22.05.2015 - 22.05.2015 9 °F
Checking out of The Blue Swallow we picked up final supplies at Sainsburys and set off up the M6, which became the M74, skirted around the south west of Glascow to get onto the M8 passed Glascow Airport onto the A82 to Crianlarich. This brought us the Balloch and Loch Lomond.
We had a nice walk along the Loch Lomind shores, walking to Duck Bay Beach. It was huge 12 metres of sand! As progress has allowed Cameron House to close off the Loch area at the front of their property we had to back track through the old Russ Road back to Balloch townsite. Many ferns, wild yelo6w poppies and huge amounts of moss grow over and around rocks and trees, surrounding many burrows and holes, being homes of we know not what, as I would niot stick my hand in them to find out, despite Robs encouragement to do so. We had a look at the Maid of the Loch, the last of the steamers, walked passed the marina, crossed the River Leven and walked through Balloch Castle Country Park to Balloch Castle, for a view of Loch Lomond from the East Bank. Itis a popular walking place for people of all ages, with dogs and children. Only one of the aforementioned was on a leash and as we overtook him, his brother and mother, he fruitlessly raised his arms in hope and began to follow Rob..... as it was a child and not a dog, he had no hope of Rob taking him home! We later saw him confined to a push chair in the co op.
The park land on the way to the Castle, whilst predominently green, had a variety of folliage and flowers from yellows, oranges to burgundies and reds. A walled garden area protected a memorial garden where small simple plaques mentioned a person to be remembered, beneath a plant in their honour. Sadly a number of those remembered had birth dates around or later than ours. Makes you stop and think. One plaque simply read " He lived for those he loved and those he loved remember". I dont know who " he " was but what a life well lived!! Something to aspire to.
By 4 o'clock we were able to book into Auchendennan Farm Garden Cottages, next to Auchendennan House. Robbie Burns used to have his hunting lodge there and Rob stayed on those premises 28 years ago when it was a Scottish Youth Hostel.
Our new home for the next few days is a self catering cottage .....yes we have to cook..... but we have views from our bed over a garden and gazebo with a pond behind that. Outside our patio window so far, a grey squirrel, black birds, and a tern have sauntered along for a visit.
What are the differences betwen England and Scotland? Well so far; parking is free!, Public toilets are free!, Entrances to exhibits are free! Maybe this is why the Scots don't like parting with money, because at home things are free!
The accents are so melodious. A lady in the Information office asked if we were going to visit Scotland's Perth ( pronounced Pear-th) as opposed to Australia's Perth! All of a sudden Perth did not sound as pretty a word.
A must buy for me will be a Harris Tweed purse, seen them, love them, want one! Surprisingly we saw a ring today that would match the Amber jewellery set Rob bought me home last yr when he was on his travels. So coincidental.
Rob has the next two days planned already, Travel Guide Extroadinaire that he is. More glorious walks to admire the Loch and a drive further a field to explore more of Scotland.
It is 9pm and the sun is still shining outside. Fine weather is still with us and it is not even cold enough tonight to start our wood fire in our cottage I am beginning to think the idea of cold, wet weather in the UK is a myth, but I guess it is Spring.
Our old tired dickie knees are calling for an early night to rest up before our walks tomorrow.
We will do some calls home over the weekend to catch up with those we've left behind.