our stop over for the night… with decorative shrubbery!

The road trip to Scotland starts here

Time for our road trip to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland to begin.

Or at least so we thought! We got up and double checked our packing and off I went to get the camper to get it all loaded up for the road trip. The plan was to load it up, then head to our local supermarket to pick up supplies and petrol before hitting the road.

any excuse to go to Stanford’s, my fave map shop in London
any excuse to go to Stanford’s, my fave map shop in London

Having loaded up with fresh and dried food supplies, we filled up at the petrol station ready to head off. Lorna (rightly) suggested we should do a final double check on all lights before we set off, just to be safe. I’m glad she did, as when we checked, oh-oh, no brake lights on either side! This was not the start to the road trip I wanted! 🙁

rear light electrics, new rubbers all back and sorted out
rear light electrics, new rubbers all back and sorted out

Everything else lights wise worked fine. I knew all the rear light units had been replaced not that long ago, so that should be fine, and it was odd that both sides were out at the same time? Fortunately, Resto Classics are not far from the petrol station, so a quick change of plan meant to trip back to see them. They quickly diagnosed the issue down to a faulty brake switch and were able to swap it out for me. Always better to be safe than sorry, especially when you have the earlier all red indicators and brake lights!

Real ‘van life’ is never as it’s portrayed on Instagram!

With the brake lights all sorted, off we finally set! Initially, the plans were to head up to the Snake Pass in the Derbyshire section of the Peak District, crossing the Pennines between Glossop and the Ladybower Reservoir. Unfortunately, with the morning’s delays, and a busy M25/M1, our journey up was much slower than expected. So at our refuelling point in Leicester, we stopped for a bit of lunch in the camper and had a rethink on where we wanted to get to tonight?

a cracking salad lunch to keep us going
a cracking salad lunch to keep us going

You can have plans for what you want to do, but sometimes things happen that change the best-laid plans. However, one of the things we were both determined to do on this road trip together, was to have fun and have a relaxing time. Sounds easy, but I’m often guilty of trying to fit too much in a short space of time, to always be trying to do something, and not just enjoy the moment.

Trent Lock, a canal network from a different age of transportation
Trent Lock, a canal network from a different age of transportation

Time for a change

This trip will be different! So rather than push on regardless just to try and make the distance, we decided to stop short of our initial destination for day one, and find somewhere else to stay for the night. We didn’t want to spend crazy long hours driving where we were too tired to enjoy where we were staying, or just simply being with each other.

our stop over for the night… with decorative shrubbery!
our stop over for the night… with decorative shrubbery!

The decision turned out really well. Amazing what a good lunch a mug of tea can do! On our first night on the road to Scotland, we stopped at Trent Lock in Nottinghamshire. We’d not been here before, but it proved to be a good stopping off point for the night. As Lao Tzu famously said ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’, today was our the first step and it was fun (in the end!) 😉

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