Travel

Rough seas and rough scenery

August 9, 2019

Rolling onboard of the ferry in Rotterdam I had no concerns other than hoping my cabin had a window with a nice view, but the seas turned out to be rougher than expected. What was supposed to be a calm and refreshing night en route to Hull, where our road trip adventure through the UK and Scotland would begin, ended up being a not so calm night which did teach me something new about myself: apparently I get seasick. It was all fine, toasting pints, and devouring onion rings until it was not. I’ve now vowed to never again travel anywhere without motion sickness meds.

As soon as the boat entered the calmer waters of the haven my nausea magically vanished, and I got to enjoy the rest of this magical holiday without having to hold onto puke bags for dear life. 

With a camper-truck that can be best described using the word ‘beast’ we started our road trip in Hull and went up to Edinburgh, after which we crossed off Inverness, Loch Ness, Isle of Skye, Glencoe, and Ben Nevis of our list. Everywhere we arrived, without a single exception, camping-owners would stare in awe and with an open mouth at the vehicle approaching.

You mentioned a big camper, but I could have never imagined this. This thing is HUGE.

The Handicamper is owned by a Dutch foundation called Handicamp Outdoor and during the day it looks like a rather impressive truck, and by night it folds out to twice it’s great size and becomes a comfortable home for up to 9 people.

Image of the Handicamper stationed at the Scottish Canoe Association Campsite Grandtully
The Handicamper parked at the Scottish Canoe Association Campsite Grandtully

A holiday or road trip like this, on board of a camper which holds all facilities you need, feels like complete freedom. I don’t think I can describe it any other way. I’m used to being confined to finding wheelchair accessible accommodations wherever I wish to go, which to be fair isn’t impossible and has never stopped me from travelling in the past. But exploring with a mobile home means you’re as free to go as you can be. Two nights we set up shop on a pretty patch of nature we found, one time on purpose and once because we couldn’t access the camping. But being able to do that, stay and sleep wherever you want to, is liberating and feels like pure adventure.

Waking up every morning with a view that made me rub my eyes twice before believing it, was refreshing and very much needed. There have been a number of stress factors draining my energy lately, and even though this holiday was intense and tiring without a doubt, I got to finally recharge my batteries. The long drives were never too long because there was just so much to see, and my mind could just shut off and be at peace when staring out of the windows and silently watching the hills and mountains pass me by.

Apart from my surprise encounter with sea sickness I also learned a couple of other things during this holiday;

  • I don’t like speed limit signs trying to tell me what to do.
  • “Yes, of course we’re wheelchair accessible!” can mean “we have these two steps you have to pass before even approaching our entrance.”
  • Apparently there’s no such thing as a Scottish whiskey, and I got an Irish whiskey instead. Not that I’m complaining, but I do believe someone has to step up their game and create this ASAP.

This amazing roadtrip was made possible by De Hinkelaar; not one of those “care holidays” where you feel like patient no. 1451, but rather a group of friends who go on adventures and do crazy shit together. This has been my third trip so far, and I can’t wait to plan the next adventure!

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