The Living Years(Mike and the Mechanics) - Auchnarrow to Arncroach,Two Villages in Scotland we Had Never Heard of Before the BBA V3 - 13th August 2016

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August 13th 2016
Published: August 19th 2016
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We could have done with another couple of days in the Highlands but the place we have been staying at is so popular that we were even lucky to get the two days we did.

We want to get to Arncroach as soon as we can so there was no lie in this morning and once breakfast was over it was time to pack up the car.

Our hosts were heading out themselves as we were about to leave and after another half hour chat we were on our way.

Our drive south would take us along the A939 to the A93 through Braemar and over the Glenshee pass before reaching the farmland at the foot of the Grampian Mountains and onto Dundee.

We have a fine day ahead of us and even the temperature is set to get into the low 20’s as we reach the coast. So it’s time to get the shorts back out again and give our feet an airing by wearing sandals on our feet. It would be good to reflect that we did get some use out of the summer clothing we have in the suitcases.

The A939 rose and fell over the rolling hills with some excellent views of the land ahead from the summits. Despite the fine weather overhead it was still a little breezy although not as strong as yesterday.

The heather along the hillsides was just beautiful and Gretchen needed more photos of the flower close up as did other motorists on the road.

The last summit of the A939 was probably the most spectacular with the most panoramic view which included a tall white painted stone house in a small oasis of vivid green grass just out from the bottom of the hill.

There were a number of drivers of cars taking the opportunity for the outstanding scenic view and there was just as well there were two parking lots as one of them was already full by the time we arrived on the scene.

Joining the A93 bought us back to familiar territory as we had spent a few days along this road on the BBA V2 at Braemar and we felt very much at home picking out places we stopped at and took walks three years ago as if it was yesterday.

At Braemar the GPS decided to have some fun and took us off the main highway and onto a rural road that ran parallel with the A93 for several kilometres until we reached a small stone bridge and rejoined the main road as we climbed to the Glenshee Pass.

In the winter this is a busy ski field even though the facilities are fairly basic compared to the ski fields we have been to in New Zealand.

Nevertheless and despite still breezy cool conditions one of the ski lifts was working taking those who wanted the all round view up to the top of the skifield.For us it was just a bit too breezy and cool.

Down Glen Shee to the town of Blairgowrie and we were back into farmland with grain crops matured and ready for harvest.

Passing through Coupar Angus and over the Sidlaw Hills and we reached an end of Benvie Road we hadn’t been to before. I should note at this point for those who don’t know that the family name is also the name of a very small hamlet just off the A90 south of Dundee.

All of our family have visited Benvie, Erin and Brent trudged through snow one New Year while Leigh and Cormac stood at the only crossroads one summer. This is our third visit to the locality which boasts a sizeable farm and a couple of houses along with the road that is signposted from several places on the main highway.

We then took a more easterly course towards the coast of Fife and a village that until we received Carolyn’s invitation to the Benvie reunion we had never heard of.

To get to Arncroach took us over the Firth of Tay and through the military settlement of Leuchars and then a succession of country roads.

Thankfully the GPS guided us into the village and the balloons out on the lane leading up to Carolyn’s and Trevor’s home was a sure sign we were in the right place.

Carolyn is the daughter of my Uncle Albert who was older than my father. Albert was a Bank Manager and my father had worked with numbers in accounting jobs all his life so it was hardly surprising that both I and my brother ended up in the Banking game too.

We had first met Carolyn in person at Aileen’s(one of my second cousin’s)Benvie Reunion in 2009 on the BBA V1.I always knew of Carolyn and that I had a first cousin north of the border but that was our first trip to the UK and she hadn’t been down under.

It was lovely to see her again and recognise the family resemblance. We had been so pleased they had invited us to stay with them when they heard we were embarking on the BBA V3.

They have been renovating their home for a couple of years and what a beautiful home it is too with lovely rural views. They have just got into Air BnB and are able to offer a substantial part of their home which they can close off from the part they live in and they were interested to know what experiences we had had along the way.

The afternoon and the evening right through to midnight was spent talking about the Benvie family and the research we had done and the revelations along the way. Like me Carolyn is interested to piece together the puzzles that are families and especially those who have already passed away.

It had been such a pleasant afternoon and evening that we don’t think anyone had noticed just how late it had become and they had to be up early to prepare for the luncheon when the Montrose and Brechin Benvie’s arrive for a party.

PS:the words of the tune are partly about past years and regret and we are now just so pleased that we have finally had the opportunity to spend some time with first cousin Carolyn.May it not be the last occasion.Enjoy on Youtube.

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