Blog Update – June 2018…

Hi all,

I thought I would give you all an update on life with the new woman in my life, Bessie the Bessacarr, and what’s been happening since we returned from the 6 month road trip with the new motorhome.

After a couple of weeks at home we wanted to have a weekend away in Bessie to try and get to grips with the new layout and the technology. This being Argyll, you don’t have to travel very far to park up with a stunning view to look out at and so on the weekend of 14th / 15th April we headed further down the Kintyre peninsula to a favourite spot of ours just past the small village of Bellochantuy. In the past this parking spot was the main road to Campbeltown, but the A83 is now further away from the edge of the cliffs. On a good day you can see Rathlin Island and Northern Ireland as well as the islands of Gigha, Islay and Jura. Unfortunately it was not great weather and the views were a bit limited, but at least it didn’t rain!

Normally a great view from here…

This next picture is the view looking south down the west coast of the Kintyre Peninsula, and although you can’t quite see it, but about a mile south of here is one of the best beaches on the west coast of Scotland, Westport Beach. Stretching over 6 miles, Westport Beach boasts the Machrihanish Dunes as its backdrop, a Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the biggest sand dune area in Argyll. Popular with surfers and dog walkers, Westport Beach is also a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a picnic. The beach is nestled alongside Machrihanish Golf Course, one of the finest links golf courses in the UK.

Looking south…

The fridge proved to be a bit temperamental and displayed an error message and a loud beeping noise. A call to the dealer near Nottingham on the Saturday morning had the technical people a bit baffled and they suggested I try the age old method of shutting everything off and powering up again after twenty minutes and this did the trick, without actually knowing what the fault was, or what had caused it.

The Navigator didn’t have much navigating to do as it one road there and the same road home again but she got to play with the cooker which is a huge improvement over the previous one. Storage and cupboards were arranged, then rearranged over the course of the weekend and this process will be ongoing for some time to come I think.

On the Saturday we had a trip into Campbeltown, a town in a great setting, but sadly it has seen better days, although the highlight of any visit must surely be Nickel & Dime, an emporium that sells just about everything under the sun and the Navigator always seems drawn to it and nearly always finds something to buy, needed or not!

Bessie at Campbeltown..
Bessie at Campbeltown…

The next trip away was a bit further afield, for me anyway, as I had Bessie to myself  for a whole week but before that we caught up with a few relatives we had not seen in a long time and we had an overnight near Lochearnhead, Falkirk then the Caravan Club site at Strathclyde Country Park on the outskirts of Glasgow in preparation for The Navigator flying to Belfast the next morning to visit Jill and Simon to help them get their house back in order after the builders had completed their extension, just in time for the new arrival.

Bessie near Lochearnhead…

 

Great niece Murron with Bessie in the background…

After dropping her at Glasgow Airport I had a leisurely drive north and ended up at Pitlochry where I stayed for two nights at a cost of £25 a night – for a single person! It’s a good site in a great tourist town but goodness me – £50!

With the van serviced I headed to Cullen, one of my favourite fishing villages on the Moray coast and I had three nights wild camping on some waste ground near the harbour with views north to the Black Isle. It was a glorious weekend and the weather was perfect.

Bessie at Cullen
Bessie at Cullen

 

Bessie at Cullen
Bessie at Cullen

 

Cullen Harbour at low tide…

 

ManVanNoPlan has a cuppa at Cullen…

As i was enjoying myself doing nothing much apart from drink tea and watch the tide go in and out (very therapeutic), The Navigator was busy in Belfast, but found time to enjoy herself at a ‘Sparkle for Markle’ party.

Celebrating the Royal Wedding…

Even though Bessie now has a TV, the Royal Wedding and both the Scottish and English Cup Finals were missed in favour of sitting out and taking in the view. On Saturday night however I had the treat of a fish supper at Linda’s, surely one of Scotland’s best purveyors of fish and chips! On Monday when all the other motorhomes that were parked beside Bessie for the weekend had departed I flew the drone to take this short video…

On Monday I reluctantly headed back down to Strathclyde Country where I spent two nights hooked up and busy writing and editing the Kindle book version of our winter trip around Europe. The weekly blog posts were the basis for the book but it was completely re-written and more content added, including,

– links to over 70 YouTube videos of the main places we visited en route.

– map coordinates to every wildcamping spot, Aire and campsite we stayed at.

If you were late in joining the weekly blogs and want to experience our journey on a daily basis then it can be bought for only £2.99 HERE, or read for FREE on KindleUnlimited if you have a Prime subscription.

On Wednesday we headed back up to Mid Argyll after doing a ‘big shop’ at Asda in Dunbarton.

The final ‘shakedown’ trip in Bessie was on Monday the 28th and Tuesday the 29th of May on the east coast of Kintyre near the Calmac ferry crossing from Claonaig to Lochranza on Arran.

Bessie near Skipness, Arran in the background...
Bessie near Skipness, Arran in the background…

There are many places to park a motorhome on the grass at the water’s edge with incredible views over the water to Arran, said to be Scotland in minature.

The Calmac ferry to Arran...
The Calmac ferry to Arran…

The weather was incredible and we enjoyed two great days sitting out watching the ferry go backwards and forwards and other boats fishing and sailing up and down.

Claonaig Beach
Claonaig Beach

The cupboards got re-arranged (again) and the outside BBQ point was put to good use on both nights and we did a bit of beachcombing on Claonaig pebble beach where there always seems to be something interesting washed up. A couple of problems came to light with Bessie with the awning refusing to be unwound and the entry door handle sticking more often than it opens! The awning was fixed back at the house with the aid of a ladder and a good slap but the door handle may need to be replaced.

STOP PRESS
The Navigator and I are delighted to be grandparents for the first time and are in Belfast to visit the proud parents, Jill and Simon. Eilidh Morton arrived on the 3rd of June, weighing in at 7lbs 2oz and is an absolute delight.

Eilidh...
Eilidh…

 

The Proud Parents...
The Proud Parents…

This is a group picture of Eilidh with her parents, both sets of grandparents and Aunty Emma…

The family....
The family….

 

The proud grandparents...
The proud grandparents…

Hopefully one day Eilidh will treasure the above pictures taken with her family just as I treasure this one and only picture I have of me with my maternal grandparents, I think in 1955. My grandfather was a retired miner, but even in his retirement he was wearing a three piece suit. Different world!

Me with Granny and Grandpa Meek at Wallacestone

Many friends and family who enjoyed the blogs have been asking when the next adventure will be and all I can say is watch this space as there is a bit of a plan brewing to head to France in July for a few weeks to see one of the great sporting events of the summer, the Tour de France, which, as you can see from the following map is coming to Brittany and Normandy. We hope to see the stage ending in Quimper then follow it to view the next four stages which will take us close to Calais again. Having said all of that, we might not be anywhere as my passport is away being renewed just now – so fingers crossed that it is returned in time!

Tour De France Route

PS
Since the final blog post of the Grand European roadtrip I have finished editing the 123 Seconds in… videos and they are all listed on one page so CLICK HERE to see them. If you were following the blog and saw them as I posted them there are 26 NEW ones to catch up on.

2 thoughts on “Blog Update – June 2018…

  • 11th June 2018 at 8:42 pm
    Permalink

    What a lovely surprise to see another Blog! Bessie sounds settled in so to speak!
    Great to see pictures of the family and especially the beautiful new addition.
    Eilidh looks lovely. Hope the Passport arrives in time to enable you to take off again,
    but good you have been here for all the good weather we have enjoyed of late.
    Maybe we can look forward to a blog from the Tour de France, hope so.

    Reply
  • 9th July 2018 at 9:04 pm
    Permalink

    Lovely to read your new blogs and see the family pictures. Your new grandchild is absolutely beautiful. Hope you have a great time on your travels. safe travels and will catch up with you one of these days , when you return to Argyll. by the way Stewart didn’t get his knee done on the 22nd of June as we both had heavy colds and coughs and they wouldn’t do him!! Hopefully we will be good to go sometime in August!! xx

    Reply

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