Loch Lomond and the view from the water up the loch to the mountain peaks in the distance. I felt a wee whimper escape knowing it could be a while – if ever – before I could come back. You truly are in my blood Scotland!
I emerged from my comfy single room this morning into the common room a few of us were to enjoy breakfast in. Last night had been a bit restless – another firm (read hard) mattress and no comfortable way to lie on my side with no give underneath and two very soft feather pillows forcing my head down on to the bed. Inspiration struck at around midnight at my most desperate. I pulled one pillow down to butt level and it flattened out in a feathery softness, stuck a cushion under the head one, and was finally able to sleep. You may think this is too much information but THE single most important item on a travelling holiday is a good bed. When hosts expend such extravagance on tissue boxes, soaps, shampoos, biscuits etc I wonder why a simple foam topper doesn’t occur to them. Rant over.
I’m possibly edgy because I’m leaving this country tomorrow for the more domesticated south – delightful though that is.
After a pleasant chat with a Bristol man over a Scottish brekky, being watched by a couple from Swtizerland who studied us closely from the other side of table, I set off for a nearby lakeside town called Balmaha. Not much beyond a hotel, good cafe and huge carpark and info centre. Here’s where a vast number of walkers set off on the vast number of walking trails. I meandered down to the lake edge with its black choppy waters and discovered the path leading to a boat trip around the loch.
20 mins later about ten of us were speeding in a partially open vessel out among the chilly waters and many little islands poking prettily up in the water. It was a delicious experience, lasting a little under an hour and giving some sweeping views of the distant rise of the mountains. Deep heartfelt sigh.
Trudging through pools and light rain afterwards I found a seat at the cafe and had a flat white and bacon roll.
The rain was setting in. Turning the car north I headed for Aberfoyle – the gateway to the Trossachs. Had a wander, licked a Scottish Tablet flavoured ice cream, and made another impulsive decision. I was too late to sort out a train ride on the Glenfinnon (sp) viaduct, featured in Harry Potter but I do love trains. Perhaps a bit of a ride from the nearest station would suffice. Nearest station was just down the road from my B&B in Balloch, so I drove back and found parking. Unable to buy a ticket at the station I found myself swept on to the train to Glasgow, considering a long ride there and back. One minute before the train pulled out I leapt back off it and it pulled out. Whew. I’d even now be making my way home if I’d stayed on that seat.
Instead I did what I vastly preferred and went back to the cosy lounge in B&B to sip tea and read the book I’d bought at Edinburgh book fair.
I’ve been back to The Settlers in Bannoch for that excellent salmon meal and am now snuggled in bed with rain outside again.
Tomorrow: the Lake District.