The weather was looking promising for the first trip away of 2022, a weekend jaunt up to the Caravan and Motorhome Club site at Forfar. With the van loaded, at about 11am I set off for my usual pitstop at Sainsburys for supplies and hit the road north. And almost immediately, ran in to traffic. The city bypass was clogged up and for no reason that was discernable. The traffic crawled along and then sped up. No accident or breakdown to be seen.
The was to be something of a pattern for the journey. Onto the M90 it was more and very heavy traffic at the Queensferry crossing and again, no reason for it other than it would seem most of the country heading north for Easter. There was more traffic at Dundee and overall, the trip was a bit slow. But that’s one of the things that camping does to you, it forces you to slow down and live life at a pace you can’t force. I wasn’t too unhappy as the playlist on the stereo was keeping me entertained.
The site was just outside Forfar center and was small but well kept, the wardens doing a great job keeping the grass cut and the shower block clean. I laid claim to my pitch then drove round to the service point to fill up with water. And hit a problem. The position of the taps meant that my water hose didn’t stretch. After some too-ing and fro-ing, I ended up parking the van across the service point and filling up. Next time I think I’ll fill up before I go.
Back to the pitch and the sun was coming out though still a bit chilly. It having been almost 6 months since the last camping trip, I’d forgotten all the tricks to putting the awning up and had a bit of a struggle. But up it went, and it was time for a wander.
There was a Tesco nearby and more supplies were obtained including a bag of Walkers Salt ‘n’ Shake crisps that seem to have been missing from the shelves for a year or so. Back at the van I put some music on, and it was time to get down to some serious reading. I always try to limit the amount of technology I take with me. Camping is a time to turn off from the electronic world and thus all I had with me was my phone and a Bluetooth speaker. That means plenty of time to read.
After dinner it started to get a little chilly and there was a dampness in the air that threatened rain. The van has an excellent diesel heater that seems to have been designed for the Arctic. Turn it up to more than 4 and you bake. There is also a timer function and, anticipating a cold morning, I set it to come on for waking.
I slept ok on Friday night and woke early with the birds. Before the heater came on so there was time to lie under the covers and listen to the world starting to wake up. Then into the showers ( very hot and clean as per Caravan Club standards ) and off for a walk. As its name suggests, the site is next to Forfar loch and the path round is about 5Km. And the first thing I met on the path was a Parkrun coming the other way. I should have brought my running gear but didn’t. The loch is quite picturesque though the sky was overcast and a bit misty on Saturday morning. There was a club of model boat enthusiasts sailing from one of the spits of land that project into the loch.
Part way round, there was a detour to pick up some coffee from a nearby Starbucks. This was fairly expensive coffee as it was part of the A90 services. Some expensive diesel as well at 179.9p, I was glad I had filled up before heading to Forfar.
Finishing the loop of the loch and the coffee, there was time for more relaxing. And a nap. With nothing to do and no way to do the things that normally pass the time, there is ample practice at the art of doing nothing when camping.
With the awning still dry at this point, I took it down to save it getting wet. I have limited drying space at the moment and wet awnings are a pain.
The weather being good, I got out the grill and cooked a steak for dinner. It seemed like most of the rest of the site was cooking outdoors as well and some mouthwatering smells wafted my way as I eat.
There was time to visit the loch again as the sun was going down and it was looking very nice.
I slept poorly that night with, for some reason, all the seagulls in the area deciding to start making noise at 3am. I woke not really having got a good night’s sleep. Sunday was much the same weather wise and after breakfast, I broke camp, hit the service point to drain down the tanks and then off onto the A90 south and home.
All in all, an enjoyable first weekend away. Hopefully as Covid retreats, more travelling will be possible. Plans for more trips have been made. Watch this space.