Aviemore to Glasgow


Another day another place. Packed up ready to leave on our way back to Glasgow we check out and pay the stupid electric bill of about £12.00.

After a couple of hours we arrive in to Glasgow city centre where I will collect a kilt which I have hired for Lauren and Chris’s wedding this Saturday at Winton Castle, Edinburgh. I decided not to bring mine as it would add a lot of weight to our already heavy luggage.
Job done with everything fitting as intended we head off to my sisters house in the east end of the city where we meet a couple of my Nieces for the first time. Freya and Lucy are a couple of live wires and great fun with endless energy and laughter which will keep everyone busy for years to come. Interestingly Lynns house is built on the ground of our old school where we both attended John Street Secondary.



Our great old friends Helen & John Black have generously invited us to stay at their house tonight (and any more nights) and we leave the east end and head for the town of East Kilbride where we lived for a number of years. East Kilbride was a relatively new town when we left and seems to have grown since we last lived there. Like old times we head off to the local pub and have a feed and a couple of drinks before heading back to the house for a much overdue catch up where time flys and before we know it, bed time arrives and we turn in knackered as usual.

Aviemore to Lochinver

This morning is pretty cold and the car has a thin covering of ice on it. We remember this all too well and certainly have not missed it having moved to Australia. We find that we have stuffed up as in our rush to turn of the switches we left one which was in the conservatory and has been on all night. At least we have a warm room this morning to have a heat in.
Another Scottish food we have misses is the Plain or Square loaf of bread with lovely crusts and at the start and end of the loaf there is always a fatter slice which when toasted and smothered in butter is to die for. This becomes our breakfast and we will revisit this event as we travel.


On the road again we head north passing the capital of the Highlands, the city of Inverness and later the town of Ullapool where the ferries sail to the Stornaway.



As we leave Ullapool the scenery is absolutely stunning and we stop several times to take it in. The weather is the classic Scottish mix of mist, rain followed by bright sunshine, this creates amazing vistas through the mountains and glens. It’s strange that we have swapped roadkill of Kangaroos etc in Australia for Stags and Pheasants in Scotland. We motor on and arrive in Lochinver which has one Main Street, a pier for the fishing boats and the Culag hotel,where myself and Kaz met 36 years ago.

We visit some of the old places but whatever feeling we thought there might be it didn’t really happen but we ticked the bad and are happy to head out and back to


On the way south we stop in Ullapool for lunch before continuing down via Inverness and arrive back in Aviemore. This time we head for the Cairngorm mountains and drive up what we call the Ski road.



We get to the base of the mountain where there is now a railway which takes skiers to the runs but we have a walk around the areas we know well from all those years ago and we find it strange that we now live in Australia and are back as overseas tourists. With the freezing wind in our ears we head back down the mountain taking some pictures of the scenery with a great view of Loch Morlich. Arriving back to the country club we are not happy that the logs we ordered for the fire have not been delivered and we face a wee chilly highland night.

Glasgow to Aviemore


After another great sleep we are up and ready for a busy day. Karen’s niece Hazel has generously offered to drive us out to Glasgow airport where we are collecting a hire car for the duration of the Scottish leg of the trip.
This morning the rain is falling but the forecast is for this to stop by lunchtime. Hazel navigates the morning traffic and in no time we arrive at the hire car area. We get the usual offers to upgrade the car to an Audi wagon with leather etc but we don’t care and only take what we ordered.


Interestingly we are offered roadside assistance this is due to the fact that the car has no spare wheel !! This is a built in rip off as we have no choice but to ensure we are not left stranded somewhere and this is at a cost of £7.50 a day, shame on that company.
We load the car up with all our luggage, head out in to the Glasgow traffic after 13 years.
Myself and Kaz met 36 years ago in a small fishing village called Lochinver which sits on the extreme west coast of Scotland and today we will head back there via the town of Aviemore which is a ski resort in the Scottish Highlands which we lived in for a couple of years.
We clear the city traffic, head north and are soon in to some amazing scenery which we certainly have missed. Having completed our trip in Australia we are amazed at how small Scotland is as in to time we are driving through Stirling with the castle and Wallace monument in full view and on through the stunning Perthshire countryside and as it is autumn/winter the colours are beautiful.

We motor on and find ourselves taking a photo every two minutes. A great stop on the way north is the town of Pitlochry which is a picture perfect town and is a fantastic reflection of Scotland. We find a great little cottage type cafe for lunch. There is only one dish I am after and I am pleased to see it on the menu “Haggis” with neeps (turnip) and tatties. Kaz gets in to another dish we have missed, breaded prawns called scampi.
The dishes arrive and they don’t disappoint, we tuck in and swap plates for a couple of minutes and before long both plates are cleared, superb.
We get back in the car and continue north to Aviemore which we reach after a very short drive compared to the drives we covered touring Australia. Interestingly the road has lots of speed cameras and point to point versions but there is not one sign informing the driver what the speed limit is on the road and as I guess it is 70 miles an hour which is the national speed limit, I may have speeding tickets placed on my UK license.

We are staying at the Dalfabar Country Club at the north end of the town and have a two bedrooms apartment complete with a sauna.

With the temperature dropping we run round turning on all the panel heaters, sauna and water heater before lighting the log fire. With the heat increasing I sit down and read through the conditions of our stay and get a shock when I read that when we depart we will have an electricity bill to pay for the duration of our stay. We quickly run round and turn off everything we turned on, especially the Sauna and the panel heaters which are notorious for using heaps of electricity and producing not much heat. With the log fire glowing, heating up the room we settle in with a nice glass (bottle) of red and watch some trash TV.


Tomorrow we will drive to Lochinver and turn the clock back 36 years.

Glasgow, Scotland

After yesterday’s travel, last night we slept pretty good. Asleep by ten thirty and awake again about three but not for long and slept until about 8am.
We head up to the local shopping centre where we need to get some business done that we are unable to do from Australia but on the way we stop off at a local cafe and order up a full Scottish breakfast which has all the foods that will narrow the arteries and lead to an early death but boy does it taste good.
Banking sort of done, we have to go back tomorrow for a very stupid reason not worth going in to but a waste of time.
We get down to the train station and jump the train straight in to the city centre and head for Slaters menswear where I get measured for a full dress kilt for the wedding taking place in The Edinburgh on Saturday. The guys in this place are really good and the whole exercise takes about thirty minutes and we will return to have a final fitting on Thursday. With all that out the way we get over to a bar where we are meeting up with two of my sisters one older and the other one the baby of the family and as usual it’s reminiscing for hours and having a few drinks to go with it. Before too long we have to leave as we are invited to Kaz’s brothers house for dinner and we leave the pub in to a horrible rainy night to make our way to central station and on to the train heading for Giffnock. We are,lucky to have dinner prepared for us and we scoff the food and Barry drops us back to our hotel where we crash asleep very quickly.

Melbourne to Glasgow Scotland

This morning we crawled out of be very early 1.30 am Melbourne time and said goodbye to our dogs again. They must be wondering what is going on as we have only been back for a few days. We load our bags in to the car and arrive at Melbourne airport without issue although we do wonder what people on the roads are doing in the middle of the night. We find a parking spot in the long term car park and after five minutes the free bus arrives and takes us round to the terminal. We are flying with Emirates and have upgraded to business class for the first flight which is 14 hours long and will be followed by another seven from Dubai to Glasgow.


We check in and are pleased to be allocated row 6 just behind first class. We don’t hang around, get through security and down to the boarding gate. We have the pleasure of not only getting on first but also turning left on entering the plane. A couple of people tried to follow us on and were told that economy had not been called yet. It must be the way we don’t exactly dress up to fly 14 hours.
Once on board we are escorted to our seats which are 2 pods which convert to flat beds and we also have 17 inch tv’s and are given a set of noise cancelling headsets, socks, eye masks and ear plugs. We are also given his and hers bags with face creams and perfume/aftershaves from Bvlgari. Having settled in we are offered and accept a nice glass of chilled champagne. We have a look through the menus with main dishes being served for lunch and dinner but there are also more dishes that can be requested throughout the flight. This of course includes drinks which can be ordered anytime.
Champagne glass empty and we are ready for take off and as we do I suddenly don’t feel great and a steward spots me not looking to good and as he walks towards me I pass out and end up unconscious. I am then put on oxygen until I return to a normal state. This is now the second time on long haul flights this has happened but unlike the last one where I fell back on to the floor, I stay seated. The thing that came to my mind was, I hope I am allowed to have the food and drinks offered but this was soon put to rest as I scoffed on a nice glass of red and tucked in to some food. Apparently I have very low blood pressure and a slow pumping heart, a great combination.
We both watch a movie are then served fantastic food and recline the chairs in to flat beds and sleep for a few hours. Once awake we are served more food and drinks and again return to watch more movies and TV programs.
As we approach the end of the flight in to Dubai the staff provide us with fast pass cards which means when we get to the terminal we only have to show this card and can proceed straight in to the terminal to make our next flight and our bags were already forwarded and we only have to collect once we arrive in Glasgow.
The next flight brings us down to earth with a bump, we are back in the cattle class with crying babies and no luxuries. Oh well at least this one is only seven hours. We try to change seats as we are not sitting together and Kaz is scared that if I go unconscious again no one will take notice and I may be a flying corpse. The staff tell us as the flight is fully booked there is no way we can be moved and we seperate in to our respective seats. I luck out as I have a Chinese (I think) lady with a kid of about six sitting next to me. Although i must say my luck ran out deep in to the flight when after having our meal China girl fell asleep and turned in to a farting firecracker and I go for the record of how long a person can hold their breath before death occurs.
I thank my lucky stars that she didn’t have access to unlimited food and drinks.
We both mange a couple of hours sleep on this flight and in no time we land in Glasgow where we have gone from 100 degrees in Dubai to 35 degrees in Glasgow but hey the surprise is, it is not raining yet. Pretty sure this will change as the forecast is for the usual dreary weather of overcast and light to moderate rain.
We grab our bags, clear customs and step out back in Glasgow after leaving over 13 years ago. Scott (nephew) of Kaz collects us and delivers us at our hotel for the next couple of days, we drag our cases to the room and off to sleep again after a long, long day.

European Tour Time

Having toured Australia for the last four months which was amazing. Tomorrow morning, Sunday in Australia, we will start the next leg of our tour.


We will fly from Melbourne to Dubai where we will refuel before continuing on to Scotland. We will be there for around ten days before flying to Paris for four days, then on to Italy for nine days. We will then fly out of Venice back to Dubai where we will have a stopover of three nights before heading back home to Melbourne.

I hope to update this site as we travel but that will depend on internet access and time.


Last day of the caravan trip arrives and after last night action with cockatiels, Possums and a family of ducks around the camp.


We pack up for the final time and head off on our way home to Geelong.


We have an easy drive of 3 hours via Horsham which we complete easily and arrive just after one pm. Our Border Collies stand looking at us a bit strangely then rush forward and jump all over us for five minutes then it’s business as usual as they fetch a toy for playtime. We are back for a few days where we will get some business done then off again.

Last Days

Port Augusta to Adelaide

Well last night was pretty peaceful with only one car driving in then out again in the middle of the night. Today the road trip continues as we head to Adelaide where we hope to find some Scottish food to export to Victoria or at least eat some if we can find it. It’s an easy drive of about 300 km and we will stop on the way in Port Wakefield on the east side of the Spencer Gulf for a look around and swap drivers, engine running this time. In Adelaide we will stay at the Levi Park caravan park in Vale Park which is close to the city.

Arrived in Adelaide without issue and set up and off in to the city. There is a bar restaurant here called The Rob Roy Hotel which has in the past had good old Scottish food on its menu and we hope to pig out on it and block some arteries for old times sake.


We finally get parked having mucked about for ten minutes looking for a spot, walk round the corner and in to the hotel where we excitedly grab a menu and both of us have the same look on our face, there is no Scottish food on this menu ??


The trade description people will be hearing from me for sure.

To recover from the shock we have to settle for the other Scottish pastime, drinking.

The menu is a bit boring but the food we ordered was really good. Mini nachos to share, Kaz had the steak sandwich and I had the chicken burger with chipotle sauce.

Deflated we head back to base and attack the river walk at the rear of the camp. It’s a bit like the Barwon river but not as good. It really needs some snake or croc warning signs to make it a bit more interesting. We do a loop around and cover about 7km before returning to base and start to get ready for leaving next morning.

Adelaide to Dimboola, Victoria

Well it’s a funny kinda day as tonight will be our last stop on the Australian part of our Journey. We will stay at a small town just over the border in Victoria called Dimboola. First we stop at a spot with some painted silos which are amazing.



We then arrive at the camp site which is really spacious with spotless facilities.


This towns highlight is the Pink Lake,

now regulars will know we tried to find a pink lake in Esperance, Western Australia which was a waste of time but this time we are very surprised that the promised pink lake is actually pink. It really is quite striking and is made up of salt and algae. The beauty is that it is only 10 km from our Dimboola base. The camp site here is huge and only has a handful of people staying, mostly oldies so it should be a quite night. We try to help the local communitiie by having a drink in the pub but the pub is closed and won’t open until later.
We fuel up ready for our last drive to Geelong and get back to base.

When we started the trip Kaz brought along a nice bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne which will be opened on our last night.
Now having chilled it for four months we pop the cork and celebrate the Australian leg of the trip and look forward to the European leg to come.


We will head off early tomorrow and be back home around lunchtime where our two Border Collies Shana and Max will be surprised to see us having been spoiled by the lovely Rebecca for months.

Streaky Bay to Port Augusta

Streaky Bay to Port Augusta

Got up packed up and on the road to Port Augusta by 8.30am where we will have a drive of about 400 km. First 200 by me and Kaz will drive the rest.


Beautiful morning here and we motor pretty fast due to very little Saturday morning traffic. All going well we pull in to do our driver swap and a cereal breakfast. Then Kaz turns the key and click, nothing and for the second time the bloody thing won’t start. Luckily this time we are in a service station and looking around we spot our victim who we will ask to provide us a jump start. I walk up to a white Commodore and set to ask for the aforementioned jump I look inside at the person who is a white woman who has to be in her late 80’s. Now that being bad enough, she only has one eye!! Wtf. Since we are desperate I ask her and she says “sure” and then says “but you should drive my car over as I am scared I would hit yours”. I reply “I’m sure it will be fine” and I make sure that we are both not in front of her as she drives over and I wave her and double check that she is in park and the handbrake is on. I ask her to open the bonnet and the look she gave me told me that this was something she had never considered before now. I pop the bonnet, connect the leads and bang the bloody Pajero bursts in to life just like the last time.
Now the only problem is to make sure Daisy is in reverse and her handbrake is off. This is not as easy as it sounds as she grapples with the gear shifter whilst revving the Commodores engine. She eventually finds reverse and then asks if there is anything behind her before backing up and strangely leaving the servo without buying fuel or even getting out of her car. Poor thing forgot what she drove in for probably and will no doubt run out of fuel before getting home.
Good news for us is we are back on the road and arrive in Port Augusta just after two. Strange kind of place as this is Saturday but the place is dead, this might be as we are slightly out of town where we are staying in another almost free camp. This one is only $7.00 and very glamorous, the car park at the rear of the Central Augusta Football & Community Sporting Club where tonight is presentation night so expect the decibels to rise in to the night.


As we are setting up, right behind us we hear exchanges of gunfire and don’t know wether to run or hit the deck. We then see the sign that in fact behind us across the road is a firing range and there are two cops enjoying themselves shooting their pistols at various targets.


Just as they are driving off they pull in a poor caravaner who only has one brake light and it looked like they wrote him out a ticket. He then messed about and managed to get his lights all working again, ouch.
So far there are about seven vans and three motor homes parked up and everyone is so far very quiet. Tonight we will leave the van attached to the Pajero and plan to leave here pretty early. Tomorrow we will do the same number of km and will end up in Adelaide for the night as we continue our travel back to Geelong. Three states in just under one week, that’s a big effort.

Streaky Bay, South Australia

A nice easy start today and the first day for a while where we are not on the road. Today will be our last day here we have decided. We head up to the office to book one more night and are told that the site we are on has been booked by someone and if we want to stay we have to move sites. For an easy life we agree and move to a site directly across from the one we are on now!!
The people around us can’t quite believe it as they watch us move about ten yards to the other side.
Having risen late, then had breakfast we head off in to Streaky Bay which a great town that sits right on the water with great pier which we walk along and watch the cormorants drying out their wings. Amazingly there are a couple of kids in swimming in the freezing water.


Tonight we are booked on to the courtesy bus from the camp to the local pub in time for happy hour and we head over and check it out. It’s a typical Ozzie pub with betting and three big tv’s showing sports from everywhere.


We have a quick one and then get back to base tidying up for the start of what is the road home and only 1500 km to go. We should be home by mid afternoon Tuesday.
All too soon it’s time to go up and get the bus to the pub and as we get there everyone else is waiting on us, oops. Five minutes later we arrive at the pub which was no mean feat as the driver only had one arm, no joke.
The place is a lot busier than earlier and happy our has started. We grab a couple of drinks and find a seat. We then but raffle tickets and Kaz is convinced we will win. I say really in a country pub? Needless to say we won nothing and the the locals won everything, funny that.
With that done we go next door to the restaurant and order a couple of starters and a couple of mains which were good pub grub stuff not worthy of a photo. We then look round the pub to find our fellow travellers and make arrangements for the one arm driver to take us back to base. This time everyone but us seem to have a one arm joke or story which they all get a laugh from whilst we cringe in the rear seats and are glad to be back in one piece again. Since we have a few long days of driving we get our heads down ready to hook up and hit the road early next morning.