On Tour NC 500 – Day 2

On Tour Travelog – Day 2
Friday 1st June

Welcome back to Day 2 which has been all about travelling from Grassington, West Yorkshire to North Berwick in East Lothian – yes we are now in Scotland where we are staying for the next two nights.

OK the first job this morning was to remove the ‘towing eye’ from the front of Doris after yesterday’s balls-up except of course it has got bent in the process so I can’t get it out and on top of that as it has been bent it has damaged the front fairing.

Life can be a bitch so now it looks as if it is going to be a permanent fixture until a least we get home.

On the positive side I now have a permanent tethering point for the dogs rather than be buggering about trying to get the twirly bloody tethering points into the ground – and 

Doris has a spare eye. 😄

We had a long walk with the dogs prior to leaving Wharfedale which took us around a heritage site administered by Harrogate District who have done a fantastic job of providing a “talking” box explaining how the lime quarry and kilns operated.

You have to respect and – at least I think you do – admire those who are not only interested but committed to protecting our industrial heritage and history.

A:- Is that just a view people hold as they get older?

Anyway the journey to North Berwick started with the first fifty miles taking us across the rolling Yorkshire Dales which are simply beautiful and via quaint villages into the North Yorkshire town of Ripon.

Many who know my anti-views on religion will probably be surprised that I was impressed as we entered Ripon to see the front facade on Ripon Cathedral towering over the town.

To say it is impressive does it an injustice but as an originally Catholic and then Anglican Cathedral its whole purpose was and is to remind the population not only in Ripon but for miles around that the power resided not with them but with the monarch and religious leaders.

It was all about politics then and remains so today.

At least that’s my opinion.

Anyway from Ripon we headed up the A1M towards Durham and Newcastle.

A:- Am I the only one who cannot for the life of me understand why people ‘steam’ past you on a motorway and then pull in front of you and slow down to a speed that is less than that you were doing when they were behind you? 

Bloody simpletons.

Now for another rant – 


We pulled into Durham Services which was packed so I thought I’d fill up with diesel which was fine until – I know I should have checked – I realised the price was 157.9p a litre or £7.10 a gallon.

That’s at least 24p a litre more than we pay in Devon and as it turns out also where we stopped next – Washington Services – where the price was 133.7p a litre.

So how to sum it up?

Esso – Durham Services – you suck and my advice to anyone travelling North is stop before or after Durham.

Unless that is you enjoy being taken for a ride by rip off Britain at its best.

A:- the problem, or issue connected with driving for long periods of time on a motorway is boredom which brings me the point which is if ever there is an example of the definition of futility it is the sign that says “Check your distance – Keep Two Chevrons Apart”. 

Absolutely no one pays it any attention.

So onwards and upwards past Newcastle and Berwick on Tweed which still comes as a surprise to some people that it is in England even though their football team play in the Scottish Leagues.

A:- Back to the instruction of remaining “two chevrons” apart – I’m in a three ton motorhome trying to stay two chevrons apart from a bloody Audi A5 doing over 75mph – do you know how difficult it is to comply with the law? 😜

Until at last we travelled up a hill and there before us – apart that is a fantastic view – on the roadside was a huge Scottish Flag welcoming us into Scotland.

Now for those who are interested – and even if you’re not I’m still going to say it – the roads from Devon all the way up and through England are a bloody disgrace. 

In the Caribbean a taxi driver once told me that drivers had to have a PhD test to qualify which was ‘Pot Hole Dodging’ – well it would be nigh on impossible to qualify on roads across Emgland.

The point is that as you enter Scotland there are signs put up by the Scotland Highways Agency telling you that they are responsible for maintains the roads and yes folks the roads in Scotland – even the worst of them – are immeasurably better than those in England.

A:- Here’s a thought England Highways – rather than spending billions on upgrading the technology to make our motorways “smart” how about repairing the road surfaces first? 

I know it may be a novel idea but I suspect most drivers would prefer a smooth road surface to being told they are exceeding the speed limit or why they are stuck in yet another traffic jam. We have a radio to tell us that.

OK so Scotland it is and 60 miles north of Berwick on Tweed we arrived at the Yellowcraig Caravan and Motorhome site in East Lothian.

To be reminded as we drove towards it that East Lothian claims to be the originating place of Scotland’s Flag – who knew that?

The site is only three hundred metres – yards to you imperial measure fanatics – from a beautiful sand beach reached via a wood and sand dunes.

The dawgs absolutely loved it and tomorrow we are going exploring down into North Berwick itself but for now it’s proseco time – happy face – ( I suspect alcohol may play a role in the next four weeks).

You may also notice that spread out amongst these ramblings are a number of photographs as documentary proof that not only are we travelling but also some of the minutiae and nonsense and random thoughts that occur during our travels.

By the way the weather in Scotland is fantastic and not only that the people are so friendly belying the myth that all Scots are miserable bastards brought about by having to live in a continually freezing cold and wet climate.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.