I finished the last blog post while at the Dog and Duck on Lough Ree, Ireland on May 31st.
Next morning we headed north to catch the ferry at Belfast. The landscape was as green as The Emerald Isle should be.
The "Celtic Tiger" building spree produced many McMansions and sadly we saw a few that were deserted or not even finished.
Like any big city, we preferred to skirt it and were fortunate that the motorway took us right to the dock. We only had a little while to wait before embarking.
It was a calm, short and uneventful 2.5 hour journey. We disembarked at Cairnryan, which is just a short 30 miles south of Girvan where Brian was born and raised and his brother, Joe, still lives. It was great to see him and his pal Linda.
As you can see, not much difference in the scenery on this side of the water.
Timing was in our favor as the next day was the Girvan Lowlands Games. We listened to the bagpipes from Joe’s garden then we wandered over to the park and were surprised to see that the bagpipes were actually recorded music used for the highland dancers’ exhibit.
There were bands in full dress practicing, rides for the kids and games of chance for everyone and later there would a competiton of Toss the Caber. It was a lovely Scottish scene.
We walked about town, Brian showing me points of interest from his childhood – his school, where he beat up so and so, the hotel his parents owned, the council house he lived in, etc.
The next day Joe and Linda drove us up to Ayr, a town both of us love. It was a mad dash around the shops and then back to Girvan for a lovely dinner out. The night before was ‘fish suppers’. Delicious – a heart attack in every bite!
We spent three nights in Joe’s driveway (he did offer his guest bedroom) then set off for the ‘North’.
Loch Lomond is a must see. The area is beautiful and the wee town of Luss with its flowery gardens sets the tone. We went into the visitor’s center and viewed a short film of the area. There was free WIFI in the room and on the Internet I located a campsite only 20 miles away and on a loch. The GPS wouldn’t bring it up as I didn't have an exact address; we couldn’t find it by driving two or three miles each way past the supposed location. I was so happy that I could speak the lingo as I asked at a gas station. Nope that campsite doesn’t exist anymore. The Forestry Service now owns it. Damn!
We had purchased a new GPS in Ayr and I didn’t realize that it had a Campsite feature. Now we use that to find places for the night. So far this GPS is maintaining a good sense of direction rather than one of wicked directional humor the old one possessed and here’s hoping it continues when we are back home.
We had to backtrack and stayed at Glen Docherty Campsite. It was quiet and clean with pretty surroundings.
We have been fortunate in our choice of sites, the ones that actually exist that is. They have all been in excellent locations, clean and well managed. Some have WIFI throughout, some have none, none will tolerate loud behavior and all ask the campers to pick their own site then go back with the site number and pay. Very civilized.
The next day (June 6th) we drove northwest to Oban, which is a large city on the Firth of Lorn. We wandered around then had a fish and chip lunch, picked up some groceries and drove a short distance to a remarkable campsite.