Our next destination is another 200 miles further north at the Caravan Club site at Bunree, near Onich. Our site at Englethwaite Hall has been an interesting stopping off point. Englethwaite-Bunree seems to be a popular combination. As Francine was waiting for the organized fish and chip delivery on Friday evening, along with several others, she began talking to another gourmet diner who was also at Englethwaite en route to Bunree. Her camping neighbours, in turn, had stopped at Englethwaite on their way back from two weeks at Bunree where, they reported, it had rained every day. Oh joy! They also expressed the opinion that Fort William, at the southern end of the Caledonian Canal just above Bunree, was “a dump”. As a result, I have now mentally rechristened Fort William as Fort Dump, though I am still personally to validate their assessment. Today would take me one step closer to doing so.
We hitched up and were on the road before 9:00 AM. In just a few miles we were beyond the frontier of civilization, leaving Hadrian’s wall behind us in the rear view mirror. The journey north begins on the M6 motorway. This self-same motorway then utterly seamlessly becomes the A74(M) which then, again completely seamlessly transforms itself into the M74. One road, three different numbers: M6, A74(M), M74 – how sensible is that?
I noticed another odd thing about the Scottish end of the motorway. Our national speed limit on such roads is 70 mph. The national speed limit for any road is signified by a white circular road sign with a thick black diagonal bar. What you never see in England is speed limit sign with “70” specifically written on it yet, here in Scotland, they were. They looked weird, just because we’re not used to them.
Mercifully, a new motorway-grade road has been built through/over Glasgow. Since the best way to deal with Glasgow is to get through it/over it as quickly as humanly possible, the new road helped greatly. Regrettably, the 70 speed limit signs were replaced by a mixture of 60 and 50 speed limit signs, slowly progress somewhat. Even more unfortunately, Sally Satnav didn’t know about this new road – her maps are 18 months out of date, after all – so Snr. Navigation Officer Francine had to assume control as Sally drew a car in the middle of nowhere and announced, “driving in Scotland”. Very helpful, Sally!
They could do with a new road running beside the 24-mile(ish) western shore of Loch Lomond but alas, we had to bounce our way relatively slowly over the existing road surface. [I use the word surface loosely.] The puddles from the moderately heavy rain made reading the surface as difficult as seeing anything of the bonny, bonny banks themselves.
Our route even further north took us through the twin tourist attractions of Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe, both of which managed to maintain a certain amount of visual appeal despite the low cloud base. It had, at least, stopped raining. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to return in more favourable conditions, should any arrive.
We arrived at Bunree Caravan Club site at 1:30 PM and checked in. The site is picturesquely placed right on the shore of Loch Linnhe. There are loch-side pitches literally eight metres from the shore but awnings are not permitted on these. As we were early enough for there to be several up for grabs, though, Francine couldn’t resist snagging one of the remaining ones and foregoing the convenience of our small porch awning. I was more than happy to forego the pleasure of having to erect it.