Luss, Loch Lomond: Saturday 26 September

img_5003Awoke to a clear day so unleashed the bikes and cycled into Luss to explore the tiny estate village, visiting a very smart, trendy and expensive General Store wherein the shelves were filled with framed prints, Harris Tweed high-fashion accoutrements, upmarket gifts and absolutely no sign whatsoever of the basic groceries we’d normally have expected to find being purveyed in a general village store.

We queued up behind a yuppie couple buying two of the aforementioned framed prints before enquiring, as advised, about fishing permits – about which the Joules-clad lady with upturned collar behind the till knew next to nothing. We therefore decided to “leave it for the time being” and cycled round the rest of the picturesque village, which took all of 4 minutes, before finding another village store, adjacent to the coach-park and clearly catering to a much lower class of mass tourism.

Amidst the fray, we managed to extract both bacon and eggs from amidst swaying towers of tartan-boxed shortbread, and then headed for a quiet Loch-side pier where information was gleaned from various enthusiastic folk with little knowledge of anything we needed to know about.

Biked back to the van, probably cooked breakfast from the recently acquired supplies, can’t remember, then assumedly suitably fortified, set off on the West Loch Lomond Cycle Path northwards following the edge of the Loch and enjoying the scenery both near and far from a dedicated tarmac track, which had clearly formerly been the main road, now superseded by a busier, faster and noisier one which ran to our left, mercifully separated by woodland

A decent distance later we arrived in the village of Tarbert which, on first appearance, seemed to be a pier and café separated by sweeping lawns running down to the waters edge. We bided a wee while trying to scrounge free Wi-Fi from outside the café without success then availed of the Ferry booking office lady’s entire life-story while failing to negotiate tickets on a ferry back to Luss – and having previously ascertained that the village of Tarbert was just indeed as we found it, we heaved our aching butts and weary legs back astride our bikes to retrace our journey back to Luss, disappointed not to be doing so by ferry but with yet more magnificent views of the Loch to compensate.

Tea was thus taken back in the van, fishing sites were scouted, TV reception was unsuccessfully attempted and then – as a finale to the afternoon – we drove the van offsite back down to Dumbarton where Morrison’s fishmonger was delighted to sell us some deadbait alongside which we replenished general groceries and fuel before returning home again aware that we weren’t able to tune in to the England Wales World Cup rugby match.

A bit of bedtime reading and then, yes – you guessed – an early night after pre-rigging tomorrow’s fishing tackle.

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