Leaving England firmly behind, we headed for foreign parts . . . Scotland. First stop was to visit my sister and family in Bridge-of-Weir, near Glasgow. Unfortunately, this was only a passing visit, but we did enjoy a wonderful meal accompanied by my two young nephews, Gwyn and Llewellyn, who despite their Welsh sounding names are thoroughly Scottish, thereby creating a cultural conflict by havig a completely unpronouncable name as fsr as their mother countrymen are concerned.
On we went, up the western side to a campsite just north of Oban, on the way to Fort William. On S's insistence we had to visit the sealife sanctuary to look at baby seals. They also advertised an Otter (or was it a Coypu?), but on arrival we were met with a notice announcing that 'Lewis the otter has passed away' so we never did get the full 'Tarka Experience'. But there were the baby seals, drawing many 'awwws' from S, saved from the local beaches and trained to hunt prior to release. . .
Plus adult 'rescue seals' which could not be returned because of various disabilities. . .
One very noticeable thing about Scotland the scenery. The millisecond changes in the weather mean that the vista is constantly changing too. Combine this with driving and the next view always trumps the last, so,you nver get anywhere because you spend the whole time takimg photos. Here you can see a wondeful view of Loch Linhe, in which I am unaccountably wearing a pair of Dave Skinners's compression socks (blessed are the sock-wearers Dave) . . .
One of the highglights of the trip so far has been our visit to the Isle of Lismore, whereupon I took the opportunity to investigate some alternative accommodation, just for research purposed. Now, regular readers will know that S likes a bit of the 5* brandy/hotel (delete as applicable) treatment on occasion, and that, after some persuasion, I always concede that this should be so - cast your minds back to the Chateau de Guer in Bretagne not so many years ago, where we arrived after 70 miles avec panniers and were served dinner by the Marquis himself, then retired to our four poster bed only to fall asleep like stones upon hitting the pillow. . . I digress . . . unbeknownst to S, I resolved to seek out some luxury accommodation to impress upon her how lucky we were to have the deluxe camper. First choice was the castle on Lismore, with easy acces and sea views . . .
Rejected out of hand by S, next was Castle Stalker with a much more accessible route and even better sea views . . .
Again, not good enough. Running out of ideas for novel and luxury accomodation, I fell back on the boutique and rustic cottage approach, easily accessible by proper roads . . .
complete with laundry . . .
and ensuite . . .
S loved it, but unfortunately it was fully booked for the forseeable future with some permanent guests . . .
Next, the Highlands . . .