Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Versatile west coast of Scotland!

Yesterday, I did a tiny post about visiting Dunadd, the seat of the Kings of Dal Riata.  

I mentioned getting ready to go to a wedding after my trip up the craggy outcrop of Dunadd. Here’s a little more about the wedding…Dunadd information is still to follow when I research my facts a bit more.

The wedding, the bride being the daughter of my one of best friends when I was at Secondary school, was a fantastic event at an establishment named Crear Weddings. The Crear Weddings facility is situated near Kilberry on the west coast of Scotland on the beautiful Argyll peninsula (the bit of peninsula that’s north of the Kintyre Peninsula and above the words 'GREAT CUMBRAE' on the map above). The ceremony was beautiful and on a clear day the guests would have been looking out to the Paps of Jura as the bride and groom took their vows in front of a panoramic window. Sadly, by lunchtime the typical Scottish mist and light rain had descended so the mountains of Jura were only occasionally a vague silhouette.

Below is what I imagined it should be like...
The Paps of Jura - courtesy of

We feasted exceedingly well. We drank a number of toasts followed by some very energetic Ceilidh dancing, the band being wonderfully versatile. I watched some brand new Ceilidh dances that were incredibly good fun to do - though I didn’t dance nearly as many as I would have liked to.   

Midnight saw us saying our farewells and soon my OH and I were being driven along the B 8024 in a very large 56 seater coach on a very narrow single track road between the venue and our hotel in Lochgilphead. It was pitch dark, the rainfall quite heavy but not seriously so. We were sitting in the front seats near the driver and were chatting away with him after the bulk of the travellers had been disgorged at their accommodation not far from Crear. I can tell you that driving along that B 8024 road in a very large vehicle isn't for the fainthearted as it wends its way up and down tortuous valleys where the tiniest misjudgement could send the vehicle tumbling down into one of the many trickling riverbeds and gorges. It wouldn’t be an immense drop but the winding burns and streams are heavily shrouded with trees and bushes precariously growing on the steep slopes.

Let’s just say I didn’t fancy ending upside down anywhere along that stretch of road. Now, after midnight, the B 8024 isn’t exactly a bustling hive of activity for vehicles. The coach driver went into one of the multitudes of ‘Passing Places’ to allow a car to overtake- probably other wedding guests. That was the only vehicle we encountered on the whole journey.

The rain hissed and slashed even more persistently as we continued on the trek which took over an hour. I was slightly bemused when it seemed that the driver was flashing his lights on some of the bends but not on others which were much more awkward.

I jokingly said to the driver that his lights were like lightning flashes.

“It is lightning!” he answered.

The lightning continued at very short and regular intervals for about a half hour of the journey. The noise of thunder was drowned out by the engine noises and was I glad. I’m not afraid of thunder and lightning but I was seriously pleased that I wasn’t the one driving on that dark and very narrow stretch. I say a huge thank you to the bride Shona, and her lovely husband Ben, for arranging the transport for me and my husband.

The lightning show was still happening when I sank down into my hotel bed at around 1.30 a.m. but since I fell fast sleep I’ve no idea if it continued or for how long.

After a surprisingly refreshing sleep, we headed home on the long trail to Aberdeenshire, a drive of around 6 hours excluding stops. 


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