Last week you left us in Scotland, about to meet up with friends to celebrate a 60th birthday.
To be fair out of the 10 of us there, 5 of us had their 60th’s this year as well 1961 being an excellent year. Catherine was the only one whose birthday allowed us to meet up since Covid hit so we were all so happy to be able to meet up for the first time in so long.
As luck would have it we were blessed with good weather and on the first day we arrived after everyone else, so walked after them from our Campsite at Sandyhills, to small village called Rockcliff. We discovered that Scotland does not have pubs in every village, so we had to satisfy ourselves with an ice cream and a soft drink from a Mr Whippy van. But we had no cash and due to the lack of signal, he could not take card payments, but he gave us our drinks and Ice cream with his bank account details and asked us to pay later. I don’t think we would get away with that in an Irish pub! and yes, he has been paid!
We met up with the rest of the crew on the beach and headed back a round trip of 15.2 miles and 104 floors on the app, we were knackered to say the least. Catherine had organised a house for everyone but the road in was too narrow for ‘Buster’, so we had a 1 mile walk to the van door to door. Liz a true local said she had an easier walk for the next day, up a hill it but much shorter and so would not be too difficult after the days long walk. So, we were all in on that, meet at the gate at 9.30 the next morning.
What we were presented with could be fairly called a mountain! In less than 2km we climbed over 135 floors, on the app! If we were exhausted the day before this was a new level of tired.
Liz did thankfully take us to a pub on the way back. But we were a lot more careful at Liz’s suggestions over the next two days. For the most part the weather held fine, and the four days were great fun, games and laughter.
Now it was time to leave Scotland and head south again as we had more friends to see, and culinary delicacies had been promised. So, a long drive to Stockton to see Lisa and Danny who spent 1st lockdown with us in Turkey and we had last seen in Serbia last June.
We were able to park up beside there flat and stayed two nights, we went to a restaurant called Carpaccio in Stockton, it serves the best ‘Parmo’ in the Northeast, for those of you that have never tried this before, you are in a for a treat. Have the Plain Parmesan, A Chicken breast in breadcrumbs, pan fried, covered in bechamel sauce and cheddar cheese, lightly grilled.
After we had added about a stone to our weight and then it was back to the van for some reminiscing, all I can say is we might have overdone it slightly! Back up the next morning and relaxing trip on the boat to Yarm, which is very cute. But our pace had slowed, and we were so tired we had to retire early injured. Again, time with friends is what life is about and we have had a joyous week with Friends.
We are going to visit our friends in Elddis on Monday so we are staying nearby at the Derwent Reservoir. You can stop off here with fantastic views over the reservoir and there are amazing walks nearby. The visitor centre is great and the staff are so helpful, if you fish you can do that here. You can get a starter kit as well. The cost of your parking is only £10 for the night. There are toilets at the visitor centre and dustbins. No water or waste disposal, if the sky is clear you will see so many stars, and yes there is a pub nearby as well.
So until next week keep well, love your friends and enjoy life, it is too short.