As we continued on our journey towards Perth the excitement of seeing Mum & Dad was hard to contain. The journey from Perth to Dunbar was to take 1hour and 38 minutes. This included a drive over the new Forth Road Bridge.
After a slight confusion as to where Mum and Dad lived; our directions were based on us arriving from the opposite direction on the A9 we were here. After the grand tour of both motorhome and cottage a cup of tea was in order.
Tuesday was a day of rest, its surprising how tiring driving and being a passenger can be on a long journey. We spent the day catching up while deciding to create a 1000 piece puzzle together. In the afternoon Dad and I went on a walk heading towards the rolling hills in the distance.
Walking in Scottish countryside is like walking on plush carpet. The moss beneath your feet gives you a cushioned effect for every step you take. But be wary of the hidden rabbit holes that quickly remind you are in natures house and this flooring is not level!! Dinner was Dad’s wonderful Tuna and Pasta meal.
Wednesday nearly turned into a disaster and I think the thought of what could of happened will stay with me for a long time. The layout of our van means we have the choice of either sleeping above the cab on a double or turning the u shaped lounge into a giant king size bed. Being that there is three of us on our travels we sleep on the lounge bed.
That morning we got up and made the bed and for storage we put our quilt and pillows on the bed above the cab. We went inside to spend time with Mum and Dad upon our return to the van to check on Dolly we cold smell a very strange smell.
It was hard to put our finger on what it was and more importantly where it was coming from, in some areas of the van it was stronger than others. We came to the conclusion that it was due to the fact we had parked up against the cottage too close to the gas flue and the van fridge was drawing in outside air contaminated with the smell of gas. I was still unnerved and not completely convinced of this conclusion. After all this was a second hand van we hardly knew, was something leaking? were the electrics safe? To put my mind at rest as we were heading out for dinner we unplugged the van from the electrics and turned everything off. After doing this although the smell was there it was not getting stronger and seemed to be getting weaker. Relieved we went off to dinner.
On our return I had the task of making up our bed for the night. As I pulled our duvet down from the above cab bed I made a horrible discovery. We had had the beginnings of a fire in the van. What had happened? In the morning when we put our duvet on cab bed it had caught the switch attached to the above cab bed lights. These lights are not your modern led but your traditional ‘I get hot when turned on’ light bulb. The lightbulb being left on next to the duvet had burnt the duvet which was luckily flame retardant.
Turning the electrics off we had turned the light off which meant there was no longer a heat source to continue burning the quilt. The quilt was completely ruined as it had been rolled up it had been burnt right through to the middle. We then removed the lightbulbs from the cab bed to ensure this wouldn’t happen again.
That night we were both in shock but grateful that we had been given the opportunity to learn from our mistake and prevent a more serious accident happen.
Friday came round so quick and it was time to leave Perth and begin our journey back home. As we drove away I had tears in my eyes as each rolling hill represented a mile further away from Mum and Dad.
Our next stop for the night was a beautiful Brit Stop in a pub car park which backed on to the Crockley canal. A lovely spot very quiet considering it was a Friday night. Saturday morning I took my coffee with us as we strolled along the canal taking in the sights and planning the rest of our day.
I could of stayed there longer but we had booked to stay at the Camping And Caravan club site in Kidderminster Saturday night.
On the way to Kidderminster we stopped off at the National Trust Bidolph Grange, where we enjoyed walking around the different gardens inspired by all over the world. It was a shame some of the dahlias had had to be removed due to possible disease. The woodland walk was the perfect build up to the tea and cake, which we had when we got back to the van in the car park.
We arrived later than planned at the campsite and I have to say after experiencing peace and quiet and being in quite secluded overnight stops it came as a bit of a shock to the system to be on such busy campsite. We had reserved our stay, but on arrival were positioned on a piece of grass next to a tree which we very quickly came to realise was the short cut to the toilet and shower block for most residents as well as the tree being a favourite for the dogs staying on sight. Dolly was a little unnerved having people and dogs walking so close to the van. If I’m honest I found it a little rude that people were choosing to walk through our pitch to instead of using the paths provided.
The following morning we made our escape sadly without a warm shower as we were unaware that they are closed off for cleaning most of the morning. Spot the newbies! We parked up next to the hall where Darren had been booked to wrestle that afternoon. While Darren practised his moves, I decided to take a walk along the canal for a total of 8.3km. It was great to stretch my legs as its very easy to move very little in a van., but to eat like you have!
Then it was time to go home. We had a great first tour and cant wait to get out in the van not only for weeks away, but a couple of days. Just to be able to switch off from the every day and appreciate each others company in beautiful surroundings.