I’ve learnt a lot about touring since my last entry – it’s very different from camping! You’re never quite sure for a start where you’ll spend your next night, but I suppose that’s half the fun of it, and although the setting up and packing up is generally quicker than when you’re camping, you have to do it a lot more and you have to be a lot more organised about it, especially when it’s raining. It’s a bit like doing one of those tile shuffle mini-puzzles – you have to move one bag in order to make space for another which in turn makes space for another. But we’ve still managed to eat well!
At our campsite in Lincolnshire, we enjoyed the samphire we picked on the Tollesbury salt marshes, in a simple but delicious pasta with smoked salmon and cream cheese.
SAMPHIRE AND SALMON PASTA
bunch of samphire, cleaned and chopped
Smoked salmon, chopped
Boil the pasta, and add the chopped samphire 5 minutes before cooked. Drain, and mix in salmon and cream cheese.
However, instead of cooking at our next stop overlooking Robin Hood Bay on the northernmost coast of the Yorkshire moors we trekked down to the town, a former smugglers’ cove, and explored its windy cobbled streets before enjoying some Whitby scampi.
The scampi itself was delicious and perfectly cooked, but it would have been even nicer in the fresh breadcrumbs Tom used in his oyster scampi!
We all went off to explore Durham the next day, when Jim and I were both at university. We tried to find some stotties for a picnic lunch, but had to make do with ordinary baps! Still, sitting on the riverbank, gazing at the staggeringly beautiful cathedral made up for our loss. From there we drove over to Corbridge where we stayed with some friends for the night – and it was quite nice to sleep in clean sheets and wallow in a bath!
From there, we headed back to the coast to Bamburgh Castle for a picnic on the beach, before visiting the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. Interestingly, while we were in Durham not only did we visit the relics of St Cuthbert, but we also saw that the most complete collection of the Lindisfarne Gospels was on exhibition. Sadly we couldn’t get tickets, but we learnt enough about the gospels and St Cuthbert to know that although both the gospels and the saint’s relics were originally kept at the priory on Lindisfarne where St Cuthbert had lived and served before his death, following numerous Viking raids they were taken all around the north of England and Scotland before ending up at Durham Cathedral. Pretty much our route!
We were keen to cross into Scotland that evening, but because we’d left it late and because it was a Friday, we knew we couldn’t be fussy about where we could stay. And sure enough we ended up at the most dilapidated, run-down caravan park – the perfect setting for a gritty movie. But it served our purpose well – it had water, we could light a fire, and our dog Roma had the place pretty much to herself.
We cooked up some pork chops, bought in Corbridge from a local butcher earlier that day, and enjoyed them with a couscous crudités:
PORK CHOPS WITH COUCOUS CRUDITÉS
Salt and pepper
4-6 spring onions
1 cup couscous
Half a stock cube
Whilst barbecuing the seasoned chops, dice the vegetables, pour just over a cup full of boiling water onto the couscous and stock cube in a bowl. Cover and leave for a few minutes before mixing in the crudités. Serve with the chops, with Dijon mustard.
For breakfast, Jim invented the eggy bread bun with bacon:
EGGY BREAD BUN WITH BACON
Oil or butter for frying
4 eggs, whisked
4 breakfast buns
Mustard, brown sauce or ketchup
Fry some bacon and keep warm. Dip each half of the bun in the egg and fry egg side down. Sandwich bacon between each side of the bun, add condiment of choice and eat!
Fuelled on this hearty breakfast we drove all the way across Scotland past Loch Lomond and down to the Kyle of Bute to a quiet little campsite. We decided not to cook and instead treated ourselves to some scallops and fresh mackerel from a local restaurant called the Creggar’s Inn on the shores of Loch Fyne. Highly recommended!