I’ve never been completely taken with the idea of backpacking during July and August. The hills tend to be busy, the nights are often humid and the midges are at their intolerable worst.
So this year, just for a change, I’m heading north for a few days in my campervan. Shetland is the destination and instead of climbing hills I’m goingnto hike some coastal routes, visit some prehistoric sites, do some bird watching and try and catch some ashetland music.
I’ve been using campervans for a long time but about four years ago we bought a small motorhome. While it wasn’t too big and while it was very comfortable it was a complete disaster in terms of reliability, and we had bought it from new.
After spending a small fortune in repairs (everythingnseemed to fall apart once the warranty ran out) we changed it for a bigger motorhome but we quickly realised we were campervanners and not motorhomers. There’s a big difference.
First of all we couldn’t comfortably take the motorhome up the narrow roads we were used to driving on to get to the hills. Secondly we felt it was too big and obvious to wild camp with, and thirdly, although I’m probably the right age, we weren’t yet ready to drop into that retiree category that most motorhomers belong to.
So we bought a Hyundai i800 with a Wellhouse of Huddersfield conversion. It’s a 2.5 l van with a pop up roof and all the bits and pieces that make it a small, but comfortable campervan. I guess we could have gone from a traditional VW but they tend to be much more expensive and lack all the little extras you get in Japanese, or Korean, vehicles.
Weve had the Hyundai since March and I love it to bits, so that’s going to be our transport, and accommodation, in Shetland.