With the longer nights now firmly with us here in Scotland, our trips in Iona tend to be relatively short. After all, pitching up at a wild camping spot at about 16:00 hrs and trying to park in the dark is not ideal! Therefore, our most recent trip was over four days; we set out late on Saturday and came home again on Wednesday afternoon.
Having decided where our first stopover would be in advance, we turned right out of our drive and drove up the west side of Loch Lomond, headed left at Tarbet, and drove to Loch Eck. We stopped off on the east side of Loch Eck at the Coylet Inn, a very hospitable small hotel that allows overnight stops for camper vans. Once set up, we went to the bar and ordered food and drink before retiring to Iona for a nightcap and a very peaceful night's sleep.
Sunday morning arrived, and the Loch was bathed in the late autumn sunshine, bringing out the seasonal colours and lifting our spirits! Over our morning cup o' java, we plotted our next move: to drive further north to Ardfern, on Loch Craignish, and have a night at the Ardfern Motorhome site at the edge of the village. As it turned out, we were the only campers that night, so we had another peaceful stopover. However, before settling down, we walked the fifteen minutes into town to the Galley of Lorne Inn, where we had dinner and a few beers. This eating out could become a habit; actually, I think not, as the cost of living has increased due to the mismanagement of our national economy, and the cost of two bar meals, a few pints and a tip lies somewhere between £80 - £100, which is too rich for our blood these days!
Monday morning arrived with heavy and persistent rain, which was later joined by strong winds, so our choices were somewhat limited. We opted for a long lie before getting up mid-morning and taking a shower in the quirky shower cabin on site. Once we were ready to set off, we drove north to Connel, where we parked at the Oyster Inn adjacent to the Connel Bridge. We enjoyed a couple of early evening 'snifters' before heading back to Iona, where we 'cooried in' and had a van-cooked dinner for a change. Needless to say, we kept the roof down overnight as the storm raged around us!
On Tuesday, we drove through Glen Coe towards The Bridge of Orchy Hotel, where we had chosen to spend our final night of the trip. We stopped in the glen and took a few photos of the scenery, which is stunning at any time of year, before driving south to Bridge of Orchy and setting up Iona for the last night on our short adventure.