Queen Victoria’s Rain

Some reflections on our trip so far…

I was just thinking; it’s been a while since we did a thought experiment, not since Portugal in fact. Right then, here we go…

Can you drum your fingers on the desk or table or armchair where you’re sitting? That’s it. A little faster now, and as loud as you can make it. That’s good. Now I want you to close your eyes and imagine you’re hearing that sound amplified by about ten times… For 18 bloomin’ hours! Welcome to the incessant rain of Argyll & Bute 😀 

The stormy weather has been relentless here. We heard reports on the radio of landslides at Rest and be Thankful (great name!) and the owner of the campsite where we’re going tomorrow has warned us that our pitch is flooded and may not be ready when we get there. We never get this malarkey when we’re in France or Spain d’oh! Oh hang on… incoming message from Gill… Oh yes, there was that time things got a little moist when somebody left the skylights open in the rain in Sarlat-le-Caneda, ahem.

So yesterday was a day of crosswords and cross words cooped up in a humid Vince. Two episodes of Spooks, a Holby and a tipple or two helped keep us sane until the rain stopped (briefly) this morning as we left the campsite. We’re still a little rusty on our pack-up & go checklist. It was only when we stopped in Inveraray for morning coffee that we realised Vince’s TV aerial was still extended through the roof; standing three feet proud and decapitating passing sparrows. Oops. 

Once we’d caffeined up and retracted the killer aerial we set off for tonight’s stopover, and what a result! I mentioned in our last post that the Scottish equivalent of the Forestry Commision were trialling a scheme to allow camper vans and motorhomes to use some of their car parks after 6pm. We did arrive at Dunardry a little earlier than that but as there was plenty of space we didn’t think it would be a problem. I lied about our arrival time on their post-visit website survey anyway…

Vince’s Eyrie, with eerie sky...
Vince’s Dunardry eyrie, with eerie sky…

The car park is quite elevated so it has excellent views over the Crinan Canal which links the seas of the Sound of Jura to Loch Gilp. Between the stretch we are overlooking and the sea, there are fifteen locks and seven bridges! We took a drizzly walk along the towpath for a couple of miles and thoroughly enjoyed the views of Knapdale’s lochs and woods. Without our wellies we decided that squelching through the protected marshland of Moine Mhor wouldn’t be the best idea so we turned back in favour of aperitifs and blog-posting from the big fella.

A little research revealed that the dilapidated shed on the water pictured below used to be the nightly resting place of the Linnet, once the most photographed canal boat in the country. She steamed up and down the Crinan Canal in the 1850’s, often carrying up to 300 passengers crammed on to her heaving decks. All (it says here) inspired by Queen Victoria’s visit in 1847 when she passed through on her way to her Highland holiday. See? We can do disasters and mayhem, but we can do a bit of history now and again too.

The Linnet’s Shed - with more rain looming
All that remains of the Linnet’s shed

I shall leave you this evening with a little frisson of jeopardy – will the rain ever stop? Will they make it to Lochgilphead without getting caught in a mudslide? If they get there will their pitch be under water? More importantly, will Ken run out of rum? These, and more questions will be answered in our next exciting (well mildly interesting) instalment.

Until then, toodle-pip and see you soon.

Inveraray Castle
It may have been closed but…
Inveraray Castle
…we sneaked in to get some photos of Inveraray Castle for you anyway!
An oldie but a goodie - rain gauge
An oldie but a goodie (click or tap to enlarge)
View from Vince’s eyrie
The view from Vince’s eerie eyrie…
Bellanoch Bridge
Bellanoch Bridge along our walk
Crinan Canal Locks
Crinan Canal locks

About Ken Tomlinson 217 Articles
Semi-retired biker, blogger and world’s best grandad. Doesn’t take life too seriously. Discovered motorhoming in 2015, sold up and downsized to fund more travels. Now with added Yorkshire.

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