December is usually our quiet month, when we’re at home. This year we had only seven nights away, and four of these were in Tollymore forest park!
Winter in the van is great, outside can be cold and crisp, but if it’s dry, it brings a new dimension to getting away.
Tollymore is ideal for this, with riverside walks, and the close proximity to mountain walks. We were very nearly tempted to go on one of these, with friends. But as some of them are twenty years our junior, we thought better of it.
That’s the good thing about getting older, the ability and wit, to stop and think.
We did the riverside walks each day, and the climb, back up from the river, for me, was as challenging as I needed it to be.
But I digress, December saw the wheels turning for a very lowly 153 miles, probably our lowest amount ever.
Cutters wharf, or more accurately, the public car park just beside it, was our home for one night when we were at a fortieth birthday party for an old friend.
Newcastle sea front car park was home for another night. We really like staying here, because it gives us a chance to do a wee pub crawl, and then, at the end, very close to the final pub, sits Helga! No brainer!!
This time around we were also rewarded with a golden glorious sunrise, where the sun turned the beach to gold, and made shadows behind the stones on the beach.
So back at Tollymore for the run up to 2019. The days were filled with riverside walks and talking motorhoming, and the evenings were filled with libation, laughter, and lovely company.
We had decided to have a siesta each day to let us enjoy the craic to the full. Bloody good job we did too! But in order to take the pressure off our livers we abstained on the 30th. Waking up without a hangover is a fabulous thing, but rare at these meets.
New years eve was started with a few drinks in O’ Hares Newcastle. It was a fairly quiet affair because we left as the revellers were arriving, and back to the forest.
The craic was great, and around ten o’ clock a few of us decided to brave the elements, and sort out a baby for later.
I did take some nocturnal pics, but managed to delete them during a fumbled attempt to view them, while hung over.
So that was December over, and the loss of another year. Such a year it’s been too.
I managed to get Google maps to track our movements, and it has thrown some surprising figures up.
I’m going to leave you with some anorak stuff, and thank you very much for reading my ramblings.
So for 2018, Helga has taken us 12,456 miles. We’ve had 185 nights away, and stayed in 11 countries. We were in Norway, but not in Helga, so that doesn’t count, in fact Google says we travelled 18,793 miles, that's 75% of the way around the world. i drove Helga for 14.161 according to google and it took 1275 hours. We walked for 196 miles with phone on person and I rode 178 miles. These are very low activity numbers though.
In summary, we’ve had another fabulous year, and again, met some outstanding people. I’d love to single some of them out, but I think they know themselves, they are very special.
Nick Pearce. News at Ten. Home.