Saturday 19th April – Monday 21st April (A Glorious Easter Weekend)
There was no noisy road traffic, in fact there was no noise at all and so we enjoyed a very peaceful sleep and we awoke at 07:15am feeling refreshed but not ready to start the day without the usual morning cuppa in bed. There were no signs of the frost threatened by the forecasted minus temperatures, mind you, that doesn’t surprise us these days, instead we opened the night blind on the large Heki skylight above our bed and looked up upon another sunny morning with wispy white clouds barely moving in the small piece of sky above us and all we could hear was the gentle chirping of birds, another day in yet another paradise. Whilst enjoying our mugs of coffee we discussed what we should do with our day and both agreed that no major ‘Expeditions’ would be the order of the day, although we may walk into the small village and have a gentle wander to see what delights would be cast upon our eyes.
From the vast amount of Hotels, Guest Houses and Holiday Let accommodations for such a small place, and I had confirmed that ‘Killin’ was a village ! this is certainly a very popular tourist area. If you enjoy being active then you could spend a good 2-3 weeks here, especially if you had a car and could therefore venture a little further afield, however, although we have ‘Wuxly’ with us we haven’t used it here. The village itself is just a short stroll away from the campsite and it has all the amenities you could want, a decent sized, and well-stocked, supermarket (Co-Op), Pubs (with live music), Cafés & Restaurant’s, Fish & Chip shop and then the customary tourist ‘tat’ establishments. There are numerous walks to be undertaken ranging from ‘Very Easy’ (mainly flat) up to ‘Hard’ (Hill Climbs). There is a Canoe/Kayak/Mountain Bike hire just a few minutes walk from the site and Loch Tay (Fishing/Sailing) is a very pleasant one mile easy walk away.
A selection of rather nice photographs taken on our short two and a half mile walk. We didn’t even venture beyond the village as the ‘Dochart Falls’ are literally part of it !!
Once we had got back to ‘Big Momma’ we couldn’t waste the beautiful sunshine by sitting inside so out came the sun chairs and we spent a very leisurely afternoon baking in the heat, so much so that I actually got sunburnt !! Yes ! you did read that right, Sunburnt in Scotland in April, how good is that !! I find it quite incredible how sitting in the sunshine can sap all your energy, we had discussed having our evening meal and then popping over the road to the local pub where they were advertising ‘live music’. Once we had eaten, then cleared up, neither of us felt like going out so we watched a bit of TV, it had to be bad as I actually sat all the way through ‘Snakes on a Plane’ !! I guess what had made it bearable was that we actually started on one of the bottles of ‘Port‘ that we had purchased from the ‘Port House’ when we were in Portugal, it certainly numbed the pain from such a dreadful story line, even some of the actors in the film were ‘hissing’, it was so bad !!
Oh yes ! Shazza was on baking duty again, this time ‘Coconut & Orange’ sponge cake……..
Easter Sunday arrived and again so did the sunshine, lots of it and clear blue skies !! We had not planned a major ‘Expedition’ but I did want to go and take a look at Loch Tay. We did not have a walk guide but to get there by car, according to ‘Google Maps’ was a little over 3 miles, however, we had seen a footpath sign in the village that took a route via the old Railway Line which stated that it was only one mile, so, not knowing how long ‘our stroll’ would be today we made a flask and packed some sandwiches.
We hadn’t realised just how long ‘Loch Tay’ was, it stretched for miles and we hadn’t come prepared for an ‘Expedition’ so we followed an easy and flat ‘circular’ route back to the village.
Our return route took us through Killin’s back door, we approached behind the houses but it gave us an opportunity to appreciate the views that some of the occupants had of this wonderful countryside.
We had been out barely an hour so decided to explore some other areas of the village. Being Easter Sunday there were lots of families in the park. There was a large group of young children, probably around twenty of them, who were on an Easter Egg hunt and others that had their eggs and were rolling them down a hill and then running after them. Now way back in the recesses of my mind I know that their was a religious significance to this tradition but for the life of me I cannot remember what it is ? I am sure that one, or more, of my very knowledgable readers will remind me ! We had seen another sign pointing to ‘Fingles Stone’, according to local records ‘Fingal’ was a local hero who died in battle, however, there are lots of historical accounts of people called ‘Fingal’ from Scottish-Irish descendancy, some are reported to be just mythical characters whilst others are purportedly to be from Ancient Tribal Clans, but, as far as this one is concerned in Killin, is this just another attraction for the ‘Tourists’ ? Well, we are tourists so we took the touristy photo didn’t we……
We decided that this would be a good spot to enjoy our picnic lunch, it may have been because just out of ‘shot’ of the above photo was a very convenient bench seat or it may just have been that some if those rolling Easter Eggs were coming in my direction, I am sure they wouldn’t miss one !! It was whilst enjoying our lunch that I saw what looked like a very good photo opportunity, it may just give a good wide landscape view of the village, the mountains and Loch Tay as the backdrop. however, it would involve a rather long steep climb and Shazza was having none of it, well not today at least !! So with the promise that we would return tomorrow for our little bit of ‘mountaineering’ we headed back to the campsite. It was whilst walking back that I could see a sort of structure high up on the side of one of the hills above the site so the camera zoom lens was called into action………
We got back to ‘Big Momma’, walking gear off ! Shorts and Tee Shirts on. Now I don’t know why I am even going to say this but, the BBC On-Line weather forecast had stated, ‘Cloudy with Sunny Intervals with a Maximum High of 13 degrees(c)‘ !! It should have stated, “Very Sunny with very few, if any, Clouds and a Maximum High of 20 degrees(c)“, it was a scorcher !! So, cold beer in one hand, iPad in the other, iPod playing a mixture of old and new ‘Blues & Jazz‘ tunes through ones earphones, I assumed the horizontal position in one’s reclining sun chair and all was well in my own little piece of heaven. Then, after a couple of hours of personal contemplation, always best done with one’s eyes in the closed position. I was violently awakened by my beloved tickling my feet !!!!! Yes, she was now hungry again and I was doing the ‘Masterchef’ honours this evening.
I was certainly enjoying these lighter nights, dusk didn’t come calling until nearly a quarter to nine which gave me lots of ‘people watching’ opportunities. The combined smells of the assorted evening meals being cooked had all but gone, the children had kicked their last football of the day or had their last swing in the play park, the younger ones were being escorted by their Mothers, or in some instances their big sisters or brothers, to their appointment with the showers whilst the ‘Alpha Males’ strutted and patrolled their ‘marked’ territories, cans of beer or glasses of wine in hand. Remarkably, although the site was ‘full’, their was very little obtrusive noise, it was in fact all very civilised, but I should have expected that as we are on a Caravan Club site after all, one would expect nothing less !! …………..
And so we awoke on our final day at this truly wonderful location to another sunny morning. Unlike some of our previous locations we hadn’t done any really ‘strenuous’ walks here, but that was about to change, for today I was taking Shazza on an ‘Eric Expedition‘ to try to get a ‘birds eye’ view of ‘Loch Tay’ and that was going to involve a rather steep climb !! But first we would need to eat breakfast and whilst doing so we could sit and watch enjoy the site empty. We remembered the days, not that long ago, when we would have been away on our Easter break but then had to pack up and get on the road to return home ready to re-commence work, it was a nice feeling not having to do that today.
I’m not sure that Shazza fully appreciated the effort it took to get up here to take the photographs !! But now we could make our way down again and by way of compensation Shazza could stop off at the supermarket for some well earnt retail therapy !!
Our last afternoon was, as the tourist travel itinerary would describe it as, ‘At Leisure’. So other than the routine matter of doing the domestics, emptying and filling the on-board tanks prior to departure, we had already done a big re-stock of provisions at our previous location as well as doing the Laundry so we could just sit back, relax and enjoy just drinking in more of the wonderful scenery that surrounded us.