Our diary is usually updated once a week. Add us to your favourites and check back in with us to see what we have been up to this week.
Most of our time has been spent preparing for our big spring adventure, walking the West Highland way, the East Highland way and the Great Glen way before island hopping around the inner and outer hebrides. We are sat in our nice hotel in Glasgow chilling out on the eve of this massive task!
We started February as we ended January, with more fossil hunting. We had a couple of very exciting finds including a 12 inch ammonite and an Ictheosaurs tail!!!! We spent some time in the beautiful Quantock hills of Somerset, a couple of nights in Liverpool, alot of time in our fossil prepping workshop and walked a section of the North Wales coastal path. We have had to change our plans slightly with regard to our up and coming long distance walking trip to Scotland, but the revised plan is better and more adventurous than the last one, so all good.
We have spent all of january searching for fossils on the Jurrasic coast in Dorset. We have had various degrees of success on the beach but have had excellent results from wheeling and dealing our finds from elsewhere. We have seen some old friends, nearly frozen to death and basked in the glorious sunshine. We have woken with ice INSIDE our van and been in t-shirts in the afternoon. We loved watching Wales stuff Scotland in the six nations!
We spent the majority of December in the Dominican Republic. It was so nice to get away from the British gloomy weather and all the nonsense and consumerism that Christmas entails. We spent days on the most beautiful beaches, went hiking in the jungle, snorkelling on coral reefs and in caves. We explored lagoons, went zip lining, kayaking, white water rafting and explored the culture, history and nighlife of the cities. We saw lots of wildlife, from Boa’s, Crocodile’s and Tarantula’s to Dolphin’s and birds of prey. Far to much rum was drank by us both and many coconuts opened in an attempt at recovery. Gutted to be back in the gloom.
13 November 2017
We have spent the week in Yorkshire hunting for fossils with very limited success. The fact that no work was becoming available in that area has meant that we have returned to Sarah’s mums where there is work. We have booked to go to the Caribean for xmas, meaning we miss two of the darkest weeks of the year and some of the insanity too.
05 November 2017
We had a lovely couple of days in the Lake district with Sarhs mum. We did plenty of walking, climbed Red Screes(776m) and enjoyed the hotels spa. We were left starving hungry after having a tiny burger in ‘Hyltons’ of Bowness and had to top up with a takeaway pizza. We are off to Yorkshire tomorrow.
28 October 2017
We have spent almost all week making improvements to our van. Unfortunately we will no longer be fitting a woodburner as i have come across to many difficulties. Our an is looking so much smarter for all our hard work and will be easier to live in too.
21 October 2017
We have had a quiet week in the main. Our van has had a coat of waxoil to protect it during the winter. We had a nightout in Liverpool and really enjoyed our day in the city. We has a nice cycle along the canal with my dad which ended prematurely for me when my chain snapped. We have ordered a woodburning stove for our van!
16 October 2017
This week we have been to see our families and managed to get our van welded. We have also spent some time laying a new floor and making a few other improvements. Been working also.
6 October 2017
In Scarborough this week doing some work and earning some money. We like this little town more each time we come here and discover new things all the time.
27 September 2017
We have left Scotland, well not quite but the bit that matters we have. Called in at Sterling and visited the castle which was terrible. Scottish heritage should be ashamed of the mess they have made of it, and for the prices they charge. Walked 24KM around Edinburgh, a city we dislike slightly more every time we go. Visited the castle, and once again Scottish herritage should be ashamed of themselves, it seems to us that they only exist to sell foreign tourists all sorts of tartan crap and to ruin wonderful monuments. The organisation is very money hungry but the real shortage they suffer is of brain cells it seems. The Pentland hills are very beautiful and remind us very much of the Shropshire hills.
22 September 2017
For the first time, NLG has made us some money!! We climbed four mountains in one day yesterday and Chris has reaised that his seeming weakness last week was actually great wisdom and experiance, aquired over many years of mountain walking. We are sure that, one day, when we have finished our travels, we will settle in this wonderful country. The most beautiful country in the world – Scotland.
The problem we face now, is how, to go back. I don’t know how to go back, to the traffic jams, the shopping centres, the concrete, tarmac and insanity of general life. I never want to leave this sacred place, well away from the madness of the world. The trees, forests, lochs, mountains, the incredible wildlife and the astonishing sense of peace we both have here. Given the choice, we would never leave. Can we cope? I don’t know.
17 September 2017
We bought a new duvet and are mighty glad we did, autumn has come to Scotland. We intened to climb the second biggest mountain in the UK but high winds and snow on the summit prevented us from even attempting it. We simply do not have the equipment with us for those conditions. We focused instead on the forrest and had a nice long walk and cycle. This evening we are preparing for the greatest physical challenge of our lives as we are walking the ‘Ring of Steall’ tomorrow. Five of Scotlands highest peaks in a single day. I’m intimidated, I can tell you that much! UPDATE: Failed. After the first peak we encountered a ridge so narrow Chris was unable to cross it. Sarah was braver. Chris very disapointed.. Will go to sleep tonight thinking less of himself. It was however a rediculous scramble over huge boulders on a ridge inches wide and the shape of a Stegosaurus’s back. One wrong move would have resulted in a fall of hundreds of feet. The walk should be called ‘balls of steall’ not ‘ring of steall,’
11 September 2017
Spent another couple of days at the quarry but didn’t yield much, ended up spending more time chatting with Gambit the lovable crazy Dutch Palaeontologist. Managed to break our generator so now we are going back to the stone age and breaking into the scrabble and cards to amuse ourselves. Visited Wick but didn’t think much of it, its only redeeming feature was the Wetherspoons curry night. Left Wick and visited the hugely impressive Cairns of Camster, Badbea Highland clearance village and the Cain Liath Broch. Managed to sell a few fossils in Golspie and saw a beautiful deer in the woods. Chris has not slept well these past two nights as it has been very cold and Sarah decided she needed all of the duvet!
3 August 2017
This week, we spent three nights on our favourite campsite on the North coast of Scotland. We did very little, enjoyed the nearby stunning beaches playing frisbee and paddling in the icy cold ocean. We climbed the two most Northerly mountains in the UK, tiny altitude wise at 801m and 771m but a mighty challenge with 1200m climbed that day over marsh and knee high grass. Been fossiling, looking for rare Devonian fish. We didn’t think we had done to well until our new friend, a Dutch Palaeontologist told us otherwise. Turns out we have found something mighty special indeed, but it will take some work to present it in a way that dignifies such a remarkable piece.
27 August 2017
We walked two of the Cuillin mountains, an achievment that we are pleased with (read our article ‘two black Cuillins’) and then spent a few days fossilsing rather unsuccessfully. We have had a few nights under siege from the midgies and finished our week by climbing three 3000ft mountains in one day. After spending so much time in places of such stunning beauty, we realise that there are things and places we don’t ever want see again. Out of town shopping centres for example. A Multi-story carpark is another. Does anyone in DFS buying a new carcinagenic sofa ever think that once upon a time on this spot, all there was, was trees? I never want to see a motorway or a motorway que either. What is wrong with people? I was listening to the bank holiday traffic report on the radio. Can’t they see how stupid it is? Look what happens when you give the slaves a few days off.
19 August 2017
We left Fort William because of the weather, we intend to return later in the trip. Now we are on the Isle of Skye. Spent our first day walking The Store (see our exploring Skye article) and the day after we did some fossil collecting. Found more fossils in one day than in all our previous attempts here combined. Nice, high quality specimens too. We had a night out in Portree and spent a day tidying and cleaning our van. Campsite day today today, getting 3 weeks worth of washing done and wallowing in a hot shower!
13 August 2017
This entire trip so far has been characterised by precipitation, be it constant drizzle or ‘I’m thinking of building an arc’ rain. We got soaked to our pants the other day whilst cycling at Loch Creran and it hasnt really stopped since. A break last night allowed us to have a nice camp fire on the banks of Loch Linnhe, but we are having to abandon our plans of walking the ‘ring of steal’ tomorrow as lightening is predicted. The weather has always been a ‘push’ factor encouraging us away from the UK but after a summer like the one we have had, it may turn out to be the critical one.
9 August 2017
One thing that we have discovered on this trip is that for the most part, Scotland doesn’t yet know about the internet. That is why this update is so late. Since our last update we have climbed 7 mountains and done a heck of a lot of cycling. We had to abandon our persuit of an eighth summit when we were within farting distance of it as the weather was coming in all around us.Very annoying. Spent a couple of down days playing scrabble and xbox in one of the most awesome places that we have ever been – not a bad life really is it? Today is the first day in 17 days that it has not rained, we climbed a mountain called something like Beinn Fiona and had clear views all the way up and down. The view from the summit was just magnificent, the human race does not have words that I could use to convey just how jaw droppingly exquisit it was. It was also the most demanding mountain that we have ever climbed. We have seen several houses that we have promised ourselves we will own one day and there is a chance that we could afford one too.
31 July 2017
After spending a couple of days in Scarborough working, we finally left on Wednesday for Scotland. Picking up a few fossils on the way that we had previously left with Mike at Yorkshire coast fossils for prepping. We have had a brilliant time so far. We have climbed five mountains, cycled around loch Trool, had a great fire on the banks of loch Ken, finishing the week in Ayr with great sunset sea views and a nice night out in a pub that is a converted church.
22 July 2017
Thursday, we had a bad start to our new journey as we had a blowout on the motorway. Losing the tyre is one thing but the big problem is the damage that was done to our van in the process. If we are to continue our lifetyle then shortly we are going to need a new van. But the question is, do we build a new van or do we change our lifestyle and do something entirely different? We can’t do both as we don’t have the money. A new van would mean no Appalation trail next year or any foreign travel for that matter. Instead, we could tour India like we have wanted to for a while, but where do we go from there? I can’t imagine wanting to return to the UK to live after that. We are at a big fork in the road thats for sure. We will continue with our plans, travel around Scotland for a couple of months, and hope an answer presents itself to us.
16 July 2017
It’s been another very long week, working at every oppotunity. We have also had chance to prep many of the fossils that we found earlier in the year, managing to get maybe, 100 of them done. We will be selling the majority of them in Scotland and keeping the best and rarest for our own collection. Just need to get going now, we are reminded why we live like we do and how bored we get when stuck in one place.
09 July 2017
This week started with long lie in’s and easy days to recover from our Hadrians wall adventure. Once the blisters healed it was work, work, work to pay for the next adventure. We will be travelling around Scotland for the next few months climbing mountains, mountain biking, fossil collecting, wild life watching and anything else that we fancy along the way.
02 July 2017
Its been a long and hard week. We have just returned from walking the length of Hadrian’s wall. We decide to walk from East to West and so started our adventure in a rather wet and miserable Newcastle upon Tyne. We were very unimpressed with the first 15 miles, meandering as it does past the bins, graffiti, busy roads and general gloom of the city. A total lack of camp sites resulted in an uncomfortable night next to a reservoir. The weather didn’t improve over the next couple of days but the wall eventually came into view and we managed semi-comfortable nights on camp sites. An impromptu massive takeaway order raised spirits somewhat and gave us the strength to push on, it was such a nice change from the porridge and instant mash we have been living on! The weather cleared on our way to Carlisle and we met a very nice lady from Canada whom we shared the final few miles to the city with. After having lunch with our new friend we left town and forged ahead to our final camp site. On the final day we had only left ourselves ten miles to conclude our adventure, but our blisters had developed blisters and the last few miles were a real task. By 14:00 though, victory was declared. We had completed the Hadrian’s wall through walk. See our Walking Hadrian’s Wall article.
24 June 2017
Quiet but very busy week. A combination of visiting family and planning our Hadrian’s wall walk. We spent an absolute fortune on equipment in Cotswold, but we have some good quality kit that will last us for many trips to come. One evening we helped with sheep shearing which is mighty hard work but quite fun really. Took a ten mile walk along the canal and spent an entire day sorting out our kit for Hadrians wall. How can a six day trek take so much organising?
18 June 2017
We began our week by being very impressed with Weymouth, what a lovely little town it is!
Near Swanage we had a long woodland walk that ended up taking us to a beach so we had a nice cool off in the waves. We were very impressed with the beach so we spent the entire next day there. Corfe castle was a bit disappointing. Had to work in Dorchester to earn some money before calling an end to this leg of our trip and heading back to visit family and plan for our next trip which will be to walk the length of Hadrian’s wall.
11 June 2017
We called in on a friend of ours who runs a fossils shop in Lyme Regis and sold him 50 fossils that were excess to our collection and went out to celebrate in Bridport Wetherspoons. After a couple of nights on a campsite that had a really nice indoor pool, we spent a couple of days fossil collecting on the beach. We did not expect to find much at this time of year but did rather well. In Dorchester we found the museum to be interesting, even better for the fact that we managed to get in for free. A very windy circular walk around maiden castle left us both with ear ache.
4 June 2017
Began with a day in St Ives but found it to be a total tourist trap totally unworthy of its reputation. Saint Michaels mount was mentally busy as some special steam train was due on the line that runs past it. Falmouth was quite a nice place, we visited the castle and had a paddle here. We had a great time at ‘the Hurlers’ stone circle. We did some geocaching and walked up a hugely impressive Tor called the ‘Cheese’ something or other. The view from here was incredible. The whole moorland was absolutely covered in foals, it must have been a very successful year for the wild horses. We had a really nice, but very sticky walk around the Burrator reservoir, which resulted in a much needed and very refreshing bath in a river! The next day we parked at ‘Two Bridges’ on Dartmoor (see our Astonished by Dartmoor article) and had a really long walk taking in some of the local history. Baking hot day so we had a swim in the West Dart river. Sarah’s favourite shorts literally fell apart on her today, it was a good job that nobody was around!! The next day we got caught out in heavy rain whilst atop Hookney and we got wet through to our pants and were squelching in our shoes. Torquay was quite unimpressive, but we were very impressed by some local buskers playing the Dijaredoo and cigar box guitar. Our van Thomas had his 100,000 mile birthday near Torquay. HAPPY BIRTHDAY THOMAS!!!!!!
28 May 2017
This week started in a quite frustrating manor with bad traffic and bad roads leading to us abandoning our search for a nice beach that we had heard about. In Tintagel we visited the castle, famous for being king Arthur’s birth place. Walked to a famous local waterfall but found it had a entry fee of £5 per person. In truth the place was a total building site and we have seen plenty of waterfalls before, so we left and walked down Rock Valley to meet the coast path for the walk back to Tintagel geocaching as we went. We sold some fossils to a local shop. We hit Bodmin moor on a red hot day so we went for a skinny dip in Dozmery pool then spent a couple of days relaxing on a nice campsite and having a barbecue. We found Newquay to be a really horrible, rough place full of rough horrible chavvy people. Its only redeeming feature is its beach in our opinion. We had been told about a spot called fishers cove which was said to be beautiful, and so we attempted to find it. We found it quite easily, but the path down to the beach was totally terrifying! We were literally inches from a drop that was certain to be fatal. We finished our week a couple of miles outside St. Ives, where we went out for food.
21 May 2017
We have started our new journey this week, we plan to head to Cornwall. We drove down the Welsh border stopping at Crickhowel and the beautiful town of Chepstow. We visited Chepstow castle and found it to be one of the most impressive in Wales. It is our new favourite we think. Tintern abbey was nothing special however. We spent a night in the Quantock hills surrounded by wild horses and did some geocaching. We finished our week in Minehead with a with a nice meal out and a few drinks.