I finished work Thursday lunchtime which I hoped would give me enough time to get a haircut, finish the jobs on the van, finish packing it up and be ready to leave by 1800. Lol 😂😂
Haircut was an easy win. Van job was get the scuttle plate back on and windscreen wipers reattached. Win win. Give it a quick wash and clean all the glass inside and out. All going swimmingly. Packing. Eurgh. Many trips back and forth, working out what fits best where, rearranging it all when the next thing comes out and before you know it is time to collect the kids from nursery and there is no way we'll be leaving at 6. Oh well, aim high and even if you miss you'll still probably do well, leaving by 7 would be acceptable.
And we did! Five to 7 and we're rolling down the road with Willie Nelson - On the Road Again blasting out the stereo. At this point I bring up the fact that we haven't given the campervan a name yet, given we're going to be spending the next two weeks living in it "the campervan" lacks the familiarity we'll very shortly have. Many suggestions later and we all settle on Evie.
A mostly uneventful (I notice when there's a little rain that I put the windscreen wipers back on the wrong sides 🤦🏻♂️) 4 hours later and we stop for the night.
After an easy morning we load up the van and start out again, the goal is to get to Threipmuir Reservoir and overnight in the car park there (according to the app I have on places to stay this is a good and safe stop). That's a long journey though so we take a break in Kendal at Sizergh castle. A very pleasant garden to walk around although mostly we're there too let Robert burn off some energy after being in the van. And sure enough he spends the hour and half running across, jumping over and climbing up everything 😁
Back in the van and we're heading up the M6, handily our route takes us straight through Gretna and the first sign that we've arrived in Scotland! We had these ideas of our first night actually camping where we'd make corn beef hash on our little hob. But it's half five and we're still over an hour away from the reservoir so a picnic on the van floor from Subway (with the requisite bottle of Irn Bru, obviously) will have to do. It's pretty much the same thing, right? It happens that the outlet store in Gretna where we stop has a Cadbury outlet store! Score! With five minutes until it closes Jane goes supermarket sweep style grabbing whatever comes to hand off the shelf, but when it's all chocolate you can't really go wrong 😁
After topping up the fuel tank (£90 😱) we're back on the road heading up the A74(M) towards Edinburgh, for a few miles at least. Satnav has given me the choice of two routes of equal time, one up the motorway or one through the countryside, given we're on a holiday that's an easy choice and we're treated to some spectacular views across the West Lothian countryside.
Finally we arrive at the reservoir carpark and with at least another couple of campervans/motorhomes we know we're in the right place. A couple of laps to try and find the flattest spot and it's time to pitch the roof. I say pitch, it's nothing like a tent I just loosen the straps and push upwards. Instant extra bed. As I write this the kids have gone to sleep. 🤞🏻 it all goes well for our first night together in the wild.