/ Scotland2016

Thursday - All along the watchtowers

Oh, oh our first van problem. We awoke to see a nasty damp patch around the rear roof hatch. The very slight angle of the van meant that water had pooled up against the side of the hatch wall and there must be a small gap in the seal. Too difficult to sort out now, it needs a tall step-ladder to reach properly but I soaked up all of the water pooled on the roof and reaching up from inside smeared some silicone around the edges as best I could. All done by feel as I can't get to inspect my handiwork and probably quite a mess but it might just effect a seal. Not too much problem if not, we just need to check water pooling each night and soak up as much as we can so there is none to sneak in.

After the bad start the day improved rapidly. The evil wind has dropped and it has been fairly sunny all day. Perfect for our driver across country, literally. Rather than hammer along the main roads we chose a more scenic route from Carlisle, upon to Bellingham, across to Alnwick and then asking the coast past Seahouses, Bamburgh and into Berwick. Once again stupendous scenery and fascinating geography with crags, gullies, escarpments, and lots of other features I can't name.  I should have paid more attention to at school.

Much of the journey was along Roman roads, much parallel to Hadrian's Wall (and all its watchtowers, hence the tenuously linked title). So dead straight but only in the horizontal plane. The equivalent of tight bends up here are the multitude of "Sudden Dip" signs.

It's wild country and you've got to be pretty tough to live up here. Even the larger towns like Bellingham and Otterburn are little more than villages and very isolated. Must be hard in the winter, and everyone probably owns a Land Rover. Nice to go back through Bellingham, it was the location of our first holiday after having the girls. They were pre-school and Granny offered to look after them whilst Liz and I took a week earned break. Not sure why we chose Bellingham, maybe the isolation, more likely a cheap deal we found somewhere, in those pre-internet days.

On to Alnwick and its castle and gardens. The gardens are on our want to visit list but today we settled for a mooch round town and a couple of hot chocolates in the local tearooms. To find out the difference I ordered the deluxe whilst Liz insisted on having the regular. The difference: whipped cream, marshmallows, Flake, the whole shooting match. Thence on up the coast through the strange seaside resort of Seahouses, strange because I'm can't believe it gets seaside warmth up here too often. Onwards to Bamburgh with its impressive overbearing castle, another must visit! Probably the most impressive looking castle in the UK.

Not a great start to Berwick, I dropped the power cable ready to hook up to the site's electricity and on picking it up I discovered I had found a pile of dog pooh. All over my hands, in every nook and cranny of the plastic plug. What an unpleasant mess. Don't get me started about irresponsible per owners!!