Blimey, I’m awake before the birds, so I get some clobber on and get back on the Loch Fyne road. I get to a little place alongside edge of the loch and stop so Fin and I can walk the waterside. On the beach I find a nicely marked small serving spoon. I pick it. Later, I will bleach it and scrub it and add it to my collection. I take some photos of the sailing boats moored nearby and count my blessings, a favourite part of my day. I turn of the water heater and find I have no gas… damn, what a brain fart! Deb had recommended a fabulous veg restaurant in Lochgilphead so I go through there but cannot find it. I realize I have been here before as there is a museum on a boat that displays the Highland clearances. I loved it, as it showed the history and was on a boat that the poor Scots would have traveled to wherever they were going and it ain’t big! If you don’t know about how the Lairds were in cahoots with the English lords and got rid of their own people, google it, it’s a fascinating part of Scottish history. The slave trade comes in a similar bracket.
Anyhoo, I find a car park that does not allow me to park in and think ‘stuff this’ or something similar and find a fuel station and get gas and gas. I have to ask a nice man to crack the nut that holds the gas cylinder to the connector as I just cannot do it. Christ, the new one ways a ton, but I manage with gritted teeth to get it back in the locker and promise to never let it run dry again. After that I am happy, so bimble down the road to Kilmartin to look at the Neolithic relics. In a car park near by, that I can fit in, but must not park overnight in, I turn on the gas and have a shower and breakfast. Boy it’s raining hard and I wonder about walking the fields with Fin in this. No problem, a big sign tells me ‘NO DOGS’…What? The cows sitting next to the cairns are more of a risk than my wee boy!!!
I trundle up the road to the tiny village and seek out the museum. In the churchyard next to it is a hut that has been made by Historic Scotland to house burial slabs with ornate carvings on them dating from the 14thc-18thc. I am relieved that someone somewhere is more interested in my learning about it than trying to make a buck, unlike the charity that runs the museum- charity, pah! £5 to enter two rooms of stones. ‘Sod off’- I walk…. Down the path to the cairns that are free to look at and no sign from this end. It’s such a shame as I would love to have seen the stone circle in the wood that is diplayed with the hairy weird stripey jumpered chap from the Time Team. I suppose one stome circle is much the same as the other, but to obstruct curious folk with well behaved animals is crazy. I drive on to Oban where guess what? Parking takes me an hour. I am getting frustrated by this now. I find a slightly out of town supermarket site and opposite Tesco is a lorry park that has three designated Motorhome parks. I wait for a chap to leave in his long wheel base van and relax. I leave Fin there and walk into town, five minutes away. Oban is another tourist town. I don’t drink whiskey and the £7 entrance stops me going to look to see how it is produced. So as I have turned into the Hairy Woman of the So enter the ‘ti’ with the fixed idea of a leg wax, but after picking up a load of leaflets I decide to buy an eplilator. I have had the same waxer for 15 years and she has ruined me for anyone else, so I will give it a go, particularly as I will find myself in the same spot in France next year.
I realize that I am not a usual tourist as I really cannot stand these places. Perhaps its due to being alone, or maybe it’s just me. Me? Really? Ok,ok, yeah it’s me.
So we leave after I go into the generic Tesco and buy a paring knife after I find I have left mine draining at Deb’s. I check the internet while I have the chance and find a car park off Loch Etive at the end of a long road. I have joined a site (www.wildmotorhoming.co.uk) and it’s most helpful. It lookes ok on the map, so off I go. Half way there I see a herd of Highland coos. I find a parking stop and walk back to see them, squealing in delight. I love them and I am so cheered up by the shaggy heads and horns to die for.
At the car park There are a few cars and are mostly owned by those on holiday, fishing just off the mouth of the river, or Kayakers. I speak to one such fisherman, who informs me that my belief that you have to have a license to fish Scotland is wrong. It’s just rivers and inland lochs, not sea lochs…hmmm… should I buy a rod, or bat my eyelashes at one who thinks salmon should be thrown back,..... thrown back,.... fresh wild salmon?.....Der!
I check out my mileage…flippin flop….I have traveled just under 1500 miles. Biggest pleasure is that during one leg I got 30 MPG so I am very satisfied by that. Don’t ask me what I did differently as it was the top of Wales to Deb’s so perhaps the motorway mileage made it up.
Soon after it really rains. Huge Scottish rain. I am left alone and my anxiety soon disappears. I sleep deeply, alone in a deserted car park. I awake during the night, the rain’s stopped, so I look out at the twinkling lights of the beacons on the loch and feel happy.