After a late evening spent working on the blog we both woke at 6am to continue working on the blog! The wi-fi, it seemed was on a ‘go-slow’ which was rather infuriating particularly when you’re trying to upload photos and videos onto the website. The ever spinning ‘circle of doom’ just kept spinning round and round uploading a picture about every five minutes. With over a hundred pictures to upload…..well, you do the math! We’d never get away if we waited for them all to upload, or is it download, we’ve never understood what the difference is. Is there any difference? Anyway, I digress. We haven’t got time to wait for them all to up or download as we need to vacate the room by 10am! The videos didn’t stand a chance, hence why you’ll find no videos in this album and why we had to upload one onto facebook! Of course its not just the wi-fi that’s hindering the uploading of any videos. We still haven’t fathomed out how to change the format, or do whatever it is you have to do to make the transition for it to be uploaded. The ‘help’ facility it’s much of a help for us either as us two IT duffers can’t seem to get our heads around the technological jargon in the first place! One day I’m sure it’ll all fall into place and we’ll be whizz kids at it.
Another tasty breakfast was served and enjoyed at 8am in our lounge and then it was back to a) uploading Johns birthday video onto facebook b) publishing yesterdays completed blog and c) completing the packing! It was all go and a complete hive of activity in the room. And of course on this very special day, 16th September, Birthday Greetings must be sent out to... in no particular order; Betty, Harry and Johnny (he of The Horse with the Red Umbrella fame)! Have a lovely day guys and gals 🎉🎊🍸
We finally left Crookabeck Farm at 10.15am, being led off the premises by the elderly sheep dog who proceeded to walk in front of the car at a very, very slow pace. It was sad to leave this beautiful place, we’ve really enjoyed our stay here and would certainly recommend staying at Crookabeck Farm B&B and in this area of Ullswater.
We set off, Maice in the driving seat, me in the passenger seat, my lap laden with directional paraphernalia for the journey and headed north, following the road up past the lake until we came to our first stop, just before Penrith, at the Redegh service station. J&S had told us to purchase our petrol there as it was a ‘good price’ so that’s exactly what we did. Of course, driving in, Maice headed into the wrong queue for petrol. Being in the queue for lorries and diesel only we had to wait for the van in front to fill up and the car behind to reverse back so we could move into the correct pumping lane. I must give 10/10 to this service station for being so clean and welcoming and they also made decent barista coffee which we purchased for the onward journey. We found out later its part of the Farm Shop group, you know the ecologically aware group of service stations with Tebay being the daddy of them all, so to speak! With a full tank of petrol, we soon found ourselves back on the M6, northbound, and headed for bonnie Scotland. How very exciting.
I’m happy to advise that the journey up was without incident, keeping to the speed limit at all times and soon we’d crossed over into Scotland and were walking around Gretna Green, famous for couples ‘eloping’ to get married. We found the loos, and then not to miss out on any shopping opportunity we wandered around the few shops that were open, and that was it. Gretna Green was done. Tick……and we’d managed to emerge without purchasing anything. Now let’s carry on the journey.
We were getting quite peckish by now and realised it was lunch time so stopped off at another Farm Shop service station called Cairn Lodge, on the A74(M). Another lovely place, and after using the facilities we took out the tablecloth, made a ‘make-shift table’ in the front seat of the car and had another lovely lunch of sun-dried tomatoes and crisps.
Consulting the atlas, we were still some pages away from our final destination, Oban. Our mission of the day was to get to page 120 of the Supreme scale Atlas Britain 2010 and on page 120 is Oban and even though it’s 10 years old we’ve decided to use our atlas skills, give SatNav Steve a day off and see how we get on. So far so good!
Travelling up through the pages of the atlas we soon found ourselves on page 122, travelling alongside Loch Lomond behind this very slow car which was fluctuating between 20-30mph in a 50mph zone. There was a massive queue of traffic behind us and we were trying to keep calm and not let it get to us but it was a tad difficult when you’re watching the very impatient drivers behind us trying to overtake on the bendy narrow road…..it was certainly very nerve-wracking to watch. Finally after some miles he/she obviously looked in their rear mirror to see a trail of cars behind them and moved over into a lay-by. Finally, we could get a move on. We had to get to page 120 where we were meeting up with the Scottish contingent at approx 6pm! We stopped off at a vista point, made a video overlooking the lake and sent it off to the others, who sent one back. We, being back on the road by then, pulled into a lay-by to watch their video and by the time we’d got back on the road….can you believe this, we found ourselves behind the very slow driver again!!!
The more we drove north the more the Scottish countryside resembled Canada what with its mountains and waterfalls, its lakes/lochs and its ruggedness. It was lovely. We soon spotted a sign for Oban and before we knew it we were driving into Lidl carpark, parked up and there we were, purchasing a couple of bottles of Prosecco for the reunion with the Scottish contingent. They’d advised us not to park outside the accommodation until after 6pm when its free parking, so we sat in Lidl carpark for 30 minutes musing over our journey and the fact we’d made it here by just using a good old atlas. All done without using a compass which we didn’t bring because somebody forgot it! Of course its all to do with my excellent navigational skills oh and of course Maice, the driver has done well and kept within the speed limits……big 👏👏👏👏 to us then!
We parked up outside the AirBnB in Oban where the welcoming committee, consisting of, in no particular order……Pearl, Dianne and Sandra were waiting to carry all our baggage indoors. It was great to see them all, having not seen each other since Pearls birthday in Cyprus last November. We had a lot to catch up on and without further ado the Prosecco was popped open as was the bottle of Champagne Mark, Pearls other half had very kindly given us to celebrate my upcoming ‘big’ birthday…….A big ’Thank you to Mark’. The air was filled with the five of us, with Marvin looking on, chatting ten to the dozen. Ah, it was great. We popped out for a quick tour of Oban, in search of somewhere to get a takeaway, took away fish, chips, mushy peas and curry sauce and ate heartily back at the accommodation. Fed and watered, it was soon bedtime. We’re all hoping for good weather over the next few days, a calm sea for the ferry from Oban across to Mull and warm waters for our skinning dipping on Iona. We can all but wish….
Good night Pearl, good night Maice, good night Sandra, good night Dianne, good night Marvin and good night Angela……xxxxxx