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Published: September 16th 2021
Gabby the motorhome is parked up on Clatteringshaws Loch . We cannot see much out of her windscreen. It is still too dreek . The drizzle falls and the mist has rolled in over the loch . Not much of a view . We found a spot in a corner almost up to the area where motorhomers could dump their grey waste and toilet contents. There was one other motorhome there and a good number of cars . It cost £1 to park for one hour; £2 for two hours and £3 for all day up to a minute to midnight . The Forestry Commission who owned all the land as far as the eye could see had kindly granted permission for night stops following consultations with CamPra . They asked CamPra what motorhomers needed and provided the facilities at a cost of £6 per night . 7 motorhomes could stay over but we guessed more than 7 would turn up at some point . Motorhomers were requested to be quiet and respect their neighbours , no fires nor BBQ's and to take their rubbish away with them. In return they could stay and enjoy the red kites, the red squirrels , a cafe , walks to the Bruce Stone and a dark sky .
The driver did not fancy a walk round the car park so I set off to check where to pay. One of the machines was out of the order . The other gobbled up my £3 and we were good to stay until 6pm when we needed to refill the parking machine . I walked up to the cafe and purchased a Malteser cake . A large slab of rich chocolate filled with maltesers . Good to eat with a piping hot cup of tea or coffee. I could have walked to the Bruce STone . Someone, somewhere decided that this very stone should be used to commemorate the battle fought by Robert the Bruce in the area. They could have picked any old stone . There was no proof the Bruce actually sat on this stone, stood close by this stone or laid his head on it . It felt a bit like family history . Hearsay , folklore and legend . Assumptions made and very often not correct . Who knows if the Bruce passed by but no doubt many would be happy to swallow the story hook line and sinker .
The loch was constructed between 1933 and 1935 by building a dam across the river . It was built by the Galloway Water and Power company . The loch caused by the daming of the River Dee was much larger than its neighbours Loch Dee and Trool . I hoped no villages had been drowned in its construction nor any farmers and villages displaced. No drowned school nor kirk . Beneath is waters though does lie Craignell - again a welsh connection Craig - a stone in the welsh language , which was the site of a battle that the Bruce had a hand in.
We sat for a while trying to see the red squirrels - not a sign of any nor of the red kites . The weather was too grim. I fed the meter at 6 and we were good to stay the night . About five of us stayed . I saw many drive in and park up but not pay . That offended me . How can we hope to be welcomed when we abuse the system ? How can we be welcomed when we park across two disabled spots ? I really felt annoyed at those who drove in and stayed without paying .
We slept well despite the rain overnight . The dreekness continued. If there is not a word dreekness I have just decided there should be one . We had planned the morning would be a trip to the coast and then a well earned night on a campsite in the grounds of Culzean Castle . However the weather defeated us. We are fair weather campers and decided on the spur of the moment to cancel the trip to Culzean and head home . The lovely wardens at the camp site offered to move our booking . We accepted their kind offer . We will spend the night at Culzean on June 14th 2022. Pending Covid of course .
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