Christmas Holidays, Uncategorized

Christmas in Skye

In October we made the decision to take off on Christmas day and head to Skye. I booked our favourite campsite so we was all set. Due to the current situation we wasn’t even sure if it would go ahead but we took our chances and kept everything crossed.

By Christmas eve was pretty much organised just had a few bits and pieces to pack. We had our festive dinner with the family opened presents so we was ready to get up the next day and head off.

On Christmas morning it was lovely weather so we took off up the road. The van was loaded with food from the leftover dinner from the night before and I had picked up a large cheese board from the Ugie house hotel.

The road was pretty quiet just a few cars on the go so it turned out to be a rather enjoyable drive up the road. I did get a bit car sick but that was my own fault for not eating in the morning before leaving. We did make a fresh air stop that sorted me out. When we got to Dornie we couldn’t resist a wee stop at Eilean Douan Castle for a quick photo.

Eilean Douan Castle

We didn’t far to go after that once we was over the bridge Camping Skye at Broadford is only few miles along the road.

We arrived just after lunch time the campsite was quite full with a few campers with their Christmas lights on.

This is our van at night!

So we got all set up then got our cheeseboard out I was starving by then.

Ugie House cheese board!

Then it was feet up put on a film and chill out for a while. Just as the sun was setting we took a wee walk up the woods so the dogs could get a run about. The weather was lovely all though it was pretty chilly.

Sunset on Christmas day

Back at the van we watched more films and enjoyed the peace of a alternate Christmas day.

We spent Boxing day the way Boxing day was ment to be spent! Being lazy watching tv and eating snacks. We did make some plans for the next day though!

Twixmas began so thought we would motivate ourselves and go for a walk with the dogs. We took a wander along to the old pier and Irishmans point the weather was great and the dogs love that wee walk.

Broadford

The 28th of December was my day cause well it was my 44th birthday I had it planned for ages that I wanted to go to the fairy pools. I got up in the morning opened all my presents realised that everyone thinks I smell cause I got a load of smelling stuff from Dove shower gel, perfume and a Boots voucher.

Thank you to my amazing husband who got me a pair of dream Fjaraven leggings that are totally lush and super comfy. Once we were dressed we headed off moving the van for the first time since we arrived.

The weather was amazing although a little frosty we couldn’t have asked for a better day. We was about 30 miles from Glenbrittle so it didnt take too long to get there although we did take our time as the road was a little icy but least it was quiet. The carpark wasnt too busy so knew we had picked a good time to come.

It still as spectacular as I remember and the dogs just loved it we had a great time exploring. It isnt a massively long walk but enough to feel like you have done something.

Fairy Pools

We took a run in the van to Glenbrittle bay for a wee look after the Fairy pools it is stunning and we will definitely go back in the summer.

Glenbrittle

We was hungry after all that but wasnt sure if anything would be open. At the turn off we thought we had a wee look along at Carbost see if anything was open there and found a wee pub called the Old Inn. They didnt have a huge menu but the food was good and the view was excellent think this is one my favourite photos of the year.

Carbost

The rest of my birthday was spent chilling out watching films and ended it with a couple gins which I regretted the next day now I know why I dont drink more than 2 gins!

On the 29th we woke up and the weather was pretty horrible so we binged watched all the soaps in bed till late morning. We got up, ate brunch and watched more soaps. Once the weather improved I took a walk into the wee market square for a look around the shops. There were plenty of lovely items in the shops but I didn’t purchase anything.

Broadford

We finally motivated ourselves at tea time to go out for something to eat at Cafesia which was lovely as usual. We have been there many times and never been disapointed.

It rained most of the night and into the next day so it was just a chill out day for us just watching films on Netflix and just enjoying chilling out. We woke up on the 31st with yet more rain but we decided we needed to get out today. Once the rain went off a bit we took a walk up the woodland trail up the back of the campsite.

There is a lovely spot with a bench about a mile or so into the walk which usually has great views. Unfortunately there was nothing to see! The dogs had fun though and it was nice to get out for a wee bit! Later on we took in New Year watching the fireworks that were being set off down in the village and listening to the loan piper on the tv it was perfect!

Before we knew it, it was the 2nd and it was time to head home or was it! Well I hate going home so another night away maybe. So we headed back to Aviemore and got lunch at Ballavoulin which was lush before going up to the Cairngorm centre.

We came back down to the Coire na ciste carpark for the night. They have a great facility there for campervans there was a few parked up but it was very windy which did not bother me but at about 2am my husband got up and moved the position of the van so it wasnt getting such a battering. I was delighted to waken up in the morning so a lovely covering of snow! Which was the perfect end to the perfect holiday we had!

Cairngorms

https://campingskye.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Ugie-House-Hotel-Restaurant-383515521828245/

https://www.theoldinnskye.co.uk/

https://www.cafesia.co.uk/

https://thebalavoulin.co.uk/

https://www.cairngormmountain.co.uk/

Vanlife

Everything and the Kitchen sink part 3!!!

I am pretty sure I have covered most of our stuff in part 1 & 2. I you are maybe thinking that some amount of stuff we take. Part 3 may also be extensive.

Might as well start with my camera equipment. I have a small camera ruck sack that fits my Canon 70d, my Sony dsc wx500, charging cables and tripod. In the wee pocket in the front I manage to fit in a note book, pens, micro fibre cloth to clean lenses and a wee helpful tip sheet that I got with my camera that I refer to often.

I do have another we Osprey camera bag that is handy for taking my Sony pocket camera if I am going for a walk. I also have yet another bag with the Gopro in that I don’t often use but don’t want to leave it home just in case πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. All these bags either stay on the bed during the day or in the foot well. Not ideal storage but can’t have everything perfect.

Speaking of storing stuff on the bed. We recently purchased two dry robes from Two Bare feet that are great for going to showers at campsites. Chucking on if it is cold in the evening when your sitting out or just wearing in general if the weather is horrible. These are just kept on the bed during the day so they are handy just to grab and we just transfer them to the front seats at night!

Just above our front seat. We have a great wee cupboard that Mr C built by extending the original shelf and adding in a partition and a door. He did a good job for a digger driver! In here we have to fit in all our clothes.

A lot of careful thought has went in to what clothes I take for us. Well not really I just keep putting in till I can’t fit anymore. But I tend to take trousers/shorts, t-shirt and fleeces that are light easy to wash and dry. A couple hoodies each and I take a couple pairs of jeans with a nice top in case we go out for our tea or something. In reality I have never worn the jeans yet and one day I won’t bother taking them! We have both got compact waterproof jackets and quilted jackets that we keep in the cupboard too! I do try and have it semi organised with a side each and in the middle there are a box each for underwear, socks, pjs and dookers! There isn’t really much room left once I’ve stuffed all that in but I do have enough for a couple towels, a spare bed sheet!

The last few things we have in the cupboard are our toilet bags. Instead of toilet bags I actually use dry bags. One big one that holds everything and one smaller that has the essentials.

Our toilet bag isn’t very extensive. We take one tin of deodorant that we share, Mr C has his own shower gel it’s meant to be a 2 in 1 hair and body but we didn’t have any I’m sure he wont notice. I have two bars of soap one is for face and body and the other is a conditioning shampoo. I got these locally from Heavenly Favour I will post the link below! I just take a wee jar of moisturiser, lip balm, couple hair bobbles, perfume, shower capand of course toothbrushes and toothpaste. My last wee bag is for my hair, a travel hair drier, brush and straightners but I don’t use that often honestly when we are away I am not particularly fussed how I look!

I am almost there though just our heads and feet! Footwear wise I take for each of us a pair of good trainers, a pair of walking trainers and a pair of sandals along with the hiking boots in th boot. These are stored under the passenger seat. Last thing is woolly hats and neck tubes they just stay on the dash board!

Really hope this wasn’t too boring and all makes sense! Feel free to ask me any questions on packing or give me some tips!

Thanks for reading Tracy x

Dry robe link https://www.twobarefeet.co.uk/wetsuits/accessories/changing-robes/two-bare-feet-classic-print-weatherproof-changing-robe-ice-blue.html

Shampoo and soap bars https://hfheavenlyfavour.ecwid.com/

Vanlife

Everything including the kitchen sink part 2

The first part I gave you a complete lowdown of our shite shelf! It is nothing compared the amount of stuff we have in the boot!

Last year we took the plunge and purchased a couple of mountain e-bikes which with the front wheels off fit nicely in the boot at one side and the front wheel stored at the other side! We also take out the batteries so they are much lighter to lift in and out.

Once the bikes are in it does leave a fair bit of space. We have some essentials like a toolbox and some levelling chokes that I try to avoid using as I never set them right.

This holiday we have decided to take two awnings with us along with the one that is mounted on the side of the van. We have a small base seconds pop up tent that is a great piece of kit that goes up in seconds for staying at places for one night. Unfortunately they are discontinued but they are similar ones online but way more expensive that what we paid.

Pop up awning beside our old van.

Our second one is a Vango airhub hex which actually comes in a drive-away awning style but we decided we didnt want the faff and bought a stand alone one. It also only takes a few minutes to go up and is great if we are staying somewhere for a few days and needing extra space.

The Vango airhex

Outdoor furniture wise we take a couple large comfy outside folding seats and a small table.

We also have a large Cadac (gas grill) which is great for cooking inside the awning or outside. We have been cooking more in the van lately but it is still handy to take along if we are cooking a lot at a time.

The Cadac

Think that is pretty much our lot in the boot apart from so other bits and pieces. A wee fan heater if it’s cold and we have a electric hook up, a electric hook up cable, a cordless Dyson hoover, extra bottles of water, a 12v shower, some fire wood and fire pit if we are somewhere we can use it, some hiking boots and of course the dogs food.

That is pretty much all the storage apart from the clothing cupboard that is coming in the next part. We do some net bags beside the bed are that are handy for holding wee stuff like remote controls, dogs leads and my pocket mountains books.

We try and give everything their own wee place and keep everything tidy as much as we can! Part 3 coming soon! Once I’ve finished actually packing!

Thank for reading Tracy x

Vanlife

Everything and the kitchen sink! Part 1

After year’s of van life my packing skills have came a long way! I do kind of know what I need and don’t need allegedly I am pretty sure my husband may not agree!

I might as well start at the top! With what is know as the shite shelf. Think that kitchen drawer that everyone has the one with all the crap in. So first up first aid kit, liquid talc (ace for chub rub), wipes when you can’t get a wash! Selection of tablets and tiger balm in case we walk or bike too much and get sare bits!

Next up on the shite shelf. A few DVDs just in case it’s pissing we rain and we have no signal. I’ve a wee jar for my sea glass Mr C would chuck at oot but it’s staying. Also got some doggy treats, poop bags and some sweeties cause well you do need sweeties!

Better get back to the more essential stuff though! Midge repellant I think we have pretty much a thing covered here! Beastie be gone a tried and tested balm that not only repels the wee buggers it’s soothes bites too! http://www.andersonaromatics.co.uk/ Smokin Midge a new piece of kit that helps smoke the wee buggers oot. I’ve not tried this yet but it come highly recommend! https://www.thesmokinmidge.com/ Also got some bug off wax melts https://wanderingstarwax.com/ Also got a couple nets and some oil that we can put in to the fans beside oot bed!

As well as the midge wax melt I take a selection of other melts. Which is great for getting rid of the smell of cooking in the van and makes it more homely!

Moving down in to the actually kitchen cupboard area. We have 1 cupboard that has the usual stuff, plates, cups, gin mugs, cutlery, foil & cling film. Coffee, salt, sweetness, cup a soups and crackers. We all take a wee gas stove and gas so if we run out or just want to boil the kettle outside we can!

In the cupboard that has the water tanks in I take some cleaning stuff and a bowl that I can use for washing! Also the most important a good selection of gin & whisky!

Last kitchen cupboard we have our main gas for the hob and oven. The kettle, baking tray, a few pans and ridge monkey which we use most of all for cooking https://ridgemonkey.co.uk/product/connect-multi-purpose-pan-and-griddle-set

Last of all we even make most of the space in the sink by having a wee basket containing cleaning wipes, black bags, washing up liquid, a couple tea towels and cloths. The basket is easy to lift out when we need to use the sink.

I think this is going to have to be in 3 parts cause well I dinna realise how much stuff we actually take πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚! Part 2 coming soon!!!

Post includes some gifted items!

Thank you for reading I hope its helpful! Tracy x