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Sunday, 26 October 2014

First trip with Minnie

Who’s Minnie?  Well, Minnie is a campervan I just bought!  Have you always wanted one? So many of my friends are admitting to, now!  Well I’ve often had the notion, but recently, after a summer where I didn’t really go anywhere, except for my week in Doune, I decided to think seriously about the idea!  I looked at various websites, looked up Scottish sellers (easier to buy from, as to travel a great distance to collect seemed a bit daft), and eventually found one that I really liked the look of!  Good age and mileage, nice layout and a make that friends definitely recommended.  Off went my email to the seller to say I was interested and could I have a look at it.  Back came the reply with a phone number to call, and that very afternoon I took myself off to Fife to take a look.

The van was great, and on the advice of a campervan owning friend, I decided to offer for it!  Offer accepted, we shook hands on the deal.  The seller was delightful, and made every effort to make sure everything was perfect for my taking it over, so a couple of weeks later, on Monday there, I returned to Fife – by bus this time – to collect and drive Minnie home to Peebles.  It was my idea to call her Minnie!  All my cars have had names, from Daisy and Susie, my very first Austins, through the Minis -  Dougal, Charlie, Ivy  and Bil  - yes one L.  It’s Swedish for car – to my mother’s Mitsubishi Metal Mickey, and the rest – Peugeots Betty and Belinda, to Smudge then Sukie who I still  have for now– just in case Minnie and I don’t make it together!!

So yesterday, after a very busy few days, and in need of some relaxation, I set off with Minnie to collect my friend Morag, for a trip to St Mary’s Loch, not so very far away, where we would have lunch.  It was a lovely day with blue sky and puffy white clouds as we drove down the country roads, through bright autumn coloured beech woodland, to reach the loch. tibbie shiels inn The sun was glinting on the white painted historic inn, Tibbie Shiels, named for the 18th century widow who began it, and nearby, yachts and sails shone at the marina.  at glen cafeWe parked up on a piece of land beside the Loch o’ the Lowes, once part of the glacial St Mary’s loch but separated now by millennia of alluvial debris washed down from the burns flowing from the hills on either side of the valley into the loch, eventually cutting it in two.  alan ingramTibbie’s is built on the isthmus – wow, there’s a word – but the parking area is alongside the smaller loch – quite choppy yesterday with the blustery wind that had risen as we arrived.

The above three photos are not my own.  I thank the photographers for the use of them.

loch o the lowes

It was pretty cold too, but the sun was shining its rays through the clouds over the loch and hills.Mo and Minnie


However, inside the van we enjoyed our ham and chicken salad, followed by chocolate brownies and yoghurt, and eventually a cup of tea, once I discovered which knobs to use to turn on the gas bottle and the cooker!  me and minnie3

We braved the cold so Mo could take another photo of me me and minniewith Minnie before we set off home again.

It had certainly been very relaxing just sitting in the van, being rocked by the wind, watching the waves and the weather as it passed over changing from sun to rain and back!  Heading home the sun was behind us so better for taking photos.  Unfortunately the autumn colours didn’t come out terribly bright.  I think I used a wrong setting on my camera!  st mary's loch

This one is looking over to St Mary’s Loch from where we were parked, while the next one gives a glimpse of Tibbie’s amongst the trees.tibbie shiels

I think the best photo I took of the autumn colours was this one, looking through from the road to St Mary’s Lochst mary's, but it isn’t a patch on the true colour! 

We are having a wonderful autumn for colour this year.  Shame I didn’t capture it this time!


So on the way back, the sun came out again and once again we got the blue sky and puffy clouds.  gordon armsThis is looking down the Yarrow valley to the Gordon Arms Inn, where the road turns off towards Peebles again, paddy slack view2and further on this is the view from the road called the Paddy Slack to Lee Pen, the hill overlooking Innerleithen in Tweeddale.  The Paddy Slack took its name from the French, Pas du lac, the road to the lake (or loch in Scotland,) having been constructed by French prisoners of the Napoleonic war who were billeted in Tweeddale. traquair mill lee pen

Almost at the bottom of the road there’s another lovely view of Lee Pen with Traquair Mill in the foreground, and here today I will end my trip – only a few miles to go to Peebles.

Next time I’ll continue my story of the Knoydart visit which I started last time.  Time may be easier to come by in the next wee while, as up till now things have been manic, with an urgent visit to the eye clinic included because my doctor thought the grey curtain I was seeing over half of my left eye, and the flashing lights I had been experiencing could be a retina problem.  Glad to say that after examination by the eye consultant I can report there is nothing wrong and that he thinks I just had an ocular migraine!  Of course I have been warned that if it happens again I go straight to my doctor!  Fingers crossed for no recurrence! 

Talk again soon.


Peggy Ann said...

She's lovely Evee! You'll have such a great time with her. We love camping with our trailer/caravan.

Evelyn/Ev/Evee said...

I'm so looking forward to trips away with Min! Today I bought some bits and pieces to keep in the van, and Morag has said she will make some cushions for it! Hope it will soon be home away from home!

Mary said...

What a great buy... it looks in very good condition.
Long may you enjoy it.

Evelyn/Ev/Evee said...

It's in beautiful condition, Mary, and was never camped in! The last owner had a health problem that left him without sight for a long while. He's recovering well now though, with reasonable vision again, but finds driving very stressful now, hence his reason for selling. I was just lucky to be there at the right moment. Can't wait for my first camping trip!