Today was technically our last full day at Cannich. However, we awoke to the gentle pitter-patter of rain on Guillaume’s roof, punctuated by the occasional syncopated beat of drips from an overhanging tree branch. [Given the choice, don’t park caravans under trees. Normally I wouldn’t.] There being little point staying twiddling our thumbs in a depressingly wet place that we’d largely already investigated, we packed up and hit the road south at 08:00 in the standard Highland morning summer temperature of 11°C, which rose gradually to the standard Highland summer high of 13°C.
After 12 miles crossing the countryside we hit Loch Ness at Drumnadrochit, which is a total tourist trap nightmare, complete with the very worst kind of souvenir shop (Nessie, Wee Monster T-shirts, etc.) and dreadful canned bagpipe “music”, against which I had to close my driver’s window, in the street. Silly Sally Satnav wanted us to turn north and negotiate the relatively heavy traffic of Inverness before heading south down the A9 into the frightful congestion caused by extensive road works near Perth. Bonkers! We were already half way down the A82 beside Loch Ness so we turned south and drove down the Great Glen passing, after Loch Ness, the amusingly named Loch Lochy. [Run out of ideas, eh?]
Our route continued through Fort William, another depressing town in our view [previous trip]. In persistent rain the road then followed the shore of Loch Linnhe before climbing into Glen Coe which, if one could see it, I admit is grand and quite impressive. Today, however, with the clouds on the deck and drizzle, dream on.
Our blistering Highland temperature remained at 13°C until we began descending towards Loch Lomond where things improved a little, though not the road surface beside the northern part of the loch which absolutely sucks. As well as uneven, the road is narrow with unforgiving stone walls on both sides. We negotiated it safely but passed a disconcerting number of broken pieces of car abandoned beside the stone walls edging the road. Take care.
Now in the Lowlands, both the temperature and meteorological outlook improved a little more and by the time we skirted Glasgow we were being treated to 17°C – positively balmy.
Approaching the English border we saw sun and the temperature soared eventually to 22°C. After three weeks, we were now more acclimatized to Scottish Highland summer temperatures, i.e. 13°C, and were beginning to bake. Should we turn on the aircon?
I saw the “Welcome to England” sign as the M74 magically transformed into the M6. My heart sang; a weight had been lifted.
We checked into the soon-to-be-closed campsite at Tebay Services. It closes on 3rd September, the end of an era.
With it at last feeling like summer, I broke into a sweat getting Guillaume set up.