Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Family Time and Our Departure to Scotland

Friday 20th May to Tuesday 24th May 2016

Now, I think we can happily say we're well and truly settled into T4rdis2, and on Friday morning we finished off finding homes for all our belongings before our planned departure on Monday when we will be heading off up to the highlands of Scotland.

Just now, we're still at Riddings Wood Caravan Park, but I think we almost wished we weren't - and that's because it was more than hectic as they had a Rally booked for the weekend and large numbers of caravans were in the process of pitching up and setting out their flags and fairylights! Because of the crowds we were anticipating a couple of nights of restlessness - and we weren't wrong there, but a bit more on that later!

In the afternoon we cycled over to see my brother Pete, and he supplied us with lots of pre recorded shows, films and music, thus providing us with entertainment for any rainy days we may encounter! And then we also called in to see John's sister Angela and her husband, before remounting our bikes and peddling back to the now 'full to bursting' campsite.

The evenings entertainment seemed to kick off at about 8.30, but the music and bingo calling from the marquee stopped soon after 11pm so we thought maybe we had misjudged the situation and it wouldn't be too bad!   However, soon after that the people in the caravan next to us proceeded to light their fire pit and continued to party until about 2am, and despite repeated 'warnings' from the wardens, this antisocial behaviour was repeated the following night! Oh well, who needs sleep!

On Saturday, we just had a quite day - John fixed up a drainage system to assist with easily removing grey water from T4rdis2, and other than that we loserked about, and along with reading and watching a bit of catch up TV, we kept an eye on the goings on in our very soggy campsite, it rained on and off for most of the day so we thought that might quieten things down later - but it wasn't to be - I think the poor wardens were ran ragged!

On Sunday morning we popped over to say a temporary goodbye to Sue and Stewart, a couple who have become friends, and who are the extremely hard working wardens at Riddings.  They seemed quite upset and told us how 'the few' had spoiled the Rally event, which was a shame really, because as usual, the majority had been a good crowd.

Anyway, after that we organised ourselves for our departure, but we weren't really going far.  We had arranged to meet all our family at 'The Bear Public House' at Alderwasley for a farewell Sunday dinner and a little stroll afterwards, but as an added bonus the pub had welcomed us to stay overnight on their car park.

Where's my dinner Mum?

The meal turned out to be fantastic, and even though they only offer carvery on Sundays the choice was the best I've ever seen with about 7 or 8  different roasts which they piled any combination of on your plate till you asked them to stop, thus to say the portions were generous would be an understatement.  However, maybe the're victims of their own success because we did have to queue for rather a while to get our food!

Left to right - Adam, Evelyn, Ben, Louise, Paul, Thomas, John,
Jack, Vicky and Sarah

After we'd all been fed and watered (no, we didn't drink water really), we pottered off for our walk in the woods ----

Evelyn chomping on a large slice of beef!

-----and then it was back to the beer garden for further refreshments, and for some, a pud!   Finally, it was time for hugs, kisses and goodbyes - but this time it wasn't quite so traumatic because we will only be away from them all for about a month.

On Monday morning, after a delightfully peaceful night in The Bear's car park (we had a lovely spot with fantastic views and no noise), we nipped off to do our food shopping and visit the dentist, before heading off to Bury. We needed to return to Emm Bee Motorhomes because they had omitted to provide a tool kit or puncture repair kit with T4rdis2, and after last weeks experiences we really didn't want to travel far without them!  And from there we pottered the short distance to Lane End Farm where there is a pretty little 5 van site that would provide for all our needs overnight - and again it was blissfully quiet.

Then on Tuesday morning we set off on our journey proper, and headed up the motorway towards our first destination in Scotland which turned out to be Brighouse Bay in Dumfries and Galloway.  We had made quite good time to start with, and arrived near Gretna at about 2ish, but from there we found ourselves meandering along narrowish country roads that slowed us down considerably.

However, we weren't in any hurry, and we were thoroughly enjoying the views over the Solway Firth,  but as we went we were keeping a sharp lookout for a parking spot for the night, and at one point John did say 'do you think there'll be anything down there' .  'Down there' turned out to be a very narrow 2 mile track that led to Balcary Point, but what he hadn't realised was that the track was so narrow that on one side T4rdis2's tyres were almost in the sea, and, on the other side, the cows in the field were having a very good nosey through our windows!

And then when we got to the end of the road - all we could do was turn around and go back cos there was no room at the inn!  Anyway, forwards and onwards we went, and eventually we found a delightful camp site at Brighouse Bay.  The site is absolutely huge and encorporates a golf course and lots of other leisure facilities, but the bit we were on was deserted (except for the rabbits), and we were only a stones throw away from the coast.

Therefore, it was kettle on and a quick cuppa, before we ventured out towards the very craggy coast via a little path right opposite where we were parked.  First we pottered though a wooded area that was carpeted with numerous brightly coloured wild flowers along with trillions of blue bells, and then it was out onto a coastal path where we overlooked Brighouse Bay, and more distantly, the open ocean - and all this in lovely warm sunshine.

Tomorrow we plan to explore The Galloway Forest and take in some of the small lochs that are found there, and who knows where we will be spending the night - but that's all part of the ongoing adventure xx

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