Scottish Countryside

My son is learning to drive at present (be very afraid), and I realised that a lot of his problems were stemming from not enough actual driving experience.
What better way to learn than taking him out on a fine day and simply going round a tourist route?
I mean, tourist routes are generally filled with slower drivers and more forgiving natures (since they expect people who aren't sure of the roads).
We set off from our glorious little part of Scotland and headed North.
AA Route Planner had been consulted, and the results printed out. I had checked the "avoid motorways" part as well.
This ensured that we wouldn't encounter a road he wasn't able to drive along.
The route I took was just under 100 miles and should have taken a couple of hours.



Off we set. As I said, the day was nice, dry and quite warm for our part of the country.
I highly recommend the AA route Planner
I can see reasons for it killing a lot of business for the likes of AutoRoute and the other map packages.
If you have internet access before your journey, it's a Godsend.
Of course, Sat-Nav units are now making it redundant........c'est la vie.
The route took us via Irvine , Dalry et al up to Erskine, where we crossed over the bridge.

erskine bridger

The more observant may notice the blurring of the barriers. Yeah, it was taken while moving.

Surprise, surprise, they were laying down cones........

cones

Traffic, so far, on the journey had been light and the hardest part of the journey had been getting my son to slow down.
It seems that drivers must show that they can traverse all roads by driving at the limit for that road.
A quick slap round his head sorted that one out (I'm kidding). Besides, he's bigger than me!
The countryside had been steadily improving as we left the heavier populated areas behind.
After Irvine and Kilwinning it was glorious scenery until we hit the conurbation again.
We headed down off the bridge and headed for Dunbarton, swiftly moving through Alexandria.
After Balloch , we stayed on the A82.
This took us along Loch Lomond.

lomond

We passed Luss, where they filmed that famous TV show.

The scenery by this time was breathtaking.
All those trite comments you read about Scottish scenery were being brought to life in front of us.

lomond2

One of the nice things about Loch Lomond is the fact that they have a path next to the waters edge.
Simply stop in one of the plentiful laybys , cross the road and enjoy!


lomond3

Even the road is picturesque.

the road


Our journey times were suffering.
Stopping at frequent intervals to take pictures and simply look in awe.
According to the AA, the journey should have taken less than 2 hours.
Ahem, we had nearly used all this already.

ardgarton

My inital route had been to Tarbet, but since my son was clearly enjoying his time at the wheel, and I was  enjoying the view, we kept going.
At Tarbet, we moved to the A83 and stopped for a drink in the car park at Ardgarton.

ardgarton2

No, that isn't us in the picture, it was just (yet ) another picture of the countryside.
My son wanted to continue, so after checking the watch (3 hours gone), off we went agian.
Thank God it's a diesel.
I don't mind helping my son prepare for life by why does it always involve me spending money?
Ahh, the joys of parenthood, and a daughter who'll want the same treatment in another couple of years.

We set off and headed up into the hills.
My stomach was rumbling by this time and I was sorry not to invest in some food at Ardgarton.

rest

Thankfully, there's a burger van at Rest and be Thankful.
Not only that, but the food isn't bad.
We ate and enjoyed the view.
Judging by the height difference here, I can see why its named like this.
Absolutely spectacular.
At this point, we decided to head home retracing our steps.
A few more stops entailed but, not only did my son get  more driving
experience, but we  enjoyed a different part of Scotland.

home

rest2





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