The Road to the Isles

So this leg of our Covid Tour 2021 started with a trip to Newark on Trent for some van bits then across to Redditch, what can I say? To be honest, in trying to reflect similarities between it and Salamanca I was for once, lost for words. Yes, I couldn’t summon up the elaborate vocabulary to do it justice so a picture will have to do my talking for me…. We enjoyed a catch up with friends Karen and Duncan, in a tent protecting us from downpours, thunder and lightening, shouting at each other at times, not because we argue but we couldn’t hear each other! We were also able to celebrate our friends Helen and Tim, finally moving into their fabulous new house! We moved on from our full board lodgings at Wendy and Terry’s, which we’d highly recommend. Its a very cat friendly place, they are well fed, played with and generally really enjoy the hospitality! Us pawrents enjoyed it too and are very grateful! So off we set, to head up norf.

The architectural splendour of central Redditch

To pass the time on our long journeys we’ve been shuffling our sizeable “Wedding Do” playlist so that we/I can sing along in full voice (its a big space to fill remember!) Nick however, likens me to Eric Morecambe and his “playing the right notes but not in the right order” school of vocal prowess so has decided to come up with a different idea… audio books πŸ™‚ [see footnote for quiz]

Arriving in the Sunshine State, otherwise known as Lancashire, we settled in at the Knott End Aire where the hosts are truly fabulous (well, they would be, they are Derbyshire’s after all!) Overlooking Morecombe Bay we were able to use our Vessel Tracker app again (yay!) to ID the boats passing by, silhouetted in the glorious sunset. Seriously, its a lovely spot to live, stunning views across to The Lake District in one direction and the waters out to The Irish Sea in another. We always have a fun time, we’d recommend it as a very homely Aire πŸ˜‰

By the way, for anyone interested, in the Home menu, under Route Stops, is now a link to the routes we’ve taken and a quick photo, via a link to Polarsteps. One day it’ll look like a spiders web!

We got on our way after brunch and continued up the M6 to Scotland, a new country for Jigsaw. A decent drive up, we made it to near Dumfries and found ourselves a super waterside spot to park up. Looking out over the River Nith Estuary across the low tide mudflats, we watched the weather come and go, and the birds too. Lots of geese, oystercatchers and sandpipers and others we can’t identify! We stayed local for most of the day, taking a long walk through the marshes and wetlands from Castle Corner to Caerlaverock Wetlands Centre. We wish we knew our birds!

We moved on from there, further west and arrived at Kirkcudbright (not so bright) for an overnight stop. The drizzle only adds to the grey architectural demeanour. Jigsaw enjoyed the outdoor space in the grass field. From there we headed along a coastal route that we didn’t realise is The Wicker Man tour. Guess we need to watch the film now. A couple of stops including a coffee and a beach walk at Skyreburn Bay among the masses of shells, once home to many sea creatures, we found ourselves in Isle of Whithorn and the sun was shining so we headed out on the glorious coastal walk. In the distance we could see the Isle of Man and the Cumbria coastline, all the while soaking up the coconut aroma of the golden yellow gorse flower, warmed in the sunshine. The sea waters were crystal clear and surprisingly, it was warm enough to lie among the soft grasses and watch the clouds wistfully pass by.

The night skies were incredible, a deep pink hue over the top of the village and something we’ve never seen, a pinkish rainbow after a little shower. Difficult to photo though! This morning we took a walk in the opposite direction, one of the main Wicker Man film spots being at Burrow Head where the original scenes were shot, there were once three and now none as time and theft has taken its toll.

We followed the coastal route north, a lovely drive with sun and cloud over the blue sea waters. Numerous pull in’s later we passed the Stranraer ferry ports and the landscape changed, the road rising higher into more cooler alpine like surrounds, a mix of tree’s forming a canopy like, road tunnel. Dropping back to the coast we saw Northern Ireland, Arran, Kintyre and Ailsa Craig ahead of us, bathed in dappled sunlight. Also a road sign in Russian, for Varyag Memorial (a Russian warship sunk in the area) A lunch lay by by the beach had Jigsaw finding sand between her paws for the first time as she took the tall man for a walk. From there we arrived at Troon harbour, our park up for the night before heading off to our next instalment at Arran, tomorrow morning.

A side note, full of bright ideas we thought, maybe you’d think differently dear reader, that our way to pass some time on long stretches, “Campervan Karaoke” could morph into a blog quiz defined around the songs that came up on the “iPod Shuffle” We stopped short of videoing ourselves singing and dancing as you wouldn’t have been able to cope! At this stage we can apologise to our younger readers who frankly, won’t have a clue about any of the music! The first question is…. What were Simon & Garfunkel feeling….? Q2. When the Beatles were 64, what were the names of the grandkids? Q3. Who’s “Learning to Fly” I rest my case πŸ™‚ Told you it was an eclectic mix of the decades, bands we’ve seen, mushy moments and happy singalonga sounds (not thinking this through you’ll have to WhatsApp or Facebook the answers!)

Glorious Wild Coastal Flowers

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