Day 18, Loch Lomond (16th August)

This particular morning was a very slow one. It was one of those mornings when you set an alarm the previous night, with the thought that you will get up with the sunrise so that you can use the day, then when that terrible sound rings at 5am you just switch it off and just think to yourself “screw this, I’m sleeping”. If I’m honest this is actually something I did when I was at school – set an alarm to catch my train, then when it goes off in the morning thinking to yourself “sleep is definitely more important than education” and sleeping in (apologies to Mum and Mr Griggs!).

When we did surface from our deep sleep (due to the tent acting like an oven once again), we were on the ball and managed to be packed up and ready to leave surprisingly very quickly. With the sun shining on our 18th day of our road trip we hit the road near 11am  to find a Loch to go swimming in.  Whilst looking for a Loch to swim in I felt as if we were both acting out the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, but instead TobyCath and the three Lochs.

We first drove and parked up at the Trossachs (near a place called Brig o’Turk – cool name aint it) but decided that the place where we walked to the Loch side was a bit ‘manky’ – dirty still water which just didn’t look too appealing at all to swim in. With this we moved onto the other side of the Loch (thinking that this would be better); we parked up, walked down with all our stuff and walked into the water. With the Loch water looking ‘cleanish’ we paddled in a little further – I looked down and saw things which just made me straight away turn around and get out.

A knife, broken glass, bottles, glasses (as in spectacles) half a rotting fish and a collection of other delightful objects. Here we were thinking that this would be the place for us to enjoy a swim, but no – someone thought it would be a brilliant idea to chuck in bits and bobs of their unwanted possessions. WHY?! I just don’t get it, who would throw a KNIFE where families sometimes swim…. People confuse me greatly… Mini rant over.

With the annoying thought that we were wasting the day because we couldn’t decide where we wanted to swim, yet again we moved on to the neighboring loch. This particular Loch was one in which we were just so hot and bothered that we just went for it. With the water only a little manky it was ‘just right’.

With the first day’s challenge complete, we were faced with another; where were we going to sleep. We really didn’t want to pay for a campsite this night as we knew we could find somewhere with a little bit of looking to park up and sleep at. We followed the Loch road around a few small towns until we realized what we had actually done was drive in a large circle to near where we slept the previous night in the campsite with the good shower hooks. I was driving at this point and decided to carry on driving. Even though the signs indicated ‘Dead End’ I kept going because I had a funny feeling that there would be somewhere nice down this road – for once, I was right!

Where I had taken us was down a narrow single road track to a large hidden Loch, surrounded by trees on all sides it was just beautiful. It was here where we decided to set up camp as it were. Cath (yet again) cooked an amazing meal; a bean tomatoe sauce vegetable dish thing with bread (probably the best few words to describe it!). With this dish still hot in the pan we walked it down to the Loch side where we sat and watched a truly stunning sunset. It was about half way through our dinner where we met David and three other mad but lovely ladies.

David was a guy we met on the Loch when he came in from kayaking all day. After talking for a bit we found out that he was a Museum conservationist (I think that was what he said), but either way he was a very nice guy who sat and drank his beer with us whilst we all watched the setting sun. When David left with his very cool red Land Rover Defender, along came 3 women who we also managed to talk to. All three were from Glasgow and all of them came to the Loch to go for an evening swim. They said that they all did it when they had time. When they arrived they all got changed into wetsuits then just walked straight in and off they went. This interested us both enough to get ourselves changed into our wetsuits and follow in after them. For the 4th different spot we had swam in during the day it was definitely the best. With the views of the towering mountains and the setting sun lighting up the clouds with a pink tint it was one of the most enjoyable evenings of the road trip thus far.