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Chapter 2 — Happy(ish) Campers

The moment had arrived. As my sister Kate and brother-in-law Kevin turned the corner into Kippen I’m not ashamed to say I had a little tear in my eye, after months of waiting to be united. A warm embrace followed. Yes, Jürgen, the VW campervan that is to be our home for large sections of this trip, was finally in Kippen. Kate and Kevin had safely delivering him the 3 hours from Saltburn-by-the-Sea, his home for the last few months. I’m not sure the extra check in bag full of Diamond rice risotto and Nestle reduced cream from NZ is quite payment enough for the amazing help they gave us in purchasing and storing him (and yes, it was fantastic to see them too).

But if we thought buying a vehicle from 18,000 kms away was the difficult part, that was before we actually had to drive it. Just as we adjust to life here and start thinking this is all quite lovely thank you very much, Scotland reminds you to not get too comfortable. The short drive to Blair Drummond included pulling up to an intersection on the wrong side of the road (“you’re not in mainland Europe yet, Mr Jack!”), and then a reversing incident on the narrow single-track road to Stronachlachar threatened to ruin our day.

But when not sitting at intersections waiting for certain death, or dislodging rear bumpers, we’ve had an amazing time exploring the Trossachs national park: a woodland walk at Glenfinglas; finding Rob Roy’s cave at Inversnaid on the shores of Loch Lomond; paddling to Inchmahome island on the Lake of Menteith (complete with 13th century Augustinian priory) as part of a Jenny Chamberlain birthday tradition; a family day out at Blair Drummond Safari Park; and a couple of good overnight test runs of Jürgen (with a thunder storm and sudden downpour thrown in).

We’ve also continued to enjoy life in Kippen, including a Eurovison party, poker night, a Cubs raft challenge, neighbourhood barbecue and an all-in waterfight.

Blair Drummond Caravan Park


Blair Drummond Safari Park


Kippen Village Life




Inversnaid & Rob Roy’s Cave


Lake of Menteith & Inchmahome Priory


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Wow It’s all looking so beautiful and green and Springy over there in the old country! I hope you’re now steering clear of ticks 😒. That wee van is the absolute bomb! Enjoy your adventures, you’re missed over here and boy are we jealous of your amazing family adventure - the brave Jacks! Stay safe on the roads y’all and looking forward to more chapters of your travels! Huds and Cloves say hiiiiiii to Anna and Siena! xo


I’m one up on you, Andrew: I drove my second hand Mini all round southern England, and even parts of London, and kept to the right (correct) side of the road and both bumpers intact. Mind you, it was 1971 so I suppose the traffic was lighter!

Your photos are wonderful and the commentary hilarious. Stay safe, lots of love, Mum


Wow! Adventures have begun and I absolutely love your blog!! probably been over a decade since I’ve followed a blog. Excited for the next instalment already. Love ya words and photos. Esp while sitting under a wool blanket with heater on. Enjoy!! :)


Awwww guys it looks amazing! Stay safe out on those windy little roads!! Have heaps of fun. Miss you all. Xx


Non stop adventure! more great photos - are you bringing the van back to Macandrew Bay??

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