No gorillas nor hippos

Thirty years ago mother and son went on holiday together. Rwanda, Uganda... and some other 'das. An incredible three week trip in a Bedford Overland truck, including sightings of mountain silverback gorillas, lions, elephants, baboons, chimps, hippos, chickens etc.

No images to add as reminders, unfortunately - in those days your blog was a journal written on tablets (stone versions), and photos were 'real film'. Anyway. Point is, that was thirty years ago, and we haven't been on holiday just the two of us since then - and that's no reflection on the experience! On the contrary, we had a wonderful time: I remember Mum sending me first into the tent at night 'to check for snakes' (god knows what I was supposed to do if I found one), and I remember one member of our group (a headteacher at a school, which tells you all you need to know about the education system in the UK) trying to shake hands with a silverback.

But this week, we're back. Not in Africa, obvs. But we are once again in an off-road camper; this time we're touring the borders (Hadrian's Wall) and then deepest darkest wettest Scotland.


I'm not actually stoned


Therefore, we need a blog, and this time Ma is going to write the story.....

Over to you, Ma. Although, naturally, I can't resist a few added words:


Robin arrived on Mersea Island Saturday 23rd September late evening after a long journey from Maastricht to Dusseldorf Airport (Sarah and Jacqueline going to USA), then to Hook of Holland to catch the ferry to Harwich, and eventually ending up at 17 Strood Close!

Sunday we had a walk down to The Blackwater Pearl with the dogs , who were immediately great friends again, for an all day breakfast, then Robin worked on the campervan and I went to play bowls at my club for the final day of this year. Robin came down in the camper to join me and watch some of the bowling. His entrance created a lot of interest, ie.."is this the beginning of a gypsy influx" , some hoped it was a burger van, to "May I have a look inside"? It was lovely to have him there. I stayed for a final drink (Robin: singular?) and he went home to the dogs. (Not quite what I meant!)

I then took Leo to Caroline's for his holiday, bought fish and chips and we all slept well that night.

Slightly dodgy looking corner of the site...

Slightly dodgy looking corner of the site...

Robin and I left with Zep at 9.10am and arrived at The Hadrians Wall campsite at 5.10pm. A mammoth journey for Robin.  A good, interesting trip -- evaded World War III and a crazy car with great aplomb (Robin: Hmm. Think I need to take the blame for that close shave, though not the WW3 incident. That was horrible) -- and with pit stops for us all. Such beautiful countryside, especially on the last hour and a half over the River Tyne and driving along the side of Hadrian's Wall. Some of it is a stone walled structure, other parts are covered by grassy mounds. We are at a great (Robin: but expensive for a boggy field) campsite, high up in the top of the site on a squelchy grass surface. Due to tiredness we have made a dual executive decision to make up the table and seats into a spare bed. Now we shall toss up for who has the huge bed!! (Robin: I lost.) As we both get up during the night to survey the night skies, someone will get trampled on. (Robin: err, guess who?)

In the morning, probably through the mist and fog, we will do a little tour of the Wall. Hopefully we won't get conscripted to the Night's Watch. 

Robin Hickson4 Comments