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Published: June 15th 2018
We headed up the scenic west coast of Kintyre on Tues 12 June. Still beautiful sunshine. Passing through the picturesque village of Tarbert, we took a right hand turn towards Inveraray. We know how the vegetation is trimmed on the sides of the road. The lorries do it! We followed behind a logging hauler for quite a long while. At times, it was raining leaves lol!
We arrived in Inveraray too early to check in so, after stretching our legs, we decided to visit the jail. Inveraray Jail is now a museum but, back in the 1800s, it housed prisoners, men, women and children in extremely dire conditions. It comprises of the Old Prison and the New Prison. Very graphic presentations so not many photos - too gruesome. We then moved onto Inveraray Castle a ten minute walk from the Jail. The Castle is the home of the Duke of Argyll and the Campbell Clan. It was our last castle and it was as impressive as quite a few of the previous ones we have visited. Downton Abbey fans (Shaz) will know it was used for one of the Christmas episodes of the series. It is very grand with beautiful
gardens. Nice little Tearoom. We then sought out the Newton Hall Guest House, our home for the next two nights. Bruce greeted us at the back gate when he saw us wandering around trying to figure out where we were supposed to be. Another friendly host. The house had recently been refurbished. Our room was delightful. And the bathroom was one of the nicest we’ve had. There were no windows but there was a large skylight right over the bed that could be opened. There was a cover which we didn’t use. We slept under the stars the first night. The second night I was woken by a mist of rain hitting my face. Aah ... might be an idea to close the window lol. The first night we walked down to the George Hotel on Bruce’s recommendation for dinner. I changed my mind at the last minute and had the langoustines. Absolutely wonderful! Bill was jealous lol. The next day, we decided to drive up to Loch Lomond. There was some debate as we would pass through Loch Lomond the next day when returning to Edinburgh but Bill held out and off we went. As has been the case
many times on this trip, we lucked out ..... on inquiring about a Loch cruise, there was one departing in 20 mins. It was only a ten minute walk through the woods to get to the departure point! We jumped on the Astina and enjoyed a very relaxing hour on Loch Lomond. Overcast but lovely. Massive Loch. Afterwards we walked over to Balloch for a bite to eat. Not far. Prawn Marie Rose sandwiches again. They’ve become our favourites. Just as we got back to our car, it started to rain. And rain it did! It made up for the last five weeks of not having any. It didn’t stop until we reached Haddington 24 hrs later. And Bill felt vindicated. There was no chance of cruising Loch Lomond the next day. Back in Inveraray, we ran down to the George Hotel for dinner but, much to Bill’s dismay, the langoustines were not on the menu. Don’t worry. He settled for duck lol. After dinner, we started back and while waiting for Bill, I struck up a conversation with a guy having a smoke just outside. He had spent some time in Airlie Beach around the mid 90s. He introduced
himself. Donald Clark, the owner. “Come back in. Let me shout you a beer” he said. So we did! After a few more shouts by Bill and Donald, we finally made our way back to Newton Hall. Donald was responsible for catching the langoustines and was shocked they sold out so quick. He was a very unassuming guy. It turns out he is the 7th generation of Clarks who bought two houses and transformed them into the George Hotel in 1860. Only found this out via google. The next morning, we were a little the worse for wear after the ‘shouts’ but were first in the breakfast room. Another couple came in. Morning greetings followed by a bit of banter. Something about Aussies lowering the tone of the guest house. Ha ha. They inquired as to when we were leaving as they wanted to give us something to take back to Aus. Later as we were packing up, Paul Aidan Richardson came by and gave us two books that he had written. He wrote in one of them “Bill, it’s great to be greeted with a smile, Paul”. Another unassuming guy. We’ll certainly have lovely memories of Inveraray. As we
Taken from Rest and Be Thankful in a howling gale. Almost got knocked over.
left, Scotland gave us the weather we had missed. Teeming rain and gale force winds! Appropriate for driving through Glen Kinglas, the Rest and Be Thankful Pass into Glen Croe. I’m sure Jeremy and Jodie remember Glen Kinglas as the place we nearly got swept off the road 30 odd years ago. The conditions were recreated yesterday. Ha ha. There’s a guard rail there now but it’s still a scary drive.
Back in Haddington to stay at the Eleanor & Ken, Alison & Calum Guest House. Winding down. We are stopping over in Paris as we make our way back to Aus. Not looking forward to farewelling Scotland but we are looking forward to coming home.
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