We set the table up outside and as we dined our entertainment was in watching a couple of boys help their dad get a fire ready to barbecue a meal,
We did not see any fish being caught, but the toasted marshmallows taking their place were devoured enthusiastically.
We woke early the next day an after briefly exploring the woodland beyond the road we headed off to Balquidder where we visited the ruins of the old church and Rob Roy’s grave. It was liberally scattered with flowers and coins and from
the stone we read that he was 70 when he died.
It was gloriously sunny and we, with some difficulty travelled along a somewhat crumbly single track road to the end of Loch Voil. It was really beautiful and photogenic, particularly at one point where a pair of horses, stood side by side with their hooves in the water.
We got back onto the A85 and joined a stream of tourist vehicles, and travelled through Crianlarich, to beyond Tyndrum where we took a route down the side of Loch Awe and stopped for lunch with the loch and the rather splendid ruins of Kilchurn Castle as a back drop.
A occupants of a passing VW camper hooted and waved obviously pleased at seeing us in a sister vehicles enjoying the setting. To get closer to the loch and hoping that by taking an even smaller road we might find a good place to set up home for the evening we turned off onto a single track road.
Eventually we found a very bumpy bit of track that took us down to the most perfect setting. It was a little bay with a headland decked with trees that reflected in the water.
Ducks cut a trail on glass clear water that turned pink with the setting sun and occasionally the rising fish sent out a ripple of rings. We were well pleased.
The next day the bright mid-summer daylight had us awake early and we stepped out to find almost everything still, I say ‘almost’ because althougth the water on Loch Awe was undisturbed and like a mirror. The mosquetos were in fine fettle and biting. We decided to move on and breakfast enroute.
As it turned out we were only about just over a third of the way down Loch Awe, which at 25 miles long is the third largest freshwater loch in Scotland.
Between the trees that ran along side it we saw some beautiful views and a few highly desirable places to stay. One surprise was to round a bend in the single track road and find a great water feature, the impressive Falls of Blarghour.
Driving on we came out onto the main road, the A816 which we followed down to some surprisingly flat countryside. We were not far from where the Crinan Canal can carry fishing boats across towards the Atlantic coast.
At Lochgilphead the town was waking up and at a well stocked butchers shop we got some rolls bacon and black pudding before driving up the side of
Loch Fyne where we stopped in a lochside layby and put out the table for brunch.
As we took in the vista of Scotland's longest sea Loch it all seemed very peaceful. It must have been quite different during World War Two, when before the
D-Day landings a quarter of a million troops trained there for amphibious landings.
Beyond the town of Inverary we followed the A85 through Glen Kinglas and up to a mountain pass called called the ‘Rest and be Thankful’ then down through Glen Croe with the peaks of Ben Donich and The Cobbler towering above us.
Eventually we reached Loch Lomond. From there it was down through the bustle of Scotland's central belt before we reached quieter roads close to Biggar and Peebles. Then in the Border Country we saught out a single track trail that took us with forests and farmlands on one side, and the River Tweed, below us, on the other.
It was a really beautiful experience and almost a fitting end to our adventure.
I say ‘almost’ an end, perhaps that was really marked by us parking the
Blue Lady in a tree shaded layby and finishing off a couple of bowls of strawberries and ice cream.
When you travel in a campervan you can do it in style.
THE BLUE LADY GOES TO SCOTLAND
July arrived and with it really warm weather and the forecast of more to come.
The chance of enjoying touring with the Blue Lady in the sun was too good to miss.
We took the A1 and headed North so it had to be somewhere in Scotland.
We opted for Loch Earn and to get there quickly decide to bear the unpleasantness of dense motorway traffic, (It was a holiday weekend and the Scottish schools were out.)
We stuck with it until we could turn off onto the A 85 near Perth.
As we did it was as though a switch has been thrown and we left the madness behind to pass through fields surrounded by mountains.
At St Fillans we reached the beginning of Loch Earn and searched the banks for a loch-side spot to park the campervan. On the north side of the loch along the main road we had a choice of suitable places, many occupied by people who had come to camp and fish.
Eventually we pulled into a bit of the old road leading to a layby sheilded by trees.
Report by Allan Rogers