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.

Tuesday afternoon 11th May

Hi everyone
Drove to Oban, the days are passing so quickly I am having trouble remembering what I did each day(or it could be age).
Had a great ride through the mountains again and arrived at Oban to find Simon & Rupert were already there sitting on the front in the sun.
Found a Car Park where there was enough room for the Camper and walked with Murphy to the town centre.
Met up with the boys and spent a couple of hours in the town visiting the Coliseum and looking around the shops.
We made our way to the Oban Caravan & Camping site, lovely site, friendly staff and great views.
The owner returned our fee's to add to the charity collection, So Thank you very much.
Monday :

Filled up with fuel, did a shop and made my way to the Ferry Terminal.
Superb ferry crossing to Craignure on the island of Mull, drove around the island to Tobermory, had an hour wait for the next ferry so had freshly cooked Haddock & Chips in the Camper.
Caught the ferry to Kilchoan and camped at the end of a narrow lane on the Ardnamurchan peninsula overlooking a Loch, clean small site with lovely views and friendly owner.
Tuesday :
Gradually getting more remote, narrow roads and more stunning, loving it.
Have made my way to the Invercaimbe camping site, managed to get one of the best pitches almost touching the beach, amazing views across to the isles of Rum, Skye and Eigg, waiting for the boys to arrive.
all for now

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Sunday 9th May 10.30 am

Morning everyone
 Started our ninth week today, about halfway and still loving it.
Thursday :
Simon & Daniel cycled to the lighthouse at the Mull of Kintyre, very steep pathway, took about 3 hours, then made our way to Campbletown for lunch and fuel.
Daniel & I drove to our next campsite on the waters edge again at  Muasdale, lovely quiet site with a long stretch of beach for Murphy's exercise.
Friday :
Made our way to Lochgilphead, the scenery is gradually getting more stunning.
Daniel & I spent a couple of hours in the town waiting for Simon to arrive.
Simon had 2 broken spokes and was lucky to find a bike repair shop in the town.
The bike was put in the camper and I drove us all to a campsite at Balloch on the bottom edge of Loch Lomond.
This ride was the best scenery of the trip so far, Mountains with snow and deep valley's + the Loch's.
Saturday :
Took Daniel to Glasgow airport for hs flight home, Simon caught the bus to Glasgow and i drove back to Loch Lomond to the visitors centre were I spent about 3 hours looking around the Shops, took a train ride, and took Murphy for a walk along the waters edge.
In the afternoon I drove to Glasgow airport again to pick up Simon & Rupert Watson-Smythe.
Rupert flew up from Cornwall and is cycling with Simon for about 9 days through the Islands.
I then had to drive all of us back to Lochgilphead( about 60 miles) to the place where Simon last stopped cycling so that he would not miss any parts out.
Had a great meal in a local restaurant in the evening, did a late food shop and walked back to the campsite.
A quarter to ten and still light, very warm and the lights from the houses flickering on the Loch made all three of us feel very lucky to be here.
Sunday :
Simon & Rupert left for Oban at 9.30, I am leaving now to find the next campsite.
all for now


                                                             An old Church
                                                                   Deer roaming free
                                                               Arron Distillery
                                                                                        View from Lochranza campsite
                                                    Old lifeboat station, Beach, our campsite on the edge of the bay and empty hotel at Southend, Mull of Kintyre

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Thursday 6th May

Hello once again
No signal since Monday, not bad at the moment.
Tuesday :
I drove to Glasgow Airport in the morning, much further than I thought, my plan was to take the coast road but instead I had to use the Motorway.
Picked Daniel up at about 10.00 am and drove to the ferry port of Ardrossan, I had prebooked our Hopscotch ticket for 2 ferries so we met Simon who missed his 9.15 ferry ( he did not realize how far Ardrossan was as the map changed from 3 miles to 6 miles,) for a breakfast in Asda.
The 55 minute ferry trip to Brodick was great, we stood on deck and watched the mainland shrink in the distance as we approached the Isle of Arran.
Simon rode off on his Bike leaving Daniel & I the hard bit of riding in the camper, we stopped at many places to admire the scenery.
We did not see Simon again until we had driven to the Lochranza Caravan & Camping site in Lochranza Tel. 01770 830273, Lovely campsite run by Kathy & Nigel Wells who took over in February, they are working hard but loving it.
A big thank you for the help with the nights stay.
The views around Lochranza are superb with deer roaming free, Eagles flying above and massive Gorse covered hills all around.
In the evening the 3 of us walked to the local Hotel for a well earned Meal & a couple of pints of local ale, the walk back to the campsite was warm, dark and silent except for the calls of some birds on the water.
After Simon left to catch the ferry from Lochranza to Claonaig on the Mull of Kintyre Daniel & I went for a walk in the hills until we were in a valley surrounded by hills and nothing else. (very peaceful).
The campsite was opposite the Arran Distillery so that was next on our itinery with a tour just about to start as we arrived.
Very interesting tour by our guide Campbell who informed us that this is the only independant Distillery left in Scotland with the water coming from the loch high up in the hills.
At the end of the tour we were forced to sample the different whiskeys and the cream liqueur.
We made our way to the ferry and crossed to Claonaig  driving south to Campbeltown stopping for fuel and provisions.
We then made our way to our next stop The Machribeg Caravan Site, Machribeg, Southend near Campbeltown Tel. 01586 830249 where we were given a free nights stay about 20 foot from the sea overlooking the bay.
The sea is so calm and the weather so warm it feels great with Murphy having the whole beach to race up and down on.
all for now

Monday, 3 May 2010


Spotted this express delivery van
Ailsa Craig from Girvan
Murphy at Girvan
Beach at Ayr
Tom O'Shanter Inn Ayr
Another ruined Castle

Monday 3rd May

Hi everyone
Saturday :
Walked murphy on the coast path for one more look at the fantastic view towards Belfast, I then drove to Stranraer, parked in Morrisons car park, did a shop, filled up with fuel and took a walk around the town where I had a much needed haircut.
Drove along the A77 which hugged the coast most of the way to Girvan (wonderful scenery) passing Ballantrae and Lendafoot on the way.
Got a call from Simon to say the A77 was a bit dangerous to ride on as there is very little room for cyclist so he was taking a detour inland making for Barrhill and could I get a nights stay in the Barrhill area.
I managed to get us a nights stay at Barrhill Holiday Park , Barrhill, Girvan, Ayrshire Tel. 01465 821355
Thank you to the management for their generous free nights stay.
After Simon had showered and had his evening meal we watched a movie.
Sunday :
I left Barrhill and made my first stop at Girvan giving Murphy a good walk along the coast and park.
Made my way along the coast road to Ayr, booked into Craigie Gardens Caravan Club site and waited for Simon who arrived mid afternoon giving us time to spend a couple of hours in the Town centre and walk along the Promenade.
Gave the Camper a Spring clean as Daniel is flying up from Brighton to spend 4 days with us, (three sleeping in the Camper + Murphy).
Spent the afternoon in Ayr town centre and the long sandy beach where the whole area was bustling with holiday makers making the most of the sunshine especially as this was the last day of the holiday weekend.
Walked to the Harbour were a large Cargo Ship was being brought in by the local Pilot making docking the ship look easy, walk up the side of the river/canal and back to the campsite where I settled down to watch the Snooker.
Tomorrow I am taking the Camper on the ferry to the Isle of Arran after I pick Daniel up from Glasgow Airport.
Howard let me know if you have dropped the parcel to Colin?
All for now