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  1. Running on to the outskirts of Liverpool the Beast started moaning, she wanted to See more beast so we gave in and went to Knowelstone Safari Park, the beast purred loudly with pleasure.
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    Elephants sat up and begged for an audience
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    Whilst antelope had no idea what the fuss was all about
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    The tiger also looked on bemused. and finally
    We came to rest in front of the king of the beasts.
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    I swear the roof got lower as the beast curtsied. We kept away from the baboons fearing our poor beast would be torn to shreds. then headed south to find a safe harbour for the night. We ended up parked in an industrial estate at Sandbanks, Up early, well 10am the next morning we stopped for lunch at the motorway services. Having had a fry up we were suddenly aware of a strange smell, finally traced to a melted cooker knob, somehow it seemed to have caught light inside, running out I turned off the gas before the van went up in flames. Another job to sort out when we got back. A few hours later we were back in Leominster, after hunting around to buy washers and foam tyre repair, then having Fish and chips we retired for the night in the old Gas works car Park behind the fire Station. Next morning we trundled around to Rays to find the flat spare wheel miraculously inflated, thank you who ever sorted that out. Spacing the wheel from the hub with washers once again gave the wheel clearance to rotate. The run home was completed without further ado and the beast crept back into its lair under the cover of darkness. A wonderful 1500 mile trip and nothing wrong that I cannot sort out ready for the next trip. Now where to next, well I actually fancy Wales. Hee Hee. Thanks to everone who made this trip not only possible but also special.
  2. leaving the lake district and the weather has got really bad wet and windy, so we decide to cut out many stops and head for Morecombe
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    as you can see the sea was quite rough, then on to Blackpool for my first ever look at the lights.
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    it was raining and between the windscreen wipers and wrong speed set on the camera none of the pictures were any good
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    so we planned to stay the night someplace and try again next day, we drove on to Fleetwood and parked on the seafront for the night
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    Come the next morning we took off for Blackpool again and a lapse of concentration and we managed to bypass it altogether, ah well another day.
  3. For the first time on the trip we see snow capped peaks
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    and are reminded it is no longer summer, however we have not been cold the whole trip, even without heating in the van and only three of the five duvets actually got used hee hee.
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    The winding twisting mountain paths were a pleasure to drive with outstanding new views around every corner.
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    whilst the beast plodded on sedately I dropped into bottom gear on every down hill run to save the brakes others came belting by. One of these idiots driving a huge lorry made me flinch enough to jerk the steering wheel just as a projecting piece of the stone wall arrived in my path and the second damage to beast on the trip occurred. It could have been worse, a bent door frame and screws broken from the hinges. Luckily a big hammer and plentiful supply of screws (thanks to Terry) soon made it possible to continue. Final straightening will be done back at the workshop, but no holes so lucky really.
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    As we travelled on down to Windermere we marvelled at the stone walling that went hundreds of feet up the mountain, those hill farmers were a hardy breed. Windermere was too commercialised and parking expensive so we drove on through and then out of the Lake district. One day we will go back, maybe taking the canoe and fishing tackle.
  4. The Beast had been performing as would be expected of a Mercedes with a 3.75litre engine, pulling up the steepest of hills and mountains without blinking and no clouds of black smoke. The new brakes had by now bed themselves in leaving much more pedal travel than I was comfortable with but was unable to adjust them until I got home. Also at this point a gust of wind slammed the habitation door breaking the lock, it would shut from inside or out but only open from inside once I had carried out a small modification. For the rest of the trip entry had to be via the cab for one of us to open the habitation door from the inside. It was the first job tackled when we arrived home and I found a spare in my workshop. So no problem. Our resident mouse is still there, obviously deaf as the ultrasound rodent repellent bought at great expense does not seem to have had an effect on it. Leaving the hills of Scotland behind us we sadly turned South, heading down the motorway and turned off into C u m b r i a at Carlisle.
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    Of the 700 photos I took on the trip most were taken in the Lake district.
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    As I climbed down to take photos of Lake Ulleswater I looked back up at the Beast, peering through the foliage she looked in her element and very happy.
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    We arrived at Glen Ridding, where according to Legend car parking charges are not bothered with if the ferry is not running. Well the ferry runs 363 days a years so it may be the case, however on this day although the wind had stopped the ferries from running I was told a 12hr parking charge was £4, it was late in the day and we had no wish to travel further so reluctantly paid and got the dinner on.
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    Our delightful repass was interrupted when an almighty gust of wind hit the van broadside on and lifted the beast off two of its wheels, it landed with a bang. I had no option but to reposition the van head to wind, where it sat quietly for the rest of the night.
  5. Leaving Edinburgh we travelled through Sterling without stopping and on to Balmaha on Loch Lomond. what a beautiful place free parking with nice walks for Sue and the dogs
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    The loch is so large you could easily spend a week or more just travelling around it. next stop was Balloch Country park.
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    the castle was closed for renovation but the grounds overlooking the loch are well kept and in their autumnal glory, I even managed to hobble around them. It now started to rain quite heavily for the first time on the trip with gales forecast for the coming weekend so we decided to start heading south again. First though we had to visit Cazzanach (Carol) in Airdrie. We travelled via Dumbarton where we visited the maritime museum, quite small but very interesting as it homed the flow tank used to evaluate various ship designs. The number of ships built at this small yard on the Clyde is amazing and I collected several photos of ship built there. We arrived in Airdrie to find Carol was out but she was not gone long.
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    Seeing we were bedraggled and starving to death, quite obvious from a simple glance at us we were invited to stay for dinner and treated to a sumptuous Chinese meal, we were so stuffed I could not even manage coffee. Thanks for a very memorable visit. I introduced Carol to the joys of google earth and found our next port of call. Galloway and Dumfries
    , from google earth we could see it was mountainous and it did not disappoint.
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    For the first time we really felt like we were in Scotland. Shopping on the way we managed to sample the pleasures of dumpling, tablet, pancakes, and Edinburgh ginger cake, not forgetting the humble haggis of course all of which were very more-sum.
  6. we arrived at Thurnescoe and parked in the old station car park, it looked find. We had come to visit Terry in the hope of getting the eberspatcher fixed, however his friend the engineer had not returned from holiday as expected. I phoned Terry and was told we were in fact only a few hundred yards away from his house, fearing for our safety he insisted we would be better off behind locked gates in his drive. Terry and Ann welcomed us into their home, in the morning we managed a quick repair to a damaged gas locker door and Terry loaded the van with screws and sealent, both of which came in usefull later on.
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    With a full compliment of screws, water and a bag of super eating apples from the garden we left in the morning, poor Terry had to go and get a tooth out. I hope he feels better now.
    Being so close we headed for York where we visited the National Railway Museum
    What a super place, the main engine shed is huge with exhibits from all ages including the train used in the building of the channel tunnel. an immaculate workshop was in the throws of renovating the flying scotsman.
    Moving onward we passed rapidly north past middlesbourgh, Newcastle and Gateshead, through part of the Northumbrian National Park to arrive in Scotland
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    Coldstream, the place where the Coldstream Guards were formed is a splended village next to a river.
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    moving on we parked overnight 20 miles outside of Edinburgh. Next morning we carried on into the City, parking was expencive £6.40 for an hour as we took up two bays,
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    so only stayed long enough to walk along Princes street and through the park.
  7. Now taxed insured and MOT'd, we are off before someone decides we cannot go.
    8th October we set off for Leominster with my old tractor, a 1956 International Harvester loaded on a single axle trailer. I have sold it to Lady Jann, (Ray) and have agreed to deliver on our way oop north. The beast tows like a dream and we get within 20 miles of Leominster before we have a problem, pulling over into a lay by to set the satnav we hit one bump too many and unbeknown to us the stub axle on the trailer bent. Shortly after pulling away the tyre shredded on the trailer bed. No problem out with the jack unbolt the spare, oh no, the nut's are rusted solid on the spare, OK so hacksaw them off, jack up the trailer remove wheel and bolt new one in place. No go it locks solid on the trailer frame. So change back to shredded tyre and drag along the road to a safer place then phone the relay service. They take an hour or three to arrive but we eventually get the trailer loaded and delivered to Leominster without further incident. We unload the tractor, none the worst for its journey and spend the night on site. Next morning we set off to town, leaving the trailer behind to sort out on the return from oop north.
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    we had arranged to meet Steve4kay in Broad Street car park, on Thursday evening, as it turned out he did not arrive until Friday but we had a few drinks and a good laugh, must do it again soon.
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    Setting off on Friday we went to Nottingham where I had arranged to collect a machine part. We tried to see Nottingham Castle but could not find a motorhome friendly car park, in the end we gave it a miss and mover on to Bolsover staying overnight it the Car park adjacent to the castle.
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    as we were not far from Helena (Vardy) we arranged a meet for that afternoon, She turned up with the most enormous Black Forest Gateaux, and we had a fine time, many thanks, It did not keep well, if memory serves me it was finished the next day, hee hee
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  8. Following a hectic morning chasing around after further “lost” :Eeek:parts I finally got the remaining spring hanger bushes. I spent the afternoon fitting them, painting the front part of the chassis, wheels, bumper and hubs then greasing the front springs and kingpins. Assembly complete apart from the wheels which are left off until the brakes are bled.:thumb::thumb::thumb: Like new, lubbly jubbly.
  9. This Friday Tina and Glenn took pity on a poor old soul and came down for a few days to help put the Beast back in its cage. Spares ordered well in advance failed to arrived, (actually delivered to the wrong address) but we got them eventually. Glenn worked like a man possessed and managed to get the spring hanger bushes done and the new brakes assembled, just leaving odds and sods for me to tidy. So by the time the MOT gets done I shall be ready for the of in Sept (when the garden requires very little attention)
    I cannot end this entry without saying
    a massive thank you Tinaglenn​

    without your help it would have taken me months instead of a few days. Your pitch is reserved for all time.​
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  10. This Friday Tina and Glenn took pity on a poor old soul and came down for a few days to help put the Beast back in its cage. Spares ordered well in advance failed to arrived, (actually delivered to the wrong address) but we got them eventually. Glenn worked like a man possessed and managed to get the spring hanger bushes done and the new brakes assembled, just leaving odds and sods for me to tidy. So by the time the MOT gets done I shall be ready for the of in Sept (when the garden requires very little attention)
    I cannot end this entry without saying
    a massive thank you Tinaglenn​

    without your help it would have taken me months instead of a few days. Your pitch is reserved for all time.​
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  11. At 61 I do not feel old, however whilst trying to repair the beast for MOT it has become obvious I am, no strength left, memory abysmal and tired out. Having tried several of my existing jacks to lift the van I have resorted to buying a new 12 ton jack which was supposed to make life easier. However in order to repalace spring hangers the weight has to be lifted off the wheels so supporting with axle stands on the chassis is necessary, so now I find the axle stands won't take the weight and start to bend, ah well, time to start carting concrete blocks, pile underneath and top off with timber. Slowly release the jack and blocks sink slowly into the ground. Jack again lift out blocks place large sheet if plywood under then rebuild blocks, two hours gone and not a single spanner to hand. Collapse exhausted in heap and give up until tomorrow. There must be a fit young wild camper out there who would like a free site here (water and drainage on site) and help a few hours a day then shoot of surfing. Any offers.