4th July 2015
Hooray, Hooray and yippee, it's the 4th of July - Independence Day - No, not the American thing! It's my first day of retirement from my 38 year career in nursing. Now I can take the time to do all the things I want to do, instead of all the things I've had to do over the last millennia. On my last night at work people kept asking me if I felt sad to be leaving, I replied 'No, why would I be unhappy when this is the long awaited time that we can start off on our Big Adventure'. I will of course miss my dear friends and colleagues, but along with my retirement comes the freedom to live full time in our van, it is the time when we can start exploring the British Isles, Europe and Scandinavia. The only thing holding us back now is the house sale. Happily, we have a buyer and a sold board outside, but we don't want to count our chickens before the're hatched and I don't think either of us will be fully convinced until we have signed on the dotted line.........So with this in mind, our final escape date will hopefully be around the end of August.
But on the bright side, from the 6th we have got 24 days to spend doing our favourite thing - touring - and all we have to do before we go is pack. On the not so bright side, I have agreed to go back to work and do some casual 'bank' shifts in August while we are waiting for the final GO.
5th July 2015
Today was spent getting ready for our escape (holiday), a bit of shopping, a bit of packing and a bit of planning.
We're going to head north and travel up the east coast of Scotland to Elgin, but other than for the first 4 days we have no set itinerary and we will just stop of when we find something interesting. We also plan to gain our first experiences of 'wild camping' which seems to be more acceptable once over the Boarder.
To start with however, we're going to head back to Bempton RSPB sanctuary to see if we can spot any Puffins, and then we will continue north to Alnwick to revisit Alnwick Gardens in there full summer splendour. Following this we plan to continue North up to Falkirk where we have booked into a camp site for 2 nights at Beecraigs Country Park, and from there we will visit The Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies.
6th July 2015
Following a later start than planned (12ish), we set off and made good time up to Bempton. We parked up at the RSPB site, had a quick lunch in the van, and then set off to explore the cliffs. The huge metropolis was absolutely heaving (and a bit smelly) with kittiwakes, gannets, guillemots, razor bills and sea doves and many of them had chicks that you could observe being fed - not a pretty site - mother regurgitating something nasty - but the chicks seemed to enjoy it.
We were also lucky enough to see a few puffins, but sadly no pufflings. Apparently the chicks are hatched in burrows or crevices and don't emerge until they are ready to fledge, which they had done in late June, therefore they were all long gone.
However, all was not lost, we were able to stand on the cliffs and watch all manner of sea birds, mainly auks, putting on an aerial display of spectacular acrobatics, near misses and fearsome landings as they went about providing for their chicks.
|Look carefully and you might be able to spot a bird!! There were loads, honest!!|
Alas, our time was limited as we still had to find a camping spot. We returned to the van for a quick cuppa and a 'camper van cup cake' kindly provided by one of my work friends as an extra little leaving pressie, and then headed off towards Fylingdale Moor. On a previous trip this way we had spotted an old disused road sheltered from the main road and with views over open moorland which we thought might make a good 'wild camp', so we headed back there, but we were not alone, another van had already pitched up. Never mind, there was plenty of room for both of us, and we had soon adopted our own little 'pitch' for the night. We cooked our tea and a little later settled down for our first free night!!
|You can just see our neighbours in the distance|
The picture doesn't quite do the moor justice, the heather was just coming into flower, so mostly all we could see was a sea of purple.
7th July 2015
We set off from our Free spot and headed for Alnwick, a journey of about 112 miles. We had booked onto a little Certified Location (Caravan Club) called Greensfield Moor Farm which has turned out to be very green, very peaceful and just the sort of place we like, so a good choice. Following our arrival we quickly got ready and walked into Alnwick and the Gardens. We then spent a very pleasant multi sensory afternoon (smell sight and sound) amongst the flowers and cascading waters of the Garden. There are a few pictures below but if you want to experience the full impact you will just have to visit yourself.
We are now back in the van sipping cider and being rocked by a fairly fierce 'breeze' that seems to be a feature of all of our recent jaunts.
Tomorrow we will be heading for Falkirk, but that will be a separate post. Have a great evening and if you have a minuet to reply it would be lovely to know that we are not alone!!
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