Thursday, 18 October 2012

Rabies injections complete

That's it, we have now had our month's course of rabies injections, Hep A, typhoid, polio, diptheria and tetanus and have a little booklet to prove it!

So now technically we can hop back over to the boat, make sure she's safe to leave for the winter, collect some more "stuff"....clothes, binoculars, telescope etc and set off southwards towards Algeciras ready for the next ferry, 3rd December.

In practice of course, we still have loads of stuff to do and finalise before we can start on the next bit of our journey. Not to mention Drew's birthday next Tuesday (27) and Richard's 30th the week after. Where did that 30 years go??????

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Home again, home again jiggety jig

The ferry crossing from Stornaway to Ullapool was a little longer than scheduled  because one of the engines was giving some trouble. The boat did pitch quite a bit for a while, so much so that a cooked breakfast was not appealing! We had coffee and then a rather bumpy ride for a couple of hours. The sunrise was glorious, the views stunning but most of the time I needed to sit with my eyes shut! Nigel managed some time on deck taking photos. After the captain announced the reason for the delay and then told us that we were now running at full speed, things did seem to calm down, maybe we just weren't going fast enough! Anyway a little later we both felt hungry so went and had a breakfast roll and a cuppa just before the boat arrived in Ullapool. Prior to this Nigel searched for campsites he had stayed at on the Summer Isles whilst sea kayaking and pointed out  the beach at Mellon Udrigle to me.
Once we had disembarked, it was full steam ahead towards Inverness, the nice day soon disappeared but it was lovely to see the autumnal trees with their beautiful colours before the sun disappeared and it became very misty. We were stuck behind a 4 by 4 towing cattle in a trailer for many miles until it got through a set of temporary lights and we had to stop.
The A9 was busy, we stopped just after Aviemore for lunch and a rest, got going again quite soon but then Nigel needed a nap a couple of hours further on.
On we pressed in quite heavy traffic, almost dark and we were still in Scotland so we came off the M74 near Abington and followed signs for the Clyde Valley Tourist trail towards Drumlanrig castle, hoping for a nice lay by off the main drag. We saw a sign for "Leadmine" 7 miles away so decided to follow it. A windy narrowing road took us up and up a valley, there was nowhere to turn around, Jane on TOM TOM was getting her knickers in a twist and by now it was dark. Eventually we came to a flattish spot at the side of the road so, N got out and inspected, it was firm underfoot so we turned round and parked up there for the night. N walked the dogs while I warmed up last night's curry leftovers and very nice it was too. 
Today we set off homewards about 10am, stopping at Go Outdoors in Penrith for a couple of bits and our lunch. Got home at 3.30, road and drive clear so easy to park.
Drew was home first, then Alana and Hattie she has grown! (Hattie that is, not Alana!) Good news is that she has had her clicky hip appointment today and everything now seems fine, having an ultrasound as a precaution but the registrar was sure everything is now ok.
Nigel and I went to Pizza Express in Bury using Drew's 2 for 1 code. Have decided to sleep in Liberté Too tonight, save  the hassle of getting the sofa bed out!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Holiday over, back to the mainland.....

Awake at 5.30, we are now in the queue awaiting embarkation. Looking forward to breakfast, hope it's good! The numbers of other travellers amazes me, where are they all going and why?

Monday, 15 October 2012

Our second week in the Western Isles, moving on to Harris and Lewis.

Tuesday 9th October

Traditional hay bales near Balranald 
My mum would have been 106 today!!!! Happy birthday Lil!
We had a good night's sleep at Balranald and were up breakfasted and out by 10.15 am. Ok, not early but early for us...well we are retired you know!
We walked around the reserve under predominantly grey skies but it was dry with only a light wind, pretty cool though. The highlight was undoubtedly really good views of a peregrine perched on a large rock about 100 meters away, suddenly take off and hunt for its lunch. It pursued several small birds getting very close but not quite close enough, a fantastically agile aerial display. We watched it for several minutes before it disappeared from view. We also got good views of St Kilda and the stacks, 41 miles away! Belle spent almost the whole walk with her nose to the ground sniffing out smells, enough for us to wonder if dogs ever get sore noses! 
After our walk we had our lunch, the bread was quite stale so we put some in the bird feeders and the starlings and sparrows were having a feast when we left. Just before we were leaving, the Yaris that we had seen overnight on last nights beach arrived, the occupants overjoyed to have found hot showers in Lochmaddy.
We carried on in a clockwise direction around North Uist, passing a small Co-Op where we stocked up our fresh food again, had a ball throwing session for the dogs on a beach along the way and then made our way to the ferry terminal on Berneray just in time for the last ferry from Harris to arrive, threading his way skillfully between the rocky islets. We will certainly have no excuse for not catching the early ferry tomorrow, arriving 14 hours ahead of time! I cooked tea and we then had showers with the hot water from travelling. The ferry terminal although unmanned is well set up with toilets water and emptying facilities for MH's and caravans.

Wednesday 10th

Up early for the ferry but awake an hour and a half before necessary owing to “someone” setting his watch alarm for 5.30am!
Took a thermal cup of fresh coffee each aboard the ferry which was a nice treat. A pleasant hour's crossing took us to Leverburgh, sunrise over Skye was quite spectacular in the otherwise grey sky.
Once we had disembarked we took the road towards Stornaway, finding a very pleasant picnic spot to have our breakfast opposite the island of Taransay (scene of the 2000 BBC reality TV series, “Castaway”).

Breakfast spot

We then carried on to Tarbert where we bought the missing OS map that they didn't have in Lochmaddy and did a bit of research in Tourist Info about places to visit. We were told that the caravan site at Shawbost is open all year so we will head there in the next couple of days to do some washing and get some electricity into the batteries. Way hey, I may be able to use my hairdryer and feel “normal” again for a day or two instead of resembling a boiled egg!
We decided that we would head towards Husinish on the B road just outside Tarbert and then head back again towards Stornaway for gas in a day or two. Little did we know that the B road was narrower, steeper and more windy than any of the yellow roads we have been on on any of the other islands. But we wanted to go to Husinish as it looks idyllic in the guidebook and also we were drawn by the possibility of seeing eagles. We walked the supposed 2km up the track to the North Harris Eagle Observatory at Glen Meavaig. We think that Scottish kilometres must be longer than English ones! It seemed a very long 2k! The observatory is impressive, very light and spacious and comfortable but sadly devoid of eagles. We stayed an hour but saw none, not even any other bird either. On the way back I spotted a stone chat, very pretty but not what we hoped for. We carried on the rest of the way to Husinish....I found it quite a hair raising drive (and I was only a passenger) and was very glad to arrive except that turning round and parking was equally hairy. Anyway, we're here now, dogs had another run on the beach, a good tea and now Nigel is zzzzzzzing away while I finish this and soon, I hope to be zzzzzzzing too!

Thursday 11th

Well the weather forecast was right, it rained cats and dogs during the night and was still raining when we got up. Nigel took the dogs for a wet walk while I did the washing up etc, then I had my first drive.........reversing off the ramps. Probably about a metre. Well we all have to start somewhere.
We set up off the spectacular but hairy road again, this time in the wet. I didn't like it any more than yesterday and we were both relieved to see the main road to Stornaway hoving into hour to do 13 miles! Only one vehicle met coming in the opposite direction, the mobile library van which was parked in a passing place, we had to wait for him to pull over before we could pass. We call Liberté Too a mobile library sometimes, we think she looks like one!
Eventually we arrived in Stornaway and I rang the filling station to get its postcode so that we weren't driving round and round looking for it. When I mentioned we were in a motorhome, the girl said “Oh, we've no LPG, the pump's broken.” Our hearts plummeted, it was really the sole reason for coming onto Harris and Lewis to be able to fill up with gas as we have been eeking it out and quite cold. We would have been perfectly happy staying in the Uists for another week and then going over to Skye but the cold was getting to us! But then she said there was another filling station which had just had their LPG pump mended....great relief all round and off we went to fill up. Job done. We had a look at the ferry port, doesn't look too friendly for staying there the night before an early ferry....will have to think about what to do.
Next stop we decided would be the campsite to get some washing done. Thankfully there was a good road over to the other side of the island and within 40 minutes we reached the campsite. There was no-one about so we had lunch and a read and then realized we were not level so moved to another pitch. Within a few minutes a vehicle came speeding up to us, apparently a neighbour keeping an eye on the place for the owners who are away.....the campsite is not open all year and closed at the end of September but we could stay! We hooked up and I got the key for the laundry room and got two loads of washing and drying under way. Made garlicky fish soup for tea which we have not had yet, no signal on my phone but Nigel had a weak one on his and has set up his phone as a mobile hotspot to which I am now connected....very slow but at least we can get online.
It's not stopped raining all day and the forecast is for more rain tomorrow and Saturday morning......hmmmmm.

Friday 12th October

True to the forecast, it rained all last night and all day today, the becks are very full, noticeably more so than when we arrived. Had a very lazy morning...N had breakfast in bed and then stayed there till almost lunchtime! We both had lovely hot showers, the Alde heating system is running on electricity and is very effective.
After lunch we walked the dogs to the beach but it wasn't very nice there..........we couldn't go down on the sand as there were massive swarms of flies, very unpleasant. Still, it was out and exercise and it did actually stop raining briefly while we were out. Back “home” we had a cuppa and a biscuit or two and then went to the local garage (6 miles away) to get some cash so we could stay here another night. We visited the blackhouse at Ancol on the way back, a pretty impressive thatched roof house from the Middle Ages. Didn't go in, heaven had to pay! It's not really fit to go exploring far in this dreary weather so we may as well be warm and cosy and know we don't have to worry about battery charging etc.


A treat for me....Nigel made omelettes for is so nice to have a plate of food put in front of me without having to have cooked it myself. We had on and off connections to the net all day, very slow but nice to feel in touch.
Watched an episode of Luther in the evening.
Forecast is better for tomorrow so we'll move off, perhaps to see the stone circle at Calinish and the black house village and then maybe overnight at Point of Ness, the most northerly point on Lewis.
Oh, I had a couple of little drives today, just in the campsite grounds, including a perfect reverse park back onto our pitch!

Saturday 13th

It rained heavily again during the night but hoorah, had stopped by the time we got up. Tied the dogs up with a chew each outside the MH prior to leaving, then brushed and hoovered throughout to try and get rid of the sand and dog hairs. All spic and span again but meanwhile Dash had chewed through his lead and wandered off. Naughty boy! He hadn't gone far as it happens, just into the field behind, played his favourite game of , “I'll come up close to you and then run off again” a couple of times, but after a few minutes he rejoined us, lead halves tied back together and we were off.
First stop was just a few miles down the road, we stopped at a brown sign for “Norse Mill and Kiln.”
A very well maintained footpath led over the moorland to two beautifully restored blackhouses, one a mill, one a kiln! They were open and once our eyes adjusted to the gloom we could appreciate the work involved and the design behind building these structures which would have helped feed many generations of crofting families, the kiln for drying the grain and the mill for grinding oats and barley. The explanatory folder with diagrams which I took out into the light to read was very interesting and it was good to read that these buildings had been restored with much practical help from local schoolchildren finding out about their heritage.
Then we went on a few miles further and found the restored Blackhouse village of Gearrannan. These houses were lived in until 1974 when the last four elderly ladies had to leave them as they were in a bad state. They were rehoused in 'modern' council houses where there was no more thatching to do or water to bring in from the pump. The houses were modernised over a period of time and turned into a museum and some of them into holiday lets. Fascinating place and another very hard way of life for many generations of families.
Just a few miles further on we came to the ruined Dun Carloway Broch which was built over 2000 years ago, again much history associated with its remaining stones. Dogs weren't allowed here so they stayed in the MH while we walked up to have a look and take some photos.

Dun Carloway Broch

Next stop were the standing stones of Calinish. By now it was very chilly with a wind that bit right through! Dash christened several of the stones which for some reason which will never be known, do not align up to sunrise or sunset as most stone circles do. These for me, did not emanate the same sense of history that the other places we had been to did even though it was the oldest site we had visited today. I've never been to Stonehenge and don't really “get” it...being quite a pragmatic person I like to have a concrete reason for something's existence! Must have been hard work getting them there in the first place though!
Calanish standing stones
Then we had to decide where to spend the night, we were tempted to go further south to a beach campsite on Uig but it involved a 26 mile drive along single track roads and after our “Hushinish” experience neither of us were too keen on that, so we retraced our steps and camped in the Norse Mill and Kiln car park where we still are. It is a dry and bright start to the day, a little windy but looks pleasant. Now to decide where to go today, ferry is booked for Tuesday morning, Stornaway to Ullapool.

Sunday 14th

No rain first thing, so off we set towards Ness point. Another “proper” road all the way. We parked in a picnic spot on the dunes at Eoropaidh where there was a fantastic adventure playground for local children and families to enjoy. After a sandwich and a cuppa, we walked over the dunes and onto the beach where the dogs had a good charge about. 

Dash digging for victory

It was very rabbity so when we walked over the headland to the lighthouse they were on their leads most of the way. It was a superb walk, fine most of the time, we got drizzled on slightly but not for long. We had a little sit on some rocks and saw a seal swimming about quite close to us. We were also treated to the sight of hundreds of gannets elegantly sweeping around the headland, all in the same direction, singles, pairs and sometimes flocks of twenty or more.
We read the blurb about the light which was the last one in the UK to become automated, we also found out that the point it is at is officially the windiest place in the UK. Still we decided if the track was suitable, we would bring the MH here for an overnighter.
After the lighthouse it was a kilometre or so up said single track road back to the MH and we had no hesitation to go back there! As expected it was a windy night and we had disturbed sleep but what a view to wake up to!

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse

Monday 15th

We enjoyed a spectacular sunrise and leisurely breakfast before moving back to our previous stop and having a walk to the ancient chapel which had been restored in keeping with its past.
On towards Stornaway we found a lovely picnic spot for lunch and then continued almost to the end of the road for a walk with the dogs on Traigh Mor beach. We parked at the top of a steep hill and walked down and once on the beach, started throwing the balls for the dogs but Dash had other ideas and took himself off over several fences and through fields of sheep to chase rabbits. I had not heard the request to pick up the whistle so we had to shout. Eventually he decided he had had enough but not before Nigel had climbed over a barbed wire fence and ripped his trousers that he had put on new that morning. Tempers were frayed all round and Dash spent the rest of the walk on his lead in disgrace. Back at the MH we had a cuppa and one of us had a nap...(wonder which one that would be?) and then we set off back into Stornaway. The ferry car park was empty so we pulled in thinking we could stay there overnight but were told after we had got our tea and had some wine that we couldn't! We walked round to Tesco's for a few bits and then found an Indian Takeaway where we brought back a meal for two......twenty two more like....more than enough for tomorrow as well. After the effects of the wine (thankfully only a small glass each), we moved the MH into an adjacent car park and have set our alarms for 6am.

I have loved the Hebrides, we have been fairly lucky with the weather, the dogs have taken to Motorhome life very well, especially Belle, her not being travel sick is a great relief! Now after a few refinements, we feel ready for our Morocco trip...bring it on!

Monday, 8 October 2012

A week in the Outer Hebrides

Monday 1st October, in the evening

Well, that was a busy day! Didn't set off from Bill and Mandy's till 11 am, the sun was shining, we had a leisurely breakfast and showers and decided to go to Falkirk for lunch. Arrived at the Falkirk wheel coach park as the car park had a height barrier that was too low for us, only to find it almost full of cars! Annoying as the car park was only 50 metres further away and there was no parking meter so these were just lazy people giving no thought to anyone else!
Falkirk wheel in motion and a very narrow lock!
Had a stroll down the canal so the dogs could have a run and then went to have lunch in the cafe overlooking the wheel which we saw in motion. I had been on it last March when I stayed with Mandy and Bill. Fascinating to watch but a simple engineering principle so I am told!
After Falkirk we set off towards Oban and soon the heavens opened....real Scottish weather. We called briefly at the green Welly Stop in Oban (eat your heart out Helen Sharples!) but it was almost closing time so we only had a few minutes. It was actually very disappointing, has changed enormously from last time we were here, much more commercialized and corporate now instead of independent and quirky. What a shame.
Arrived in Oban just coming up to 7pm to find many “no parking overnight” signs in the beach car park we had intended staying in. So we have had our tea here, the dogs have had a walk on the beach and are now spark out and soon we will move onto the road outside the beach and sleep there! After such a long journey we didn't want to drive around any more looking for a camp site but equally we don't want a fine or to be clamped so we shall obey the letter of the law (it says no overnighting from 11pm till 7 am!)
So here we sit listening to the surf on the beach and the rain pattering on the roof....happy days!

Tuesday 2nd

We moved the MH off the prohibited beach at 11 pm and pulled up on the road just outside. Got a good night's sleep but must have annoyed a local who parped his horn loudly at us as he went to work at 6.15. At least it wasn't a cold barking whippet waking us up........her pyjamas are a great success and keep her warm and comfortable and she now stays in her bed till we get up. At 7am, Nigel reversed the Motorhome into the car park again with me still in bed and we all went back to sleep for a while. I suppose no-one would believe us if we said we hadn't parked there overnight, except for the irate local who woke us up!
We pottered about after breakfast, moving into the many plastic storage boxes we have brought and reorganising where “stuff” lives. An hours worth of generator power recharged laptop and leisure batteries somewhat and soon it was time to set off for the ferry terminal.
Bit smaller than the cross channel ferries
we're used to!
We arrived in plenty of time and walked into Oban for a few fresh items. The ferry was comfortable and well set up. We left the dogs in the motorhome, Belle shut in the shower cubicle in her bed and Dash in the saloon. They could have come upstairs with us but are limited to certain areas and we thought it would be awkward when we wanted a meal.
Fast response crew being launched
The crossing was 'lively' but we were both ok. Interestingly, it was the day for testing the safety procedures so we had some drills to watch.  It did seem a long journey, we got on the boat at 1 pm and didn't get off till 8.30 pm. As it was dark and raining when we disembarked, we just pulled into the ferry car park and Nigel walked the dogs while I made their tea and us a snack. After another dog walk we all went to bed and had another really good night's sleep.

Wednesday 3rd

Tried out the shower thismorning for the first time....great success! Had a walk to the tourist info and got some leaflets and bought a map. After stocking up with bread and milk in the local shop we set off on single track roads and across a causeway to Vatersay the most southerly of the inhabited islands........we could see the inviting white sandy beach from our overnight spot. Disappointingly but not altogether unexpected, no motorhomes or tourists cars are allowed on the beach but we took the dogs for a stroll and lo and behold, the only other people on the beach were a young couple and their baby from Hebden Bridge! They had two dogs, a red setter and a border terrier. I wonder if there have ever been two border terriers on Vatersay beach before? Dash was in his element swimming for stones and Belle chasing her ball. A lovely walk and the sun came out while we were on the beach.
Back at the MH we had lunch then drove to the “car park” overlooking the Dunes where we now sit, reading and chilling before the next walk. Nigel even got out an outdoor chair and sat out in the sunshine with his kindle (and Dash).
Later on in the afternoon we had another walk on a different beach which we had all to ourselves. We've decided to stay here tonight, Nigel is hoping there will be a photogenic sunset.
First camping spot on Vatersay,
even nicer when the two red cars left us all alone!
The solar panels are doing a good job so far and this fact finding and settling in trip is turning out to be very pleasant indeed.

Thursday 4th

Woke up to a very pleasant morning on Vatersay. After breakfast we set off back to Castlebay, passing a memorial to airmen who had died in a plane crash in 1944, some had survived and 12 crew died...the remains of the plane are still there....quite a moving place. Then we stopped briefly at another war memorial just outside Castelbay, very unusual design and in a stunning location.
A quick visit to the co-op for essential supplies and then we set off up the west coast, calling at a deserted beach to walk the dogs. We had our lunch and a brief kindle stop and then we carrried on round past Barra airport....the planes take off and land on the beach!

We settled at a “car park” right on the beach at Eolaigearraidh (no idea how to pronounce it!) where we were able to fill up with water and empty the waste and loo. We both set off for a walk and had a look in the ancient chapel and burial ground but I just did a short version and came back and Nigel carried on for a further hour and a half with the dogs. It did rain briefly but sharply while he was out........I was lucky, I got back to the MH before it started. A pleasant evening followed watching two episodes of “vexed” on the computer whilst eating our tea.
Had the generator running for a couple of hours to get the comps charged and the leisure batteries though we have had quite a bit of help from the solar panels today. Disappointingly though we found that the alde heating system is running away with the LPG, we have half emptied one cylinder already, so we had little heat on this evening and snuggled up in extra layers instead. Don't know yet if we can get LPG anywhere on the islands so we are going to have to be very careful.
As I prepare for bed it is raining again and quite windy, think we're in for a lively night!

Friday 5th 

Belle and Dash eyeing up the beach at Eolaigearraidh
Another day of sunshine and showers, more of the former than the latter.
Obligatory dog walk on the beach followed by breakfast, then rang the ferry company to book for the 3.45 to Eriskay. Needed the generator on again and annoyingly found that instead of turning the Alde heating off it was on a timer function and completely emptied one LPG the manual out and found out how to turn it off but used the hot water it had generated to have a much needed shower each. Lesson 397 was learned on the drive to the ferry.... do not leave the dirty washing bag hanging in the shower room near the tap, it may turn on and fill the dog bed with water......
Arrived at ferry terminal early, pleasant crossing to Eriskay with wonderful views. Nowhere to stop on Eriskay so we came over the causeway to South Uist and found a splendid picnic spot on the west coast with a large grassy area to park on and lovely views of a long white sandy beach. During the early evening, the batteries gave up the ghost so the generator went on for a couple of hours but unfortunately the same thing happened again during the night. We really need a campsite so that we can hook up and get a good charge.

Saturday 6th

Not a bad view to wake up to!
Another lovely day, the rain kept off and I got all the wet stuff dry. Nigel had a long walk with the dogs along the beach but failed to find the “wheelhouse” remains he was looking for. When he got back, I was talking to a couple from Glasgow who had arrived to walk their dog...a 2 year old whippet boy called Ollie.
They told us there was a filling station a few minutes away up the road which was also a chip shop and as by this time we had used up all the fuel for the generator, we set off to refill the generator and the fuel can. As it was too early for tea but having ascertained that the chippy was open till 8pm, we drove off up the road to have a look at Lochboisdale and then to a local landmark in the machair where there were some roundhouse remains. Dash “went off on one”....rabbit warrens all over the place, we were wondering if he was going to come back before the chippy closed, thankfully he did and we had a lovely meal and a cuppa by the side of the road. We then went back to last night's picnic spot, had a read and a little nap then with the generator running we were able to watch Inspector Montelbano. Power cut out during the night again.

Sunday 7th

Hoorah for the generator!
Set off for pastures new today, had lunch in a lonely spot between the two causeways leading to Benbecula. Stocked up food at the co-op as we got onto Benbecula, then found a lovely beach to walk the dogs on, much ball chasing ensued, good time had by all. Unfortunately, the battery has died already despite getting charged by the alternator and the solar panels so no showers yet!
As I was cooking tea, Nigel investigated the leisure batteries and found that one was red hot so he disconnected it leaving the other one connected. We had the generator on for a short while and watched some laptop TV until the genny switched off and we decided it was bedtime!

Monday 8th

Thismorning we still had some power....yeah!!! Seems that the “cooked” battery was the problem. Didn't need the genny on, had breakfast, dog walk and an early lunch and then set off in the direction of Lochmaddy having phoned the tourist info to make sure it was open. Found a leaflet there which confirmed that there is LPG at Stornaway, so went back to the van to decide what to do. After umming and ahhing (Nigel really fancied leaving out Harris and Lewis and staying on Uist and then going to Skye for a few days on the “way home” , we have decided to get the ferry over to Harris later this week so that we can get LPG and then go home via Stornaway to Ullapool. It's actually shorter that Skye to home.
Bought Hattie a cute puffin soft toy and then set off to have a look at Barpa Langass (a chambered cairn) and Nigel and dogs carried on over the wet moorland to Pobull Phinn...the only stone circle in North Uist. I went back to the MH and put the kettle on and had a look at where we could go on Harris and Lewis. Looked up and spotted a hen harrier hovering just metres away from me, got really good views of it for 30 to 40 seconds, what a treat! After our cuppa we headed back the way we had come and then up to Banranald, an RSPB reserve where we will walk and explore tomorrow. We were here alone and although there is a “No parking overnight” sign in the car park the warden who came to lock up at dusk said it was fine for us to stay here. I had a good 3G signal on my phone so we both had an internet catch up session. May be able to load this this space!

Monday, 1 October 2012

At last....we're off

Finally at 5pm on Saturday 29th September 2012, Liberté Too and her crew were ready for the off. Weeks of shopping, organising, stowing and deliberating were at last coming to fruition.

First problem was Belle and her nervous disposition, perched on the passenger seat in a harness and seat belt she immediately began to quiver like a jelly and long before she would be sick on the nice new leather seats, we wondered. As it happened, as soon as we set off she settled down with her head across Dash's back and seemed absolutely fine and comfortable...phew!

We set off up the M6 intending to spend the evening at Tebay in the company of Chris and Philippa. Once at Tebay our intended overnight stop was a no go so we parked in the Cross Keys car park where we were going to eat and asked if we could stay there overnight....yes was the answer. Had a lovely evening with Chris and Philippa, P was bubbly as ever, high on the relief of having handed in her masters dissertation the day before.

That night the weather was awful.....we were woken up about 2am by very heavy rain and the MH was shaking and wobbling, things clunking and banging something dreadful. Vey disconcerting, this continued all night, we both managed to snatch a few winks but not much. Tea and crumpets for breakfast after which there was much deliberating about whether to risk carrying on or just move a few miles up the motorway to the Tebay campsite. 

We decided to carry on, it was actually less blowy on the motorway than it was in the pub car park, and we arrived at Stow to a very warm welcome about 3.30 p.m.

Had a lovely evening with Bill and Mandy, the dogs enjoyed it too being able to have a romp in their garden. That was a superb curry, Mandy and as for the pavlova........

A much better night's sleep ensued and we woke to a fine, bright morning. Ferry to Barra booked for tomorrow....Oban, here we come!

Looking forward to a Hendricks and a less windy night!