Tinkering Nomad

Tinkering Nomad

Historically the definition of a motorhome is a group of people, especially traders or pilgrims, travelling together across a desert in Asia or such like. Well, today I think that interpretation needs re-evaluating.

Seeing a motorhome, travelling carefree across the country, always provokes a range of emotions from other drivers. I know, to some they are a scourge on the roads, and shake their heads unable to see the appeal, but to me, it’s freedom, a kind of solution to the free spirited control freak in me. Having made the decision to buy another self-propelled recreational vehicle, we couldn’t decide between a motorhome or a touring caravan and never having travelled in the former, we decided to rent one for a week and set about planning a trip to the Outer Hebrides.

We boarded the ferry from Ullapool to Stornaway in Lewis – note to self, this is a very religious part of Scotland and with the exception of churches, everything closes on a Sunday. We wild camped in a layby for the first night, which I found quite strange, then onto the lovely island of Harris where the sandy beaches are to die for. During this time, we did however, catch the end of a hurricane that had come across from the USA, which rocked the van, rocked us to sleep but struggling to open the door against the wind was exhausting. As for the poor camper opposite us with his pop-up, pop-down tent! So funny. Before leaving the islands a stop over at Barra airport is a must. I can honestly say I have never seen a sand runway before, yes the landing strip is the beach! Cool.

Although hubby does all the driving – I tend to fall asleep, which is a tad inconvenient – I still managed to succumb to nerves and worried about the width of some of the roads. But the overall feeling was the living accommodation was too small for us, having been used to touring caravans. Along with the price!

Hubby drove with confidence, on and off the ferries, up and down the narrow thoroughfares, no problem. All was well until he drove into our home driveway to pick up the grandsons for our last night – and upon hearing some crunching and screeching, realised he had located the guttering at the edge of the overhang – along with some roofing tiles! Arggghhhh. But luck was on our side, our neighbours were having some work done to their roof and had some workers on site who came and sorted out the damage, for cash, and the scrapes on the top of the motorhome were superficial, we managed to t-cut the marks out. Phew.

So, decision made, touring caravan it was. No regrets, only that they aren’t made today like they used to be. We have had several issues with our Swift, but speaking to other ‘vanners’ it seems we are not on our own. Still wouldn’t change it!