Time to move on – we are mostly only spending two nights in any one place. First, to raise the caravan legs. These are ‘automatic’ and I use the word advisedly. There is no manual override. Regular readers may recall that these do not always do as they are told and this was one of those occasions. Set to rise, they lower, set to lower, three of the four rise. Not only does this make driving off impossible but it takes several minutes for each attempt. Finally we have four legs that are no longer on the ground and we begin our drive to central Scotland. Fortunately we only meet a cyclist coming the other way during the four miles of single track road out of the site, though the sat-nav is throwing a hissy fit thinking that this road is far too wide and we should be going by the alternative (narrower) route. A slight panic whilst my traveling companion wonders if he left his keys in the front door at home three days ago. Don’t bother potential burglars – he didn’t.
More spectacular scenery as we drive to Killin in the Trossachs. This is the only site on the itinerary that we have visited before. There are actually two sites in very close proximity and this time we are on the lower of the two, rather than the more wooded alternative up the road. The lower site has wifi – nuff said. Two years ago we skulked in the lower site’s car park to maintain contact with home. We park at the bottom of the site by the river. I volunteer to walk back and tell the warden where we have pitched. I trudge along the 400 yards or so to the site office. ‘Number 35’, I say – epic fail. It turns out we are actually on pitch 39 so we have to go back and admit our incompetence. Next mishap is that the cupboard door is stuck so I open the adjacent door and attempt to push out the recalcitrant neighbouring door from the inside. I attempt this with some vigour. The door flies open. That would rate as success had my head not been rather close to the door at the time.
It is a lovely sunny day, contrary to the predictions of weather forecasters, although there is still snow on the nearby peaks. We take a walk a mile or so into Killin and follow some of the heritage trail. Here we are in what is described as ‘The Heart of Breadalbane’, or the high country of ‘Alba’, which was an ancient Scottish kingdom. Killin is a natural place for a settlement as it is at the confluence of the Dochart and the Lochay rivers. Our walk takes us as far as Dochart Falls, which are beautiful.
We follow the signs to Fingal’s Stone. I had visions of Fingal’s fingers in World’s Strongest Man, so something about three foot high was a little less than impressive. It commemorates Fionn mac Cumhaill (that’s Finn Macool to me and you) leader of the Fianna, a warrior band who roamed Scotland and Northern Ireland. Some believe this to be his burial place. He was nicknamed Fingal by eighteenth century poet James Macpherson. Nope, I’d not heard of him either, though I was aware of Finn. We see the Manse, erected by the 1st Marquis of Breadalbane, for a Free Church minister, who was one of those who rebelled and left the Church of Scotland after a row in the 1840s over how ministers should be appointed. By the time we get back up the hill to the van we are beginning to be aware that we are doing more walking than usual. Today’s great overheard comment: Scot 1: ‘How are ye?’ Scot 2: ‘Och, I’m still above the grass.’
Once back at the van my companion disappears to the shower block. I know he likes to get his money’s worth but he is an exceedingly long time. It turns out that he has been standing on one leg, with his arm in the air, trying to get a phone signal and talking politics with our neighbours.