I thought I would update the blog with the couple of weeks over Easter including a quick week away in the van for me.
We had a busy end to April with the family here for a week before Easter and The Navigator had to do some holiday relief for her previous employer for Easter week and I took the opportunity to disappear off in Bessie for a week, but more of that in a minute.
The last time we saw granddaughter Eilidh was at Christmas over in Belfast and she has come on quite dramatically since then and was the star of the show. The week started for her with a visit to her great grandmother.
Then a visit to see her cousin where she enjoyed her first experience on a swing!
Jill, Simon and Eilidh left on the Saturday of the Easter weekend and I took Emma to Glasgow in Bessie on the Sunday to catch her train back to Leeds. The Navigator was working all of Easter week so I managed a quick week away on my own for a change. On the way down Loch Lomondside with Emma I noticed that the parking spot at Duck Bay was fairly quiet so headed back there from Glasgow to park up and enjoy the great scenery and weather for a couple of days.
The Duck Bay parking spot (56.019497, -4.616562) was created when the A82 was widened and straightened so the loop that was the old road on the Loch side has become a favourite spot for motorhome wildcamping and people coming out of Glasgow for a picnic, to fish, jetski or water ski.
The weather was fantastic on the Sunday and Monday and the place was packed with lots of families making the most of the great weather to escape the city.
As well as the usual watersport activities the seaplane was taking off just a few hundred yards away taking people up for a flight over the west coast scenery. If you fancy trying this flight check out their website at
https://www.lochlomondseaplanes.com/ . Here is their video to whet your appetite…
As well as the water based entertainment there was also plenty of land based things going on to watch including a motorhome scraping a car (the blue BMW) two cars in front of me and damaging his own fairly new van as his rear light cluster nearly came off. The motorhome driver never left a note for the car driver, but the witnesses provided his number plate to the car driver and he was reported to the police!
One of the reasons I was out in the van this week was that on Saturday I was meant to be flying my drone to capture footage of the Run Mhor Hidden Glen 10K Run near Balquhidder. I had not flown the drone in ages, not even in France or Spain on our recent trip as it was too windy most of the time so I needed to update the software and fly it to get some practise in, so before the crowds appeared on Easter Monday, I flew it at Duck Bay.
On the Tuesday morning I moved on and headed towards Stirling, through Balloch at the bottom of Loch Lomond and headed for a layby (56.104250, -4.330698) just before the village of Buchlyvie and spent two nights there. We have passed this spot many times in the car and the van on our way to visit The Navigator’s mother but had never stayed there before. It is a layby formed when a corner was straightened on the A811 and is perfect for a wildcamping overnight (or two).
After two very peaceful nights it was time to head to Stirling for some shopping and then up to Callander to spend one night on a campsite to service the van. Since I left home the weather had been fantastic but as soon as I arrived at the site and serviced the van it started to rain, then pour down. It had been years since I had last stayed in Callander and going back thirty odd years I had always stayed at the Gart Caravan Park but this time I tried the Keltie Bridge Caravan Park (56.238635, -4.180286) which was very good. Unfortunately I was only here for one night or I could have taken advantage of the over 60s rate of £20 a night for a minimum of 2 nights.
Keltie Bridge is fractionally further away from the centre of Callander than the Gart but it is still walkable. The town is a must stop if you are heading for the west coast including Oban and Fort William.
The one and only issue was there was a field behind the van with sheep and new born lambs, Ahhhh I hear you say, but not at 6am when they started baaing pretty loudly!
Friday morning dawned and it was pelting down! I headed up the A84, past Loch Lubnaig and Strathyre to park Bessie at my niece’s house in preparation for the Fun Run tomorrow. Iona and husband Pete run Tay Fitness Events and this was their first event of the year, the Run Mhor Hidden Glen 10K but the rain never relented and I couldn’t fly the drone but I did film the start and the finish. The runners, all 411 of them received a medal for completing the course and it was well deserved as the weather conditions were appalling.
The Navigator was meant to be joining us on the Friday afternoon but the car broke down on Wednesday and had to be towed to Glasgow from Inveraray to be fixed at a Citroen main dealer, a rather costly event to say the least! The joys of living in the wilds…
Bessie will be back on the road in a few weeks time as we are having a week away somewhere in Scotland before ending the week hopefully capturing the Run Mhor Half Marathon on the 15th of June with the drone (if it’s not raining or blowing a gale). Unfortunately the event is a sell out or we might have been tempted to take part…
The event is centered at the Mhor 84 hotel on the A84 and the route passes Balquhidder where Rob Roy is buried. Rob Roy MacGregor’s name and reputation stride through late 17th and early 18th century Scottish history and he is probably the nation’s best-known historical figure next to Robert the Bruce, William Wallace and Bonnie Prince Charlie. You can click on the image below to buy Nigel Tranter’s book on Amazon.
We will have some time away in Bessie in June in between The Navigator working for a few days again then in July I’m off on my own again for another week…