So if you have got this far, it is likely that you have read how we got to this point.. Madness/Spontaneity mainly…!
We set off on our merry way “oop north” having only owned the van for 6 hours. Bearing in mind that although we had both camped in the past, neither of us had owned a van, camped in a van, driven a van or cared for a van, we quite literally had no idea what we were supposed to do, how we would make the electric work/ gain water, level up, you name it. But we had got advice about what we would need to take with us. So we figured/hoped that between us we would work it all out, and we were so excited we just didn’t really care!
We started on our journey from Norfolk to Newark with tremendous excitement. I took the first shift of driving whilst Keith familiarised himself with all the different knobs/flaps/buttons etc (insert your own joke here…) About half a mile down the road we heard a rather large clatter which made us both white with fright. We thought we had broken Daisy! In actual fact, what had happened was the fridge had swung open throwing all the contents across the floor! It turns out there is this plug type thing which you need to secure the fridge door so it doesn’t open when you turn corners. We didn’t have one, so I rang Dad, and he managed to make us one ready for when we arrived at theirs. The rest of the journey was spent with Keith sitting in front of the fridge door so it didn’t open, until we swapped and he took over the driving and I took over the important job of making sure our beer stayed secured in the fridge! We had a great night on Chris’ Aire, and set off on our way up to the Lakes at around 4am.
Because we had originally organised the trip for a car/tent, we had given ourselves quite a few miles to cover each day (having much more experience now, I’m not entirely sure why we were going to attempt such a mammoth journey, but that’s a different story)
Our POA was as follows:
Day 1: Eskdale
Day 2: Loch Lomond
Day 3: Fort William/Arisaig
Day 4: Isle of Skye up to Clactoll (Mainland)
Day 5: Loch Ness
Day 6: Blair Castle
Day 7: Northumbria
Day 8: Family wedding in Newark
We had an absolute BLAST! We spent a fortune on petrol and campsite fees, and we drove miles and miles each day- we visited every brown sign attraction that we saw on the road and arrived at our new campsite at dusk every night. It wasn’t the way we would do it now, but we wouldn’t change a thing about our first tour in Daisy. By the end of our 7 days, we were HOOKED!
I won’t recount everything we did, but a few of our highlights were…
1) rather than retracing our 30 odd miles back to Fort William from Arisaig to get to Clachtoll, we decided to trace 10 miles onwards, catch a ferry to Skye, drive 15 miles or so on Skye and return the main land via the Skye Bridge, all before lunchtime
2) having a lovely lunch at Wasdale Head in the Lakes, and then having Dinner on the banks of Loch Lomond, on the same day.
3) Arisaig (where they filmed ‘Local Hero’) – one of my absolute favourite places in the UK so far.
4) Clachtoll Beach Campsite – one of my favourite campsites that we have ever stayed on: http://clachtollbeachcampsite.co.uk/
5) Having a BBQ on the banks of Loch Ness
6) Buying (and then drinking) lots of Sloe Gin from The House Of Bruar http://www.houseofbruar.com/ It was so good, we had to go back in the morning to replenish our stocks. Seriously, if you like Sloe Gin, you need to visit.
Some photos of our trip: