We've got a big trip coming up. It's exciting. Our aim, however misguided, is to see if the fish and chips at 'Sweeny Cod The Frying Squad', possibly Britain's most remote fish and chip shop, is as good as we've been told. Fresh fish, fresh spuds: what could possibly go wrong? Well. It is remote. And by remote I mean 750 miles away remote. It's at Port of Ness on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. See what I mean? If you're going to go on a trip, do it properly...
Along the way we're hoping to ride the UK's oldest working roller coaster in Blackpool, drive over the UK's curliest bridge, marvel at Gormley's Another Place in Southport, see whales and dolphins on Sky and maybe even visit the UK's most westerly lighthouse at Ardnamurchan. Our first stop will be at Dubs at the Castle to see the guys and girls who made us feel so welcome when we were filming the TV show last year. Oh yeah, and I'm very excited about going diving in Oban.
We'll also be cooking as we go and have a whole bunch of new recipes to put to the 'trip test' and photograph for my new book 'The Camper Van Coast: Eating, cooking, living the life' which is now being knocked into shape by my publishers Saltyard Books. All I have to do is catch some mackerel...
After thousands of miles of driving around the UK over the last six months or so, this will be the final trip to capture a few shots before I hand over my hard drive to the designer. So far I've driven around the Causeway Coast, seen rock being made in Great Yarmouth, tasted ice cream in St Ives, seen saucy postcards in the Isle of Wight and learnt how to smoke fish. It's been a wonderful journey and all relatively without incident.
So why the picture? Am I expecting failure? Not at all. This trip, unlike any other trip I've ever been on, begins with a jaunt on a yellow truck. It's not the first time Gordy has been escorted home by the boys in Yellow but, when the engine started a heart breaking clunk on the M5 last week, it turned out to be by far the most serious.
So the poor old van has had a rush job to get a recon from JustKampers fitted and running by the time we set sail for the Outer Hebrides. Thankfully Ian at South West Classic VWs had some time on the ramp for a swift changeover this week. He's the man with the big spanner in The Camper Van Cookbook. It means an unscheduled stop off in Morecambe to get a 500 mile service but so what? We'll be cruising. It may also have cost us a small fortune but that's all part of camper van ownership isn't it? Eyes open, rough and smooth, pain and pleasure.
If you want to follow our journey we'll be blogging every few days for Dorset Cereals as part of their great campervan give away this summer. They have a whole bunch of copies of The Camper Van Cookbook to give away (as well as some very nice VW campers) so we're more than happy to keep them up to date with how we're going. Check out the blog here. It'll be fun.
So I hope you'll wish us luck on our trip. And let's hope it ends better than it started.