Leaving Girvan we took the decision to head to the relative safety of a Camping and Caravanning Club Site. We checked our usual haunts, Glencoe and Luss, but neither were able to accommodate so after a bit more searching we found that the site at Oban had vacancies.
We decided to head for a site so we could charge our batteries, they hadn’t been properly charged for over a week other than via the solar panels and at this time of year the sun doesn’t give a great deal of power. It was also going to give us chance to do some washing and tidy the van.
The road up, and I use the term road advisably, would have better been navigated via boat. Once round Glasgow, up over the Erskine Bridge and past Alexandria we headed past Luss and took the road past Loch Lomond. As we were travelling on a Sunday we knew we wouldn’t meet many if any “loggers” just the odd tourist coach. If you have travelled up the A82 then you will know that section of road well. If you haven’t you are the lucky ones. The road is narrow in places, littered with broken wing mirrors, pot holes and fallen rocks, branches, blind corners, steep tree lines banks on one side and a Loch on the other. It makes the journey interesting especially in the pouring rain.
Sailing past Crainlarich we headed towards Tyndrum and took the road towards Oban. We did consider stopping at the “Green Welly” but thought better of it as it was full of partly drowned Bikers and we didn’t want to disturb them.
The road between Tyndrum and Connel Bridge is always beautiful even in the rain but this time it as just yuck! The rain wasn’t letting up and there were still idiots driving around without headlights.
** Rant Warning **
Driving around without lights on is dangerous and far too many drivers think because they have their daytime running lights on are on they are safe. Lights are not for you to see but for you to be seen. Please remember, if the wipers are working so should your headlights. It’s not difficult to remember.
You might think it’s only important to use lights at night, but there are also instances when you should use them during daylight hours.
Headlights and fog lights should also be used in daytime hours when visibility is seriously reduced – although you must switch them off when visibility improves to avoid dazzling other road users. Dipped headlights should be turned on to ensure you can be seen in dull weather.
All sidelights must also be lit between sunset and sunrise, even if it still seems light enough to manage without them.
Be seen be safe, please.
** Rant over **
The appalling weather dictated our next move. We crossed from west to east and headed for Stonehaven once again. A night on the promenade listening to the sea rushing on the stones was just what the doctor ordered.
Next morning I picked up my International Driving Permits. Bought a 1968 and a 1949 version which should cover us for all eventualities. It was a simple procedure and easy enough to by, so if you are planning to drive abroad make sure you get yours.
Leaving Stonehaven we headed up to Nairn CCC site for a few days to catch up with friends. It’s always nice to catch up and swap stories.
Friday arrived and we headed up the A9 towards Thurso our intended overnight halt. Only problem was we discovered that the carpark had no overnight sleeping restrictions. (No sleeping in vehicles between 22hrs and 8 hrs). After a quick check for a few more suitable stopping places we headed off across the top of Scotland towards Durness. The drive across was as spectacular as ever but sadly the rain was making the stopping places a little tricky to manoeuvre into so we decided to head all the way across to Durness.
We eventually found a suitable location to rest our weary heads along with a tenter and another motorhome.
Overnight the rain hit us yet again and didn’t stop, as I lay there in bed I began to wonder “does aluminium rust?”
Saturday came and we headed into Ullapool to do some touristy stuff and decide where we were going to overnight and listen to the rain again! It’s got to stop sometime, hasn’t it?