Saturday, June 20, 2009

Camping Through Scotland - Part 1

We have not had an internet connection for a while so I will post what we have been up to in several parts.

It has been quite an adventure since we landed in the UK The ferry ride from Amsterdam was a bit stormy, but did not bother us too much. Unfortunately, in our rush to leave the ship, we left our jackets in the stateroom. Four hours, one phone call, and one appeal in person later, we recovered Tim's jacket, but my jacket was never "turned in" by the staff. Someone on the DFDS Seaways crew has a a brand new Patagonia rain coat to enjoy. While we were waiting for the ship to get back to us about our jackets, we found an outlet mall nearby so I was able to buy a cheap replacement. With the wind and rain we've encountered lately, I sure do miss my nice coat. Needless to say, the crappy customer service from DFDS did not start us off on the right foot here in the UK.

Our first night, we stayed in South Shields. Our room turned out to be located above a pub and was actually quite cute. More importantly, we discovered Asda next door. It is part of the WalMart family and has become our new best friend. Whenever we need supplies, we look for an Asda.

From South Shields, we drove west and found a 7 mile long hike along Hadrian's Wall. It was our first experience hiking through pastures with sheep right next to us We learned how to follow trail markers through open fields, climb over fences in the approved manner, and not to worry the sheep. The visitor center in Once Brewed has tons of info on the area, Scotland, and the UK in general.

We spent two nights in Glasgow where, as true idiots from the Pacific Northwest, we decided it would be neat to camp our way through Scotland. The weather had been in the upper 50's, raining occasionally, and windy as often as not so why not? We loaded up at Tiso (Scotland's version of REI right down to the ice ax door handles) with the "festival package" camping set and have been augmenting our gear ever since.

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