The earlier you start, the more you can get done in the day. Having set off at crazy o’clock in the morning, it gave me plenty of time to break the journey up to Scotland into smaller more manageable chunks. Food stops for breakfast and the obligatory tea breaks along the way made for a much more relaxed journey. I still wanted the journey to be fun, not a chore!
That said, the extra power of the T4’s 2.5 TDi engine meant effortless cruising at motorway speeds. The yellow mile-munching, load-lugger really lived up to its potential making it to Scotland in a day. Not too shabby considering I was starting out just about as far away as possible, Hastings being on the south coast of England. This initial stint was about 540 miles. So far so good,
Real-world ‘van life’
The social media portrayal of the hashtag ‘van life’ is all about glamourous individuals living their ‘best lives’ in exotic locations around the world as they ‘live the dream’ of travelling and living in a camper van of some description. All glamorised to the extreme. None of that here. Back to basics and keeping things real is what you’ll get here! No one really shows you what it’s actually like. Well, this morning I thought I best have a tidy up and rearrange of the gear I had thrown in the back of the van before heading off.
Yep, not a pretty sight, but I soon got things organised into a working set-up for the trip ahead. Still not overly pretty, but who cares, it works for me. With that done, after some tea and porridge, it was time to hit the road again.
The weather north of the border had turned overnight into a blanket covering of grey clouds. Well, at least it wasn’t raining (yet). I thought on this journey I would do a bit of potential stopover location research. Good to make the most of the opportunity of spying out a few future potential stopover spots. Some it has to be said were a little bit better than others!
The drive through Glencoe is a part of the journey through the Highlands of Scotland that I really look forward to. The dramatic and spectacular scenery surrounds you on all sides. It is simply breathtaking. It’s a real highlight of the journey through the Highlands of Scotland.
However, today, hmmmm, not so much! Seems like I was now driving through low cloud and rain. You always need to be prepared for any kind of weather (in a single day) in Scotland! Probably makes this an ideal day for travelling rather than admiring the beautiful scenery. As I wasn’t likely to be seeing that much, I took the opportunity for a quick break at the Glencoe Mountain Resort for a tea and a hearty full Scottish Breakfast in a roll (just add Lorne sausage, potato scone and black pudding into the culinary mix).
Clear Skye ahead
Without the natural distraction of the amazing landscape, I made good time on the road and before I knew it, I was crossing over the beautiful bridge to the Isle of Skye. Skye is a great destination in itself, I had a fantastic time here on the last road trip. However, on this trip, the island was just a stepping stone from the Inner Hebrides to the final destination of the Outer Hebrides.
The trouble with that idea is that Skye has some astonishing landscape views of its own to tempt and lure you in with. By now the rain had stopped and these locations were just too good to simply drive past. They’re not the tallest mountains in the world, but there is something that is truly captivating about seeing the mountains in Skye. I drove around one corner of a road and came across this panoramic view across the loch.
The golden hour sun was peaking through the clouds and it quite literally made me say ‘wow’ out loud to myself. Not sure if a photo could really do it justice or not, but I quickly pulled over to try and capture the scene. It’s the scene OK, but that moment will live in my heart! That’s what road trip memories are all about. The lasting memories they create inside you.
One good thing about all the rain in Scotland is that it fuels numerous mountain waterfalls. And let me tell you, there are plenty of spectacular waterfalls on display as you drive around! I had to pass by (so, therefore, really I had to stop) the incredible Mealt Falls with Kilt Rock (in the background). They say all rivers run to the sea. Just that some rivers do it in way more style than others! Simply spectacular. I love waterfalls! 🙂
On this trip, I was trying to find new spots to camp out or stopover at. However I really loved the previous time I stopped at Staffin, so it was really hard to not visit there again! Unfortunately, it was a bit busier than the last time I visited, but still plenty of room to stop over for the night.
Staffin made an ideal spot for the night. I had again covered a good distance today, and the Uig Ferry port was now just a short drive away in the morning. So another early start, and I can catch my first ferry of the trip over to the Outer Hebrides…