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“Howard bound”, as Paul Simon wrote, allegedly, while waiting in Widnes Station in Northwest England

Widnes Station!

On the return leg of this ‘summer’ trip now, we left Inverness, having enjoyed our overnight stay in the car park adjacent to the Beefeater, where we had partaken of a delicious meal the night before, and enjoyed a walk along the canal.

Cruisers for hire on the canal

Glasgow bound meant driving down the A9; however, we decided to break the journey and pop over to Tomintoul for a second visit on this trip. This time, however, we chose to stay overnight in the local bowling club car park, which allows six mobile homes on electrical hook-up (EHU) and two more stand-alone vehicles. We were in time to nab an EHU spot; however, we sat in Iona for some 30-odd minutes before setting her up for the night to let the rain ease off!

Once the ‘setting up’ was complete, we took a wander around the town, a village of some 716 hardy souls! I say ‘hardy’ as the village is high up in the Scottish Highlands, although coming in at 345 m (1,132 ft), is still much lower than the highest village in Scotland Wanlockhead, in Dumfries and Galloway, which stands at a ‘majestic’ 466m above sea level! As you can gather, our perambulations turned out to be relatively short, but we managed to come across the Glenavon Bar, nestled in the Glenavon Hotel on the square. Once inside, we were served by a kilted American barman, a pleasant and knowledgeable fellow to boot. After a quick ‘drouth quencher’, we bade mine-host an enjoyable evening, and he was regaling his next customers on the wiles of Scottish Best beers as we departed!

After a quick squint in the local shop, we were soon sat in the Richmond Arms Hotel lounge bar on Main St, quaffing a Guinness and a Disaronno. We know how to party!! We where slowly joined by Hotel gusts, our European ‘cousins’, who wandered into the bar in dribs and drabs. And so before long it was time to return to Iona, where Nadia prepared a scrumptious dinner: an olive oil and tomato-based sauce on which were marinaded four lemon sole fillets. This delight was accompanied by new potatoes and broccoli, yum yum!

Thus we woke on our final day and, after our leisurely cup o’ Java, we abluted in the excellent WC facilities provided by the Club House, deposited our rubbish in the waste bins and drove around the corner for the second best meal of the trip; a delicious bacon roll from the Whisky Castle Cafe!

And so ended our lastest jaunt, which took us over some 575 miles, and our route map can be seen in the following link:

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