Day 9, Kirknewton, Northumberland to Loch Ness (7th August)

Day 9 of our road trip, and it was time to leave the beloved bed that we had been sleeping in over the past few days – t’was time to head to the great Loch Ness. As we were trying to continue our rein of free accommodation, the day before I phoned up a campsite near Loch Ness and asked if they would be interested in exchanging services – campsite facilities for photography. After failing at interesting two campsites I actually had a call back from one expressing that they misheard me and they were interested. The lady I spoke to sounded as if she was royalty – with her very well spoken tongue she used words which I had never heard of before, but none the less she was interested, so we headed on our way to go and meet her.

After the long, wet and windy drive we arrived. With my recently ironed shirt (as I wanted to present myself in the best light, so I didn’t actually look like I was living in a van) I went up to the reception to meet her. 10 minutes of waiting later and suddenly a storm of energy bounced into the room, hearing her first before actually seeing her she fired questions at the man behind the desk; “John (I don’t actually remember his name, but lets call him John), there is a large motorhome outside with a trailer, please tell me that they don’t expect to get that on their pitch”, without a word in edgeways John couldn’t even reply before other questions where flung his way – “… we are not letting any more motorhomes in, ok? Only people with tents!”… It may have been five questions later but then John managed to say something, whilst pointing towards me, “This is Toby, he said he phoned you and you wanted to see him?” With a deep breath she turned around and shook my hand, “Lovely to meet you Toby! I am deeply sorry at how hectic it is here, I know I said I wanted to see your portfolio but please pitch up and come back tomorrow morning to see me as I am very busy.” So that is exactly what we did, we went off to the comment of her saying to some other customers, “I shouldn’t have built a campsite here, I should have built an ark, we would have made so much more money!”.

With those amusing few minutes of meeting Vanessa, Cath and I had smiles on our faces as we set up the tent in the pouring rain. After cooking and eating our diner we headed to bed with the worry that the 50mph winds wouldn’t take our tent away…