Saturday 25th June, 2005
Sunday 26th June, 2005
Monday 27th June, 2005

Saturday 25th June, 2005

Drop Cap e vacated "Willow Grouse" with even fewer formalities than when we took her out. Still, we were away by 08:30 and promptly proceeded to get lost getting away and heading south. However, our GPS (Geoff's Positioning Savvy) got us back on course and headed for England.

Drop Cap e went through Peebles in the borders where they were celebrating Beltane (midsummer) with parades and bands, closing off some roads and necessitating diversions. We arrived in Corbridge at lunchtime to the usual Saturday parking disaster but managed to find a space. Then we walked down the road to the Golden Lion pub for a very acceptable pub lunch.

Loaded car graphic

Drop Cap oved on to Wensleydale, through Richmond and Catterick to Leyburn, where we found The Haven, our lovely Guest House on the Market Place. We had a spacious triple room with a wonderful view over Wensleydale, quite lovely.

Drop Cap e went out and had a pleasant Italian meal at Giovanni's and came back to a good night.
Paula Burke, our hostess, could not have been more helpful. She gave us directions to a local Tesco's Superstore where we bought another bag for our excess weight luggage. Breakfast was lovely, in a beautiful room overlooking the dales. We would recommend The Haven to anyone!

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Sunday 26th June, 2005

Drop Cap ven though we were later than anticipated getting off, due to stopping in Catterick at Tesco's we had a very good run down the A1, stopping for a Burger King at Grantham for lunch and arrived, madly early, at Barham, about 2:30.

Graffham Water photograph

Graffham Water

Drop Cap e did not check in but did a bit of phoning and then went off to Graffham Water, a reservoir lake full of sailboats and a park area full of bicycles, tandems and bike trailers. We had some afternoon tea here and walked around the lake edge for a while, then returned to Barham and checked in.

Barham Village photograph

Barham Village, next to Ye Olde Globe and Chequers

Drop Cap ur room at the Old Globe and Chequers is in their newish barn conversion and is very nice and spacious, except for the sloping ceilings on both sides, which, as they are painted white, are very difficult to see. We have all bumped our heads several times as the slopes are very low.

Drop Cap e repacked, putting our dirty laundry in the new holdall and, borrowing Cheryl's (the hostess) scales were able to get all the bags an acceptable weight.

Drop Cap e had a lovely evening meal for our last night at the George Hotel, an ancient heavy beamed coaching inn in Spaldwick, one and a half miles away.
I think what we have learned ( or I have anyway) from this trip is that hotels can provide very good meals, even in bars and lounges, and some restaurants don't. We are not so prejudiced about pubs now and, as the non-smoking laws get tougher, pubs will be even more pleasant to eat in.

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Monday 27th June, 2005

Drop Cap e had a reasonable run through to the M25, but after that it was pretty horrendous. We managed to get off the M25 for lunch in a pretty wooded area which had rides and walks which led to an historic Semaphore tower. It had a little lunch room where we bought some hot food and ate it, then went for a short walk before phoning Peter Waugh, the car hire firm and getting directions to their hole in the wall base in Guildford.
This turned out to be surprisingly easy and he did not seem too worried about the scratches incurred on Mull. They transferred our luggage to a Ford Galaxy people mover (which we all liked) and a cheerful guy drove us to Heathrow.

Luggage graphic

Drop Cap o it is farewell again to Britain. I don't know if we will be back again. So many other places are still calling. It seems we have been planning this trip for so long and now it is over.

Drop Cap ritish Airways, to my surprise and relief, showed no concern at our having four bags to check and we had no problems at customs. We had a meal at a Weatherspoon's pub in the terminal and it was soon up, up and away!

Aeroplane graphic

Drop Cap nusually, I did not find the return flight too bad and found the food very acceptable. Geoff did not have any hypos (thank goodness) and we were met at Sydney by our Anchor Minibus. Co-incidentally, sharing our minibus back to the mountains, was Annette Frohling, a travel agent with Jetset in Glenbrook who has arranged several holidays for us in the past and no doubt will again. We chatted all the way home.

Drop Cap he house was OK, no flooding, no fires and no vandalism.
Back to responsibilities, back to finding another job for Geoff , back to Carrot!

          It's all over.

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