Saturday/Sunday 1

Saturday

The plan today was to fit the window in our bedroom but the weather forecast was a little off-putting, being for showers and wind from the NW. We opted instead to “potter” around the camper van, checking things and putting it into order.

As with most little projects, this one grew and became ever more problematical. It has taken all day and we are still not ready to roll. We do now finally have the water and waste systems functioning. We have hot and cold running, a working shower, a flushing toilet and a (leaking) waste system. The gas cylinders have been weighed and the contents estimated. English translations  of German instructions of most of the systems have been obtained one way or another.

Overall, our understanding is growing. We do know that we need a new leisure battery – this will set us back by a three-figure sum. What we do not know is whether the leisure battery is charging or not and if the electrical system needs attention. Diagnosis will wait until we fit a new battery on Monday.

I’ve stocked up the van with reading material, games and cleaning stuff. The sleeping bag is in, and so is my walking gear. Our picnic set will serve as crockery and cutlery for the time being. I still need to arrange some cooking pans but I have washed and dried a doggie duvet. Priorities must be observed.

Double glazing DIY is on hold until more tools arrive, so we hope to shoot off on the early ferry on Monday and go try the van out on mainland Orkney whilst less frivolous matters are stymied. First stop: Orkney Factors, for the battery. Thence to Wisebuys for kitchen paraphernalia and onward to Tesco or Lidl for food. The van should be well stocked by the end of the day. One thing that I really have to sort out before long is my knitting. I cannot possibly go without my knitting! I need to wind a couple of skeins into balls before we go. I’m not sure that I shall take any spinning on this trip. I also need to choose my camera kit and make sure my battery is charged.

Everything is on hold now – it’s time to make our Saturday curry and get ready for Dr Who.

Sunday

More of the same today, still chasing bugs and understanding systems. We found that the water pump is leaking quite badly and confirmed that the leisure battery is not charging nor will the inverter work with it.

More stuff has been packed in and we are more or less ready to set off. Unfortunately we are both very tired. We have come up with a plan that involves little actual planning nor much need to be organised.

We will get up quite late, ignoring breakfast and other niceties in favour of half an hour longer in bed.  Bacon butties on the boat. Take dogs for a run as soon as we get off the boat. Shopping in town, followed by Fish and Chip lunch and shopping in Hatston before we set off for Skaill Bay. At Skaill we shall do nothing. Absolutely nothing but put our feet up, admire the view and learn to cohabit in a small space. The tide will be out about tea-time so we can have a late afternoon walk with the dogs on the beach. Tea will be bread and cheese and wine, so no  need even to cook. Early night to conserve what little battery power we have.

Tuesday – visit to Skara Brae and Skaill House, plus the little restored church of St Peter. Further playing on the beach. We will either move on or stay put for a second night, according to whim and/or the way that the van is behaving.

Wednesday, potentially Brough of Birsay if we haven’t already been on Tuesday afternoon. Overall we plan to keep our activities to the West Mainland, more or less. We’ll do the south islands next time.

Bath time next, and an early night. Then we hit the road. We don’t believe in staying connected when out and about, so the next entry will come after we get home. We have three joyous Internet-free days ahead of us.

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