.
Tuesday :
 Down through Amble and Newbiggin by the Sea and Blyth to Whitley Bay where I stopped for a walk on the beach then on through the Tyne Tunnel until I reached Marsden Bay just past South Shields  where we stopped for the night.
Great little Bay with a sandy beach, this is the first time I have seen a lift from the top of the cliff to the Cafe/Pub built into the rocks below. There was also a large rock just offshore which is a nesting place for hundreds of birds.
Wednesday :
Simon has gone to Newcastle, I decided I had done enough walking around Shops, Museums etc. and would stay at the Campsite today to do the washing and cleaning + it is pouring with rain.
Good chill out day with no driving.
We are stopping at this same campsite tonight and moving South tomorrow.
All for now

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Friday evening 4th June

Wednesday :

I visited Peterhead, Aberdeen and Stonehaven arriving at our campsite at Inverbervie about 4.30.

Very clean quiet site on the edge of the bay, I took Murphy for a walk along the bay and then relaxed in the sun reading my book until Simon arrived at about 6.30 after a 97 mile ride.

Thursday :

Drove to Montrose, Arbroath and skirted Dundee, across the Tay Bridge and made my way to St. Andrews.

Nice Town with some great old ruins  but one campsite was full and the other didn't want dogs (even little ones) so I went inland to Straithkiness where i found a CL 5 camper site unfortunately no showers or toilets but we managed.

Friday :

I was making my way to Crail so as to keep to the coast when I saw a sign for "Scotlands Secret Bunker" , this sounded interesting so I made a detour to the site and other than a few military vehicles there was only a large Bungalow.

This site was the main Nuclear War Bunker for Scotland used in the 50s & 60s when the threat of a Nuclear war was a real possibility, there was room for maybe 2 or 3 hundred people to live for many weeks if the threat from Russia became a reality.

I went inside, paid my entrance fee, picked up an audio device, went through a door and down a staircase to a long tunnel about 7 ft square which sloped downwards for about 100 yards, the walls were 10 ft thick with steel reinforcing.

At the end where 2 steel doors weighing 3 tons between them, on through to the main coridor with many rooms each side, I visited about 20 rooms they were exactly as they where when the site was fully manned but instead of real people each room had Mannekins ?? dressed in uniforms.

Down another staircase to all the operations rooms, full of Computers and other electronic bits and pieces (looking very dated ) and the room where the top brass would give the order to return fire etc.

In the theatre a b&w film from the 50s was playing giving people instructions on what to do, how to build a shelter etc.

The BBC had a broadcast room being the only place they would broadcast from.

The audio device I carried with me gave a detailed account of each room and the history of the place.

On leaving the site and only seeing a bungalow it was hard to believe that underneath was a mass of rooms including Dining room, Dormitories and a massive power plant.

It got me thinking how many other places are there underground, there could even be a whole town.

Well worth a visit.

I drove along the coast to Crail, Leven, Kirkcaldy and across the Forth road bridge to Mortonhall on the edge of Edinburgh. Lovely site, short grass, lots of trees and good facilities, we are staying here Sat. evening as well.

Simon & I are going into Edinburgh now so I will let you know how we get on in the next blog.

All for now


Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Wednesday 2nd June am

                                                 Another sunset this time over Spey Bay

Saturday : Had a new Windscreen fitted by Autoglass, while we were driving around Skye a stone cracked the Windscreen and what started as a small crack started to work it's way across the screen.
Inverness was the only place I new we would be stopping for 3 days so I stuck the screen inside and out with Gaffa Tape until we reached Inverness.
Sunday :
Picked up Simon & Elsie in the Camper and headed down the side of Loch Ness to Fort Augustus where several locks are opened and closed regularly to allow boats to navigate the Caledonian Canal and on into Loch Ness. Spent a couple of hours exploring and then had a pleasant drive up the other side of the Loch.
We didn't see the Monster although someone said there was more chance of seeing the Monster than Britain winning the Eurovision Song Contest.
Simon & Elsie came back to the Campsite to collect Simon's Cycling gear then we took Murphy for a walk along the river bank, They then walked back to their B&B and I went back to the Campsite where I watched "Lewis" and then read my book. Just finished "the girl with the Dragon Tattoo " and I am now reading the second in the Trilogy " The girl who played with Fire" by Stieg Larsson.
Monday :
After the usual chores in the morning I made my way to Fort George at Ardersier, the Fort is on a 42 acre site with more than 1 mile of Ramparts to walk on.
Fort George is still an active military base with soldiers marching and blowing their Bugles.
A superb Military Museum charting the Scottish Regiments through the ages, so many Uniforms Medals, Weapons etc. that it was almost too much to take in.
I then drove to Findhorn Bay where Hamish & Maggie Grigor had offered us a nights stay on their driveway, unfortunately it was only halfway to where we wanted to be so I called in for a very welcome Lunch and a chat then drove to our evening stop at Spey Bay.
Thank you to Hamish & Maggie for making me most welcome, the Lunch, the Donation and the offer of the nights stay.
Got to Spey Bay about 5.30, Simon arrived from a different direction almost at the same time.
We parked on the driveway of Peter & Pat Adamson ( the couple I met at the campsite in Inverness).
Simon had a shower then we all sat down for Dinner, Haddock, Jersey Royals, Fresh Asparagus and various other Vegetables.
At about 7.45 we all got in their New Jaguar and drove to the bay to watch the Osprey diving into the water catching their evening meal, on returning to the Bungalow we had Coffee then Peter brought out the Single Malt and Wine and we spent the evening chatting.
Thank you to Peter & Pat for their hospitality.
Tuesday :
Early start for Simon as he had a 56 mile ride to Fraserburgh for a photo shoot and interview at the Lighthouse Museum and he needed to get their by 2.00 + he had lighthouses to visit on the way.
I visited Portknockie, Portsoy and Rosehearty on my way to Fraserburgh where I spent a couple of hours in the Museum going to the top of the Lighthouse and understanding how Lighthouses were built and worked.
We finished up in a Camping site on the Esplanade at Fraserburgh with views of the Harbour , long curved sandy beach and the Town.
I am off now to see how far Simon can cycle, he is hoping to get below Aberdeen.
All for now

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Saturday 29th May

Thursday :
Left the campsite which is opposite the Ross County Football Ground and drove through Inverness towards Nairn where I had an appointment to have Murphy clipped and shampooed.
After dropping him off I continued on to Nairn and spent some time at the Harbour and Town centre.
Bought my first pieces of Arbroath Smokey which Simon & I had for our evening meal.
I returned to pick Murphy up and he looked a bit like a skinned Rat.
After getting to our new Campsite back at Inverness I realized just what a bad haircut Murphy had in fact Simon reckoned the lady must have used a Knife & Fork as some bits were short and some long with jagged cuts. ( makes me appreciate Kelly back at Chudleigh). luckily it will soon grow back.
We were camped beside the river Ness which I believe flows to and from Loch Ness.
Took Murphy for a long walk along the rivers edge, across bridges to 2 islands and through some woods.
Friday :
Simon is taking 3 days break as Elsie has flown up to Inverness, Drove to the Airport and picked Elsie up at about 3.30, I then drove them to their B & B in the centre of Inverness.
I continued back to the campsite, took Murphy for a walk down the river, returned and had my evening meal.
I met a couple in the Camper next to mine and joined them for a drink and chat, they had a case of Budweiser so we settled down for a few drinks with cheese & biscuits, I walked back to my camper just after midnight,(had a good nights sleep)
Saturday :
Walked half an hour into Inverness Shopping Centre had a good look around, the weather was turning wet so I walked back to the campsite and it has rained all afternoon and evening.
                                              Castle of Mey between Thurso and John O' Groats

I am now watching Lord of the Rings with Murphy on my lap.
Thank you to the owners of the Bught Caravan Park.
Thank you to Hilary & Tony atPoint of Stour.
Thanks to Marrion & Kieth at Stour Campsite.
It is 7.40 pm it is pouring down and Murphy wants to go out so all for now.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

More Photo,s

Ladies at the Wick Museum

Thursday 27th May

Tuesday :
Spent the best £3 of the trip by spending 2 hours at the Wick Heritage Museum.
The staff who are volunteers were very friendly explaining a lot of the exhibits.
Room after room set out as the fishing town used to look with a full working lighthouse salvaged after the lighthouse on the headland was being changed to automatic.
Full photo history of the Herring industry plus a cooperage and even fishing boats.
Made my way to a caravan club site at Dalchalm near Brora, very long sandy beach beside a golf course, Murphy had a great time racing up and down the beach.
Wednesday :

Driving towards Inverness I caught site of the pinnacles of a castle through the trees and decided to make my way there, it turned out to be Dunrobin Castle and Gardens, a very large Castle being the home of the Duke of Sutherland.
After I looked around the amazing Castle with lovely Paintings, China, Furniture and cases of Medals, Jewellery, Badges + lots of bits and pieces which would look good in my shop I walked around the Formal Gardens and came across the Museum.
After the initial shock of seeing what seemed to be hundreds of Animal Heads on the walls, I realized that although it is not pc nowadays 100 years ago in was the okay to hunt all these animals and bring back the heads.
I have never seen so many stuffed Animals, Mammals, Birds, Insects, Fish + cases and cases of Weapons, Medals, shells, rocks etc.etc.
I think the museum was as interesting as the main Castle.
That was another 3 hours gone.
Made my way to the next campsite at Dingwall Caravan & Camping Club site.
In the evening I walked into the town with Murphy, had a good look around, walked back along the river to the campsite had supper and we watched an episode of The Royal Family before getting an early night.
Happy Birthday to my son Daniel.

Happy Birthday to my friend Howard
All for now

Monday, 24 May 2010

Monday 24th May

Saturday :
Left Sango Sands holiday park Saturday morning and drove along the top of Scotland passing Loch Eriboll, Loch Hope, and Kyle of Tongue and arriving at Bettyhill to see the Strathnaver Museum.
I then drove on to Armadale and Strathy Point Lighthouse eventually stopping for the night at Melvich.
Sunday :
Great ride but nothing very exciting as the mist closed in making this the first day in Scotland where visibility blocked the view.
Arrived at our campsite at Dunnet Bay late afternoon and the mist cleared for a couple of hours giving me time to walk Murphy along the sandy bay.
When Simon arrived at the site he decided to ride out to Dunnet Head Lighthouse but after about 3 miles the weather changed to heavy rain so he turned back and returned to the campsite.
Monday :
Much better weather, sunny but a chilly wind.
Simon had already set off by 9.30, I set off at 11.00 and drove to Dunnet Head Lighthouse, Superb views across to the Orkneys and from the top viewpoint there was a 360 degree unobstructed view.
From there I stopped at "The Castle of Mey" Thurso, Caithness, the holiday home of the Queen Mother.
Just in time for the 1.40 tour, just 3 of us so we were able to have a good look around without being overcrowded.
Very surprised that much of the Queen Mothers posessions were within easy reach and could be touched.
Inside the front door where her Wellington Boots, Coat and Hat which I was able to pick up and examine, beside them was a photo of her wearing them.
The whole tour was fascinating with an insight to how her later life was lived, she loved picnics, playing cards, playing the piano, jigsaws, games and entertaining and buying Furniture and Crafts from the local area.
Princess Margaret often visited her mother at the castle but never spent a night there as she prefered the comfort of the Royal ship Brittania which moored at Scarfskerry.
Prince Charles still spends 1 week every year in the Castle.
The Gardens were a pleasure to walk around in fact Alan Titchmarst has it as his favourite Royal Garden.
This was a busy day as I still had to see John O Groats, the sun was shining brightly when I arrived and I had a good look around taking several Photo's.
Simon rang to say he had reached the next campsite at the town of Wick so I made my way there and met him at Tesco's car park, we did a shop and went to the campsite, had supper and settled down for the evening.
We are now on the downward stretch and Simon has to cycle on the busy main roads tomorrow.
All for now

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Saturday 22nd May

Signpost at the campsite at Sango Bay, Durness near Cape Wrath Lighthouse.
Simon visited the lighthouse on Friday afternoon, lucky for him as on Saturday the Cape Wrath Marathon took place and there would have been no way he could have got the ferry across.
Sunset at Ullapool
Someone said there were Whales and Dolphins in the water at Durness and I think I captured one on my camera.
all for now

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Thursday 20th May

                                                     Simon & Rupert on Ruperts last day.
                                                          A road on the isle of Harris.
Hi All
Tuesday :
I think I have heard more Cuckoo's in Scotland than anywhere else I have visited.
Drove up to Port Nis at the top of Lewis, spent an hour there, sat and had a pot of tea and an Omlette at the cafe overlooking the Harbour.
Made my way to the lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis, lovely warm sunny day, amazing lighthouse built of brick(will upload a photo when I get a decent connection), spent another hour walking along the clifftops.
The west side of Lewis seems to be more dramatic so I decided to drive around the whole island stopping to look around a Crofters Village which is being restored by one of the Heritage Trusts (can't remember which one) I think the village was called Blackhouse.
Saw the Callanish Standing Stones then drove back to Stornaway for the evening.
Wednesday :
Stayed at the campsite till 11.30 then made my way to the Ferry Terminal, did a shop on the way and caught the 1.50 ferry to Ullapool arriving at about 4.30, made our way to the very clean & level campsite with views of the mountains & Loch it was about 200 yards from the Harbour.
Lovely little town with good shops and Pubs and the sunset from the campsite had all the campers out taking photo's, it was still light at 10.45 when I took Murphy for a walk along the shoreline.
Thursday :
This morning I am meeting Simon somewhere near Unapool so we can decide how far he can cycle as the lighthouse he has to visit today is we think a difficult ride.
All for now as it is 11.30 and I need to get on the road
                                           This photo was taken at 10.30 pm

Monday, 17 May 2010

Monday 17th May

Hi everyone
Saturday :
The boys cycled from the campsite at the Sligachan Hotel to  Kyle of Lochalsh were we found an excellent campsite, lovely views of the Loch and Mountains, clean site with trees dotted around, lots of grass, the whole site giving a feel of calm.(definately in the top 3).
We relaxed in the late afternoon and early evening, took Murphy for a long walk then we made our way to the Hotel about 50 yds away, had a 3 course meal and a couple of drinks because it was Ruperts last evening with us.(any excuse).
Simon (cycling )& me (driving)were going to make our way to Ullapool after we had dropped Rupert off  at the railway station at Kyle of Lochalsh but while we were talking in the Hotel Bar the idea of visiting the Outer Hebrides cropped up.
Sunday :
When we woke in the morning I asked Simon if he would still like to go to the Isles of Harris & Lewis.
An immediate "Yes" a phone call to the ferry company, phonecall to a campsite at Uig and after dropping Rupert off at the station we were on our way back up through Skye to Uig camping beside the Ferry terminal.
Had a very early night as the ferry left at 5.30 am.
Monday :
Up at 4.15 am, at the Ferry Terminal by 4.50, on the Ferry by 5.00 setting sail at 5.30 from Uig and arriving at Tarbert on the Isle of Harris at 7.10.
 Simon met another cyclist (Damian) a couple of days earlier, they met again on the Ferry and decided to ride together to Stornaway.
Murphy and I turned left and made our way around the whole coast of Harris, amazing and so different from anywhere else we have been, Sandy coves, rugged rocks and narrow roads with very few cars made for a great journey with Murphy racing up and down the beaches and getting tired out.
Made my way up through Lewis to our campsite at Stornaway.
The scenery at Lewis was good but not amazing( maybe I am getting used to seeing water and rocks) but was still well worth the effort of changing our plans and getting up early.
Simon & Damian arrived at the campsite a t4.30 pm and we are sat in the sun drinking a cup of tea.
All for now

Friday, 14 May 2010

Friday evening 14th May

Hello again
Tuesday evening :
The boys arrived around 5.30 and were blown away by the site, quite basic but the location was amazing, best site we have been to.
Rupert decided he would sleep in the tent giving him more room to stretch out.
Wednesday :
Drove to Mallaig and caught the ferry to Armadale on the Isle of Skye, great drive around the island to our campsite at the Sligachan Hotel.
Rupert again pitched his tent had a good meal and went to the Hotel for the evening.
The Ale was brewed next door being owned by the same owner as the Hotel & campsite (very smooth Ale).
There was also over 300 single malt Whiskey's on display so we tried a 30 year old ( not being an expert it was hard to tell the difference) but still enjoyable.
In the night it rained hard & the wind blew, then it rained harder & the wind blew harder, then the rain hammered down and the wind was storm force shaking the camper but all was well.
Thursday :
We had a day off, when the rain stopped we drove to Talisker Distillery for a tour, got there too early so we went for lunch at the old inn Talisker.
I had slow roasted Beef Cheeks(first time for everything) with mashed potato and creamed cabbage, it was very tasty and filling.
Went for a very informative tour, had a sample and then made our way back to the campsite were we settled down for the evening, getting a fairly early night.
Friday :
After the usual chores of washing the dishes and tidying up I drove to Dunvegan Castle & Gardens passing Simon & Rupert on the way, the Castle was just past the town of Dunvegan.
The castle is the stronghold of the MacLeod family and the family still live there.
Stayed about 2 hours then made my way to the town to wait for the boys.
Had lunch and then visited the Giant Angus MacAskill Museum dedicated to the tallest recorded Scotsman at 7ft 9in - weight 425lbs which contained a life size model of Angus MacAskill.
As Simon had visited the lighthouse on Skye we put the bikes into the Camper and I took them around the top of the island to see the parts we had not planned to see  (well worth the effort ) arriving at the campsite at Portree at 6.30
Set up the camper, had supper and wrote this blog.
all for now

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Murphy enjoying a ferry ride.