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Thursday, 3 May 2018

Road trip, part three

I'm still wallowing in the joy and loveliness of my little road trip to Dumfries & Galloway.  Is it any wonder when this was my pitch for the first couple of nights?  The CMC site at New England Bay was quite lovely - loads of hot water in the showers (the one thing which completely makes or breaks a site for me) and very quiet.  With the benefit of hindsight I should have stayed there the whole trip, but I didn't.  I will next time!











This picture has been my desktop background since I got home πŸ˜Š




I tore myself away on Friday morning and as the weather was so good I went back to the Botanic Garden, a drive of at least three miles.  A couple of miles after leaving the garden I stopped again at a picnic site outside Ardwell and had a long, relaxed lunch and really did not want to leave.



An information board told me about a walk just across the road - what a delight.  A circular path leading up the "the big house" and back, but I'd got myself confused about the time and did not complete it, will do so next time.  I ended the walk at the top of a medieval Motte, with the original well capped off.











I really, really did not want to move on, but I had decided to head up to Stranraer which had the nearest fuel station, a task that was achieved without satnav or any problems, and then headed around the coast.



 It was a gentle drive, nice views, hardly any traffic.  I wanted to stop at Barsalloch Hill Fort near Monreith, and it did not disappoint.  Loads of sunshine and having the place to myself helped ...



I love places like this; I can sit and try to think about people who lived here thousands of years ago.  No shops, no Amazon Prime delivery - if you didn't grow it or make it then you did not have it.  Most of us, myself included, would have extreme difficulty coping with that these days.









An hour or so later I pulled into Garlieston.  Ever since we first talked about getting a caravan people have been telling me to come and stay here,  I should not have listened to them, after the space and tranquility of New England Bay I found this a horrible little site.  Vans packed in together with no room to breath, absolutely no motorhome facilities the side of the site I was on (which was not explained to me), and full of people who were clearly "regulars".  As I was going across to get water I felt like I'd walked into the bar in a Western movie when everyone falls silent ...

When busy, both of the grass areas in the middle of this screen shot will also be full of vans ... YUK.


(just realised the time on the NextBase is out by an hour ...)

Had a walk around the village which didn't take long, had supper, had the longest shower I could without turning into a wrinkled thing, did my washing up in the facilities block and went to bed early.  I was out of that site before 8.00am and am not returning.





But moving swiftly on, Saturday was gorgeous and I had a lovely breakfast in Galloway Forest Park, saw red deer, very peaceful.




I was headed for Samye Ling and really looking forward to visiting a place I wanted to go to for some years.  An easy drive, apart from one lunatic who insisted on overtaking me just as I was moving out past a big slow truck.




I ask you - if you see a large white van, which is positioned with its offside wheels on or almost over the white line, and indicating right so obviously about to pull out, which brain cell do you engage to initiate your own overtaking manoeuvre?   Whoever you are, dearie, in your shiny big car, you're a feckin' idiot.  You are also fortunate I was feeling extremely Zen and did not bother to tell you what an idiot you are when I pulled into the Samye Ling car park behind you a few minutes later!

Despite my driving-zen-ness, the rest of the day was a huge disappointment.  My enjoyment of a place seems to be direct proportion to the number of photos I take;  there are no pictures of Samye Ling ....  I had intended to stay overnight but there was no point and I drove home, which probably wasn't the most sensible thing.  Too far in one day, too tired.  Lesson learnt.




Other lessons learnt from whole trip?
*  I love the Mull of Galloway and Rhinns peninsula.  Thankfully it is small enough, and remote enough, and there is little enough to do that most people wouldn't go anywhere near it, leaving it quiet and empty which is just as it should be.

*  There is much, much less space in a campervan than I'm used to in the caravan and you REALLY have to be tidy, or go mad with the mess.

*  It is quite delightful to drive a bit, stop when the view is good, or you need a pee, and then carry on a bit more, and then stop when the view is good and you want to enjoy it with a coffee . . . rinse and repeat.

*  Daisy is a fibbing.little.so-&-so who is quite capable of eating well when I am away, and I really do not need to worry about either her or Management.

*  When you really, really, really do not want to leave a place, stay there!  Forward site bookings can always be changed.





14 comments:

  1. Brilliant trip, we are the same as you, love empty nice sites, can't stand being close to other vans. We are planning our next trip, just a local couple of days away, we are so lucky to live so close to the New Forest.

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  2. Thanks Marlene, look forward to your blog report when you get back :)

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  3. Here here! we have had that same issue of ... 'should we stay or should we move on to the next booked site' ... then been utterly disappointed - We love the Galloway region and although not been back for a couple of years, we do both think of it a lot xx Glad you enjoyed (on the most) your road trip :)

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    1. Thank you Kate. I'm glad "it's not just me" but sorry you've had to go through the same thing :)

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  4. I've never been to that area of Scotland but your wonderful photos are making me want to go :) The first site you stayed at looks lovely but I don't like the look or sound of the second one, it's definitely not one I would go to :(

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    1. Eunice, I am not sure if you could go there - the site had a sign saying "no tents". I think this is because of how windy it is - the first night I didn't think I would get any sleep because the van was being rocked by the gusts. In the end I laid down and opened my eyes again several hours later!

      Knowing how you tour around when you're away, I am not sure there would be enough for you in the area ... sorry :-(

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    2. 'No tents' is fine as long as I know beforehand - I can pack the van accordingly and live in it for a few days if necessary. It would be a bit of a squash but it can be done :) As for the area, I don't always need a lot going on and with what you've shown here I'd be quite satisfied for a few days - if it's got views than I'm more than happy :)

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    3. Sorry I didn’t reply to this comment - must have missed it somewhere in the mess which is my email Inbox. Have just emailed you.

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  5. Something of a curate's egg of a trip- however, the best places look wonderful.

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    1. Thanks Chris; not really curate's egg because that was only good in parts. This trip was really, really good nearly all of the time . . . and you know I prefer to look at the positives. The second site wasn't horrid, it just didn't suit me (and I did use a great deal of their unlimited extremely hot water!)

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  6. Such beautiful blue sky in all of your photos. Sounds wonderful apart from the last site and idiot driver and your long drive home. Just remember all the good parts. As for Daisy fibbing, she did miss you :)

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    1. Cheers Eileen, if you go back to part one you'll see that it wasn't blue sky all the time, but when the mist cleared - oh goodness, it was sublime :)

      Daisy did miss me and stuck to me like velcro for a couple of days when I got home. Now she's returned to normal which means ignoring me until she wants something.

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  7. Just on catchup & your road trip had its lows & highs, but what trips don't? We were nearly taken out today by someone who nearly came through a "give way" sign & had to swerve out of the way. Huh, silly person! Love the photos, but then I enjoyed Scotland thoroughly when visiting & my favourite was the Isle of Skye. It's majestic. Got the email & I'll reply soon. Take care.

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    1. Hi Susan, sorry this comment missed me . . . very glad to hear you are OK after your near miss. These days we have dash-cams in all our vehicles - not going to stop an accident but at least it will record some/most of what happens if there is an incident. Emailed you earlier ...

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