Friday, October 17

Skye is full

For the last few weeks of my summer break I did the usual and went over to Skye. Even though the weather wasn't that great it was full of tourists. I have noticed it getting more and more popular over the few years I have been visiting, but this summer it was terrible, so many people. Every where I went was inundated and it got to me in the end.
Started with the usual stop at Loch Greshornish, a few nights and a visit from a friend (Helen), she was quite happy to sit in the quiet of the camper, drinking coffee, as all she had heard in the croft was the constant stream of traffic going passed.

Walk into the Cuillins
Not the best of days weather wise, blowing quite hard and rain on and off, mostly on. So been out and got very wet despite being togged up. Poor light for photography. Hill tops were always covered so no views to be had up there. Just had some very nice scallops for my tea. Had a nice walk but failed to make the tops, had an idea I may take up running to help with stamina.
Had a day fishing on the North of Skye, I caught another species new to me a wrasse which was different and a couple of little pollock, but no mackerel.
Went off over camping at Glen Brittle.


Loch Brittle and headland.

Well this evening will stay with me for a while. Got all set up then had my tea, omelette made with the lovely eggs Helen's chickens laid,. then I went out for a walk, doing the other thing I like, looking for lost tupperware. I took my fishing rod as well. After a 2+ mile walk out onto the headland I found said tuppaware and wanted to continue to the end. Going was very hard, the path disappeared and all the area just turned into bog, the midgies came out and I tell you skinsosoft did nothing much to ease the situation, I was up to my knee on one occasion and I do know how to work my way over such terrain. Anyway gave up trying to get to the head and made my way back, again very difficult and kept coming across bog. I made it back to the path with the help of the GPSr and started back to camp, it was getting on a bit but as I was a mile or so from the camp site and I saw a possible fishing spot so thought I would give it a quick go. You see the guy in the campsite shop said the further up the headland you can get the bigger the fish, that why I wanted to get to the end. First cast and I caught the biggest fish of my life, I tell you I didnt know what I had, I thought it would jump out onto the land and start beating me up, like the pike in the Tom and Jerry cartoons. That is one big Pollack
I turned up at the Quarang, couldnt get a park, The Stour was the same, fortunatly I had plans to explore some less well known areas. The breaking point came when I visited the fairy pools and the place was inundated, at that point I left Skye and went home. The moral of this story, dont bother going to Skye in June, July and August, it could be full.

Tuesday, October 14

Princess, Khaleesi or Khali.

Khali.
Well we couldnt resist, Felix had left such a hole in our lives we had to get another cat. Her previous name was Princess but neither of us fancied shouting that out loud, we toyed with Khaleesi after the Princess of Game of Thrones and shortened it to Khali.

Summer, June break.

Started off as a very warm and sunny summer, warm enough for us, we were able to stick to the UK. First stop was the Pembrokeshire coast, St Davids. The campsite was pretty good as a point for walking and cycling with a little geocaching off course.
This holliday turned out to be a bit of a twitching / boating break, with a visit to the Isle of Ramsay an RSPB reserve. On there we caught a fleeting glimpse of a Manx Shearwater and a pair of Choughs. We extended our visit with a boat trip around the Island which was quite exciting. We were quite taken aback by the attituded of the walkes we met whilst out and about, blanking you or not even relpying when greeted, guess they were just cold southerners.
Went fishing off a rocky point in Whitesands bay, no luck.


RSPB Ramsay
We left South Wales and headed for The Norfolk broads but not before calling of in that there London for a few nights, this was one of our better ideas and we will do it again when the opertunity arises. Visited the The Natural History Museum, mostly looking at the minerals collection, on to the Saatche Gallery and took an open top bus tour, again an aquatic flavour as we took a boat trip down the Thames to Grenwich where we has a pub lunch before heading back to the campsite. Managed a geocaching walk along the river taking in The Tower of London & Tower bridge.

Saatchi Gallery
Another day visit and we did the tourist thing, Trafalar Square, Buchingham Palace and the Houses of Parliment.After trying to muscle in on the TV interview with Michael Fallon outside the Houses of Parliment, I spotted John Prescott, I did ask him if it was ok for the photo but he got a little upset when I complemented his work on ‪#‎HIGNFY‬. After that I went around seeing how many tourist photos I could photobomb until Di told me off !

John at the Houses of Parliment.

Then off again and on to the Norfolk Broads, somewhere we had both always fancied visiting, a bit flat and boring for my tastes but we hired a boat for the day and had lots of fun with that.
Diane driving the boat.

 
It was all pretty enough, great for walking and the bikes but dont think I would go again. Had a day out at Great Yarmouth, fishing off the pier and caught 3 whiting, a first for me.


The Norfolk Broads

 
The long hot spell was broken by thunder and lightning storms but only at night, never spoiling our days. We returned home calling in to see the kids on the way, I went to the South Gare off Redcar and caught a couple of good sized Mackerel. Di was eager to get back and pick up Princess ?


Friday, June 13

South of France, Easter.



A very sad start to this holiday as Felix passed away a few days before our departure, he will be sadly missed especially on our camper van trips.

                                             
Took a day to travel down to Cambridge after stopping the night we got an early start for Dover and the ferry, we then travelled for a few hours to reach the village of  Bellicourt, a commune in the department of Aisne in Picardy in northern France. We used the aire outside the tourist information center. 



 The area was the site of numerous intense combat actions and battles during World War 1 and an interesting area to see the St-Quentin canal, the canal at this time formed part of the Hindenburg Line, a German defensive position built during the winter of 1916–1917.





Off again, next stop Chalon-sur-Saone to pay homage to Nicéphore Niépce with a visit to the photography museum. Had enough time to visit the museum and a bit of a walk around exploring the area and do a few geocaches.



Then a dash all the way down to the South coast and Agay, a campsite that once set up we had half a dozen step to the beach and a couple more to the Mediterranean sea, below is a view of the site from across the bay.



Had a few walks around the area, one around the bay of Agay.


Two more in the hills above the town







A day trip to Nice with a walk along the Promenade des Anglais, a trip around the old city on a mini train, but most of the time was spent on the hill above the city, looking and photographing around the old graveyards.



At some point towards the end of our stay, Germany's schools seemed to have kicked out and they descended on us, the campsite became a lot more noisy, so we decided to pack up a day early and go off to the Camargue.



Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, "Saint Marys of the Sea", is the capital of the Camargue we stopped for one night on another Aire. Getting the early afternoon we seemed to squeeze a lot into 18 hours. A walk around the town souvenir hunting and a visit to the panoramic church fortress, back to the van and an hour or so fishing as the Aire was right on the beach, an early evening stroll around part of the marsh seeing Flamingos and White Egrets. Out on the town later for a meal meeting the only English people on this trip.



On our way back now to Calais, stopped off at Bellville Rhone for the night but still found time to walk around another clean and tidy town, a final french geocache or two. The Aire was just a car park but quiet and safe.
Got to Calais early evening for the ferry first thing in the morning.

After a short visit with the kids, called in at Scone for the weekend before getting home.

A fantastic trip just at the right lime of year for the weather. 
A trip of around 2800 miles over 2 weeks.

Next year will do something similar but travel via Hull and Zeebrugge, taking in Bruges.

Thursday, January 16

Substitute

On the banks of Loch Ness


Since the campsite at Cullen on the Moray coast went over to the dark side ( statics only ), we have been looking for a substitute, we loved that site. We found Banff links, right on the beach with a fish and chip shop close to and  a do able dash on a Friday evening after work from Aberdeen.

October break took us to The Lake district, weather was terrible, raining most of the time, but I did manage a good walk out of the C&CC site at Keswick onto Skiddaw.

Once the dark nights came in and the fact that most sites close after the October hols, we moved our weekend get away to Stonehaven, the new Caravan Club site there is very good. Its a plan for next year to hopefully see the fireballs celebration there next year.

Christmas break was at another new site at Loch Ness, again very wet weather kept us in doors a lot of the time, but good views of the Loch. A very scary drive home in extremely wind conditions.
A few days at home over Christmas itself  before taking off for the New year on Teesside.

Lower Falls of Foyers, nr Loch Ness

New year on Teesside a bit of geocaching with the kids, before returning home, again calling in at Mortonhall to break the journey up. Had the opportunity to go into Edinburgh and partake in the last few days of the festivities, as well as having a bit of fun on a ghost tour.


We went on the big wheel.

That's it 2013, I have had trouble keeping up to date with this blog so to try help I thought I would make a travel journal for 2014.

Collaged Travel journal.

Autumn in The Lakes

20/10/13

On the Old Man of Coniston.

It rained a lot in the week we were here, I climbed Skiddaw from Keswick and went part way up the Old man of Coniston.

Kids in the camper, watching Mars Attacks

Also had a few days in the northeast of England having a night out with the kids in the campervan, did a little geocaching around Whitley Bay



Monday, November 25

Friends on Skye

August 9th and I was off to Skye for a few days, meeting a couple of friends who recently move onto Skye and another who was just visiting.
Always happy to visit the island especially to do a bit of fishing, not a great deal of luck in that area but I did get put onto a possible spot for the future.
Camped on Steve and Helen's drive for the night before going on a nice lone walk to see macleods maidens .


Camping at one of my favourite site on loch Greshornish. I had decided to do a walk from one of my many guide books, The Islands, pocket mountain series. Up Ben Tianaveg offering views over Portree and on to The Storr. On the way up I met a French guy, said his name was Fred ! and he was from Paris. Anyway he was looking at another guide with a little bit of a different route, his was just up and down mine, was a little more convoluted, he joined me on my walk. We got lost a little along the way, but my navigation skills got us through in the end, but a 2.40 hour walk turned into a 4 hour one. We had explored the area more than we might have and I hadn't expected to take in a scramble, saw 5 white tailed eagles, one came very close, oh and no rain.


Jane needing some first aid from Helen.