Now, I’m not asking for sympathy, but I was ready for this week’s holiday. Being a year six teacher, school has been mildly stressful since Christmas, with the run up to SATs seeming to occupy nearly every waking moment. But, the dreaded SATs happened in the middle of May and a huge sigh of relief followed in the couple of weeks after. There was nothing more I could do now, other than switch off and look forward to the Spring Bank holiday.
Killin caravan site had been booked for a while, primarily to enable Geoff and his mate Hamish to go off cycle touring with tents for four days. The doggies and I would be back up back at base, keeping an eye on Hamish’s van as well.
And of course, once they’d departed on their adventure, the dogs and I could do whatever we wanted for a few days.
We were very decadent. Each morning, after taking the dogs out for their ablutions, a cup of tea was made and taken back to bed, where we all watched the news for an hour or so. A leisurely breakfast then followed, before a pleasant wander in the local area.
Nothing major was undertaken, but each day I made up a 7 or 8 mile easy route starting from the village.
For anyone who doesn’t yet know, a couple of months ago Tilly was in absolute agony with a slipped disc/trapped nerve and has undergone a 6 week period of treatment with both a cocktail of drugs and vastly reduced exercise.
She is, however, now pretty much back to normal – thank goodness. A bit of fitness still needs to be built back up again though, and I’m still a touch wary of pushing her too hard yet, but things are looking good.
The first couple of days were actually a bit rainy and I didn’t even take my camera out with me, but things did improve after that and the weather turned quite sunny and pleasant.
We also did decadent things in the afternoons, like sit in the sunshine and eat cake.
All too soon though, the wanderers were back from their cycling adventure, full of stories about steep hills, beautiful camping spots and midges. I suggested that the next day, they joined me and the doggies for a walk.
Dixie seemed to particularly enjoy herself this day.
And somehow, on this afternoon, we seemed to end up in a pub on the way back through Killin.
Unfortunately, Hamish had to return home the next day, but the weather was absolutely glorious and we had another nice wander before we too had to set off back the day after.
Dixie found a nice stick today.
Anyway, Saturday dawned, and it was time for us to start wending our way home. We often go away on holiday in one day’s worth of driving, but find that we like to take it more slowly going home. Seems to make the trip feel longer somehow. So, after breakfast, we packed up and headed off down to Coquetdale, in Northumbria.
This top end of the valley is part of the MOD training grounds in the Cheviots and we spent a very peaceful night wild van camping here. There was no ‘shooting’ going on, but there was some activity in the form of various soldiers creeping down the road from time to time, carrying guns and looking rather purposeful. The site of our van and the sound of our doggies woofing, did seem to make them smile, though. In fact, I even heard some of them saying ‘woof, woof,’ back……
And what a glorious, sunny morning Sunday was, too.
Far too nice not to take advantage of.
So, a couple of hours wander around the Pennine Way, set us up nicely for the rest of the journey home.
And anyone who fancies finding out exactly what Geoff and Hamish got up to on their bikepacking trip, can click here.