Well, it’s been a very busy couple of months since I last wrote. Along with the lack of WIFI, I just haven’t found the time to sit down and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard to be more precise).
We spent a great 4 weeks exploring Scotland during September. We began at a lovely site in Dumfries and Galloway on the Solway Coast (mentioned in my last post), then we moved on to a little site just outside of Edinburgh in Musselburgh. It was the first time any of us had visited Edinburgh and we instantly fell in love with the place! The girls and Jez especially loved the castle and I, personally, couldn’t get enough of the old town, it has such a magical feel about the place. Edinburgh is definitely on our list of places to return to if we ever get the chance.
From Musselburgh, we moved on down to the borders and visited lots of beautiful, picturesque towns and villages, like Coldingham, Eyemouth, St. Abs and Berwick-upon-Tweed. Again, we’d never been to any of these places before and the coastline is absolutely breath-taking there!
We met lots of interesting people whilst in Scotland, the majority of them being 70 years old plus. It always amazes me how caravanning and travelling keeps the older generation so fit and young at heart. We had a lovely couple on the pitch next to us in Musselburgh, Gerald was 84 and Maureen was 76. The couple are avid ice hockey fans and follow the Nottingham Panthers all over the UK and Europe to watch them play. They were that full of energy, they made Jez and I feel like right boring old codgers, especially when one day they knocked on our van to say they were staying out late that night and apologised in advance if they were rowdy when they returned…I’m ashamed to say we both crashed out at about 10:00pm and missed all the commotion when they got back. Something tells me we need to start taking a leaf out of Gerald and Maureen’s book!
The next stop was North Yorkshire, near Bedale, for one night where we met up with good friends who pitched up in their tent next to our van. It was so lovely to see familiar faces and spend time with close friends (so great to see you, Linzi and Pebs xx). It made me realise that although we had only spent a month away in just our own company, I really was missing a lot of my friends and family. This is something I didn’t really take in to account when planning our road trip and it got me thinking about how I’ll feel when we eventually cross over into Europe…but I guess only time will tell.
We drove back to Manchester from Yorkshire and put our van into storage for a couple of weeks (Laura and Andy, we will be forever grateful xx) while we stayed with relatives, first in Salford and then down to the in-laws in the Cotswolds to see them get married (congratulations again, Pam and Mark xx). We really missed the van almost as soon as we drove away from it. We’ve grown really attached to it and it truly does feel like a proper home now.
I think it did us a lot of good catching up with everyone during those two weeks though and it also gave us the chance to have a bit of a break from each other while we did our own thing…and we managed to find the one thing we felt like we hadn’t had for such a long time (it actually felt like years! I’m exaggerating, I know) – a SITTER!!! (Thank you, mum xx) 🙂
We’ve just left a site in Croston, near Leyland in Lancashire. I spent a lot of time in Lancashire growing up and I love this part of the country. We had originally booked one week at this particular site but extended our stay twice because we liked it so much there. We’re currently sited a bit further north at a working farm with beautiful views and great nature trails.
We feel like we’ve been ‘on the go’ constantly since starting our road trip and haven’t really experienced much ‘down time’ in the caravan. I really thought we’d have loads of lazy days but the first five months of our trip have been anything but. It’s been great just to live life at a slower pace while we’ve been in Lancashire and we haven’t put too much pressure on ourselves to go out sight-seeing every single day. I have to admit I’m finding it quite hard to find a balance with this – on the one hand, I think ‘we’ve only got a short amount of time at each place and we need to see EVERYTHING” but on the other hand I think “relax, we’ve got all the time in the World to do what we want”. I’m imagining (and hoping) I’ll get to grips with this a bit more the longer we travel.
We’re not sure where we’re heading onto after here but we know we’d like to explore a bit more of Lancashire for a while.
Our original plan of going over to Europe during October/November this year has now changed, we have been asked to be God Parents for the lovely Lydia in December and so we’re definitely going to be around for that celebration. Therefore, the current loose plan is to head over to Northern Spain the first or second week in January…but who knows what’ll happen between now and then. Watch this space!