Sunday, 4 September 2011

Week 9

After the trauma of saying farewell to my family, I had to Skye, Dougal and I headed up North and ended up in Banff. I can't believe I'm saying this but the campsites just keeping getting better and better. I am literally looking out to sea as I type this.  It is 10 steps from Dougal to the beach!!!  check out the views from the comfort of my cosy camper.
 What is it about parking in a campsite pitch that I find so difficult?  Perhaps I misjudge Dougal's it took several attempts to park!  On the first attempt, I crashed into the electric switchboard at the back of my pitch...I say crashed but that's a slight exaggeration...I merely touched it then moved away and back and forth until I was comfortable. Then I checked to make sure no one saw me and in the caravan on my right there were 2 dogs sitting at the window "laughing" at me!!! 
 After stepping outside and checking my parking, I moved Dougal twice more until I was happy. 

I've invested in a few things that make my camping experience more enjoyable - an electric kettle, a battery powered radio and a heater...which will come in handy now that our Scottish weather has suddenly changed. On the food front, I continue to eat well - Wed night was chicken dhansak with pilau rice followed my raspberries, granola and yogurt accompanied by a few glasses of Cab Sav!  Just before darkness fell, the tide went out and Skye and I went for a run on the beach - it's so appealing to watch the waves from the camper...there's something therapeutic about it. 

So it's Thursday and I've moved 6 miles along the road to Portsoy...another wonderful campite.  I'm actually writing this on a picnic bench with the sea lapping a few feet in front of me.  It's dry, thankfully, but still quite chilly - where has our summer gone?  Guess what? I parked first time!!!  I've got a concrete pitch today which made it easier for me to park in a straight line.  The warden here is very helpful and chatty - when he saw me typing on the picnic bench he asked if I was a writer - "Not exactly" was my reply...but maybe one day.
There's something about Portsoy that attracts me to it more than any other site.  It think it's because it's a small site so a little bit more intimate and personal.  Plus the sea is captivating in it's own right and I'm parked right in front of it.  The other thing I like about Portsoy (compared to Banff) is that the village is close by so I could pop to the local pub for an afternoon snifter and stroll back to Dougal in time for tea!

I now realise that the things important to me are: brilliant views, people watching, pubs/shops close by and dog friendly.  Most of the dogs in Portsoy campsite are off lead and it helps that the warden has his own (well behaved) dog too - a gorgeous Alsatian/husky cross. The campsite is not fenced off so even the local walk their dogs on the beach in front of me. I also think Skye is finally realising that Dougal is our home - she seemed so much more settled here.

The mellowness continues on Friday as I return to Findhorn Sands for my last night of camping. At least at Findhorn I had some friends to enjoy a drink or two in the pub with...and a beautiful sunset. 
Before I left on Saturday, I went for a walk on the beach and discovered 50 or 60 seals basking in the sunshine.  I couldn't get that close to them because Skye was with me but what a sight and what a time to forget my zoom lens!

I am now feeling wholly capable of embarking on a long trip now but I know I'm going to miss my home comforts - there is nothing on earth like your own bed or your own shower and Sky + of course! 

So here's some logic for you.  I actually considered the time of year for going away in a campervan (apart from the fact that I didn't have a camper until August) and decided that Sep/Oct were the best months for me because they are cooler and I could leave Skye in the van without fretting about it overheating.  Can anyone think of a bad reason for going away in September?  Yes, WASPS!!!  My worst nightmare...I hate even typing the word.  So far on this trip, I have had 4 wasps venture into the van!  Plus, when I was enjoying a glass of red outside the Shore Inn in Portsoy, a pesky wasp wanted some of my wine.  I whacked him away then squished him and, following that, his friends arrived to annoy me.  Why oh why can something so little inflict so much fear and dread?

1 comment:

  1. Great post Julie, felt like I was there with you xx