Sunday, 15 August 2010

Great North Fun Day 18

Bit of a late start this morning. We got up early enough but by the time we'd queued for the showers and faffed around getting Delores ready for a few nights away from the main sites it was midday before we left Berwick. Our aim was to make it to a CL near Moffat before heading into the wilds of Dumfries & Galloway.

Loch Skeen
We initially headed north on thr A1 and straight into Scotland past a huge sign with a Scottish Flag welcoming us to Scotland. There was no big sign and flag going the other way - it seems our lack of national pride begins at the borders. After that we followed some lesser A roads through Dun and Galasheils before picking up the A708 to Moffat. Although the road is not the easiest to drive in a motorhome it is well worth the effort. The views start off as stunning and improve the whole way along. We had lunch and a stone skimming contest on the banks of St Mary's Loch (Steve won) before pulling up at Grey Mare's Falls for a bit of a walk.  Now when I say a 'bit of a walk' I mean a 1 hour vertical hike to Loch Skeen at the top, and this time instead of the rain beating down we were sweltering in hot sun. (10/10 to Scotland for fixing the weather!). The hard work was definitely worth it though as the views at the top were breathtaking (not that I had a lot of breath left to take at that point!). A gorgeous loch tucked high up in the hills with dramatic mountain tops behind.

Delores in the valley far below.
Once back at the van I was very keen to get to the site for a well earned cold beer or two.  The CL is about 3 miles outside Moffat in gorgeous countryside. My plan was to cool down outside next to the stream with a cold beer. Truly idyllic apart from one thing, or rather several million things. Midges. Do they only exist north of the border? The wee tartan terrors drove us back inside so that on the first truly warm and gorgeous evening we've had so far on this trip we were still stuck inside Delores, held captive by tiny insects.

The midges however held no fear for the intrepid Monty. So far this trip he has encountered his first sheep (not at all sure what to make of them) and his first big sandy beach which must have seemed to him like the world's biggest cat litter tray. Last night he was on his first farm and had a lot of fun checking out all the new smells around the farm yard. He was off his lead but never likes to be out of sight of us so he doesn't wander far and returns to Delores like an exorcet missile at the first sign of trouble.

Tomorrow is our 7th wedding anniversary and our first attempt at wildcamping.  At the moment we have no plans in place at all and aim to sort out a route over breakfast outdoors - but that all rather depends on what time the midges get up.

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