Our day began just before 7am. Why? You might well ask.  Well, our host told us yesterday, when asked where we might stand a good chance of seeing a Red Squirrel on this trip, that he saw them early every morning in his garden! So, clad in my wooly hat (because of the midgies) we crept down the road and stood by the fence.  After a while, we decided to split up and I went along the path to the old Clachan church. Our host’s daughter’s dogs started to bark when they heard my footsteps and ahead of me there ran a streak of red lightning across my path, disappearing into the woodland.  I hung around for a few minutes, hoping for a re-appearance but, no luck.

Then I saw Peter beckoning me and I joined him by the garden again, once more setting the dogs off as I passed. There, behind the fence, and visible only in the gap between the palings, sat our quarrry.  He soon shot off over to the other woodland at the side and we could hear him chattering away up in a tree. Peter spotted him and snapped wildly with the camera.  Be warned, the results are not exactly up to our usual standard.:-(

I managed to get some shut-eye before we had to leave to start the coastal route down to Lochranza where we would pick up the Loch Tarbert ferry back to the mainland at Claonaig.


From Claonaig it was but a short drive to Tarbert to pick up the Isle of Cumbrae our next ferry which would take us to Portavadie on Cowal, a long finger of a peninsula that sits in the Clyde. It has the feeling of another island in fact.





An orchid near the harbour at Portavadie…


I thought it would be a good idea to take the coastal route up to Glendaruel which is where we were due to be camping for the night. Although pretty, it proved to be a bit of a driving challenge.

On the way Peter spotted another cuckoo…


Down a long hill we came to an unexpected pretty harbour with a pier, Otter Ferry.


There was a pub called the Oystercatcher!  We parked Bessie and relaxed for a little while outside with crisps and a drink.



A sign declared the area as “Argyle’s Secret Coast” (along Loch Fyne)and it seemed only sensible that we drive along it.  Very pretty but the narrowest road we had been along to date!  Apparently, it’s Jeremy Clarkson’s favourite drive…



Old Castle Lachlan

A truly beautiful area and well off the beaten track.

After this narrow road, getting to Glendaruel proved harder than we thought.  We trusted the sat nav in Bessie but I am afraid she led us astray down another narrow road which proved to be opposite the road we should be on.  It’s another beautiful area near the Glendaruel Forest but the campsite was a bit ordinary and had lots of statics. The worst thing, however, was the fact that our wifi didn’t work and we couldn’t use our little radio as the signal was awful. So, one of the biggest life changers for the UK was about to unfold in silence for us! We made the decision to leave early at 6am so we could at least catch up with the news of the Referendum on Europe.  Little did we know that by this time things had already been decided. We caught the first ferry over to Bute feeling rather stunned.

To be continued…