This month, we had a bit of an adventure. Normally, when we go on holiday, we rent a dog-friendly cottage in an interesting place with lots of walks and fur-friendly places to visit. This time, it was a bit different. No cottage for us – we rented a campervan instead. It was from Big Tree Campervans near Perth who have a fur-friendly campervan.
Simon from Big Tree was very helpful and kind to us newbie campervanners and showed us how everything worked. Well, actually he showed @HeatherAlex while I ran off and explored their garden🙂
The van was bigger than I thought it would be. Lots of room for all our stuff (I need lots and lots of my favourite things when we go away!) and a kitchen and cupboards and a seat that turns round and a clever bed that folds out. Oh, and another bed in the roof – that was VERY clever – not that I was allowed up there in case I fell through the hole in the ceiling.
Now the first thing I noticed when we drove off was that @HeatherAlex was a lot further away from me than she is in a car. I was a bit lonely all the way back there on the seat, so I tried jumping off it a few times, until I was told very firmly to stay put and the harness safety lead was shortened so I didn’t have much choice😦
We drove for quite a bit, with a visit to a place called Ralia for lunch, a quick walk and checking of pee-mail, and finally we ended up in a wee village not far from Inverness called Contin, at the Riverside campsite.
Guess why it’s called that?
Once we’d parked up, it was time to put the roof up because someone kept bumping her head😉 During the day, we could fold up the bed platform so it was out of the way.
If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t entirely sure about this campervanning malarkey. It probably didn’t help that the weather was cold and wet. I did point out that the previous week was lovely and sunny and would’ve been much better but that didn’t cheer anyone up for some reason. I had to be on a lead on the campsite, but I didn’t want to be in the van, so I sat outside for a bit getting wet.
Eventually, we went for a walk in the forest at Contin, which is handily just a few minutes’ walk away down the main road.
It wasn’t a very long walk though because I was a bit fed up and didn’t want to walk very far. Well, it was raining, after all! Life improved when our friend Ally arrived though, and we went for another walk in the wee wood across the road…
Actually, 5 acres isn’t very big at all so it only took us about 10 minutes to walk round the whole wood! I did have to stop and inspect a Giant Squirrel though.
So quite soon we were back at the van, and it was time to celebrate Ally’s big birthday.
I wasn’t allowed any of the chocolate cake (sigh) but I did get some special treats.
It was quite cosy in the van, and the heater worked very well (just as well as it was chilly outside). Bedtime was … interesting. Ally had to climb up into the roof-bed (that was quite fun to watch). We turned the seat into our bed but I was still not very happy about being dragged away from my home, smells, parks and pals, and I slept on the other side of the bed for most of the night just to show I wasn’t very pleased. Until I got too cold and started shivering, so I caved in and snuggled up to keep warm.
The next day we all went for a nice long forest walk. We started at Rogie Falls and worked our way almost all the way back to Contin then turned round and headed back to the car at Rogie.
I was keeping an eye out for deer to chase, but the only deer we saw was carved on a signpost.
We found a great spot for lunch. Someone has built a shelter in the forest and it was big enough for us to sit and have lunch inside it, out of the showers.
Well, to be honest, once the other two were inside, there wasn’t that much room for me!
We added in a detour up to a place in the middle of the forest called View Rock. I think on a sunny day, it would actually be a nice view…
We only got lost once. I didn’t mind as I got to scamper down and back up beside a lovely burn but the other two were muttering under their breath all the way back up the path. Actually it wasn’t really under their breath😉 All in all, though, it was a good walk, and we didn’t get too wet, which was a bonus.
Ally headed off to go to a concert after tea-time and so we had a quiet evening. I did deign to cosy up on the seat while @HeatherAlex was reading, but that was mostly because it was chilly!
On our last day, we decided to drive most of the way back to Perth in the morning and go visit a different wood at The Hermitage near Dunkeld. It’s owned by the National Trust for Scotland, but parking is free for us members.
We just did a short walk of about an hour, but there are much longer ones as well. We went round an interesting trail that had Ossian’s Hall and Ossian’s Cave on it. The Hall is quite small but has a great view of the river…
On the way back to the van, we met loads of people in red and yellow suits and wetsuits, coming up the path. I think it was a rescue team going to practice rescues at the river. I’m glad they had wetsuits though because it was very wet and even more chilly by then!
That was the end of the adventure, because then we took the van back, and I snuggled into my usual spot in the car with some relief. Familiar territory at last! I fear that may not be the end of the story though, as I think we may try again in the future to see if I can be persuaded to enjoy it. We will see……..