16 August 2013

Scotland 3

Part Three.

The hotel for the night was at Balmaha on the south-eastern shore of Loch Lomond.

The journey from Spean Bridge took us a lot longer than expected as we caught on the back of a tin box queue stacked up behind a red van that was unable to exceed 30mph. The 8 miles seemed interminable!

We broke cover and went into the petrol station as we entered Fort William. 

The rain that started at at Spean continued to lash down ad we set off southwards through the city heading for Glencoe. The first part of the trip is alongside Loch Linnhe. A pretty nice 8 miles!

Then across the bridge across the neck of Loch Leven and into Glencoe.

This is one of the most scenic places in the UK. In the dry and sunny it would be perfect, but even in the wet it is still fantastic. At least the rain managed to fuel the waterfalls.

We had intended to stop for a coffee at the tea bar at the southern end but it was closed.

In the end we continued to Crianlarich  on the A82. I've stopped here before and the railway station buffet is something of a  "must visit", except it was closed.

So we headed back to the A82/A85 junction and The Crianlarich Hotel. They didn't bat an eyelid when we walked in wearing our over trousers. Wet over trousers.

From there we took a roundabout route to Loch Lomond. Crianlarich is merely 6 miles from the top of the loch but we chose a (longer) scenic route to the east to go south.

The western route would have been a little shorter but less scenic.

The A85/A84 route took us to Loch Venachar and into the Trossachs through the crazily named of Brig O'Turk and southwards towards Glasgow and then to Balmaha.

The Oak Tree Hotel is right alongside the loch and a marina.

We had a room at the back. The bikes parked out back in the mostly gravel car-park on a small bit of hard standing.

Once cleaned up we went for a walk and then to the bar to try a few local pints. We tried three different ones in the evening.

Dinner turned out a little strange. Slimming World was already out of the window despite the previous evenings chicken salad.

We'd not had any haggis so far and this was about to end. The starter was the strangest thing, haggis pakora. A ball of spicy batter encasing a centre of haggis!!

For main, I was going to have another salad but in the end had the Clansman Burger. A half pound burger, topped with haggis in a large bun and topped with a cherry tomato and an onion ring. Lovely.

Adjoining us was a huge table with a large family group. Noisy. The women playing cards and the blokes talking loudly. Irritating.

When the Dad sent one of the lads to look for a table in the bar my ears pricked up. In the noise  I heard the yoof say there were tables. "We're off" I say and set off for the bar. There is a table. A nice big one with five chairs. We sat.

Minutes later Dad arrives with entourage. Oh dear. How sad.

By about 10pm the bar started to empty as the walkers started to head off to their hostels and hotels. We joined them. A marginally later start as Day 4 would be shorter on the road.

1 comment:

Trobairitz said...

Quite interesting cuisine. The haggis pakoras actually sound good.

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