Armin's World Tour of Scotland

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Facts of the Day:
Date: 06/July/2002
From: Glasgow
Via: Ardkinglas Woodland Garden
To: Lochgilphead
Miles: 87
Midges: 250 (Estimate)
Weather: Cloudy, some rain
Mood: Improving

Picture of a view along Loch LomondAfter a rather bad night due to my stomach upset I had to start to make my way to Argyll to catch the ferry to Islay on Sunday. My first stop en route was at Loch Lomond. It was quite cloudy, so I didn't stay very long. Next stop was at "Rest and be Thankful", the hill pass on the A83Picture of the view from Rest and be Thankful through Glen Croe. As usual it was cloudy, but at least there was one attraction this time: A piper in traditional tartan. He was playing for a wedding taking place at this unusual setting.Picture of the wedding taking place at Rest and be Thankful Certainly different to a normal wedding at a church. My next stop was at Ardkinglas Woodland Garden near Cairndow towards the north end of Loch Fyne.Picture of a walk in Ardkinglas Woodland Garden The garden was established by the Callander family around 1875 and later purchased together with the Ardkinglas Estate by the Noble family. The Ardkinglas site benefits from combination of high annual rainfall (luckily not while I was there)Picture of a Champion Tree and Gulfstream mildness. You will find several so-called Champion Trees, meaning they are the tallest or broadest of their species in Britain. A well laid out walk leads you through the garden with very good explanations given in the brochure. I think I spent over an hour walking around in the garden before deciding it was time to move on. My stomach had calmed down pretty much during the day, nevertheless I unfortunately had to give Loch Fyne Oysters a miss this time. I'm sure I'll be back some other time though.Picture of Loch Fyne Oysters As it had started to rain now I decided to go directly to Lochgilphead to check in at the Empire Travel Lodge. The lodge is a converted cinema run by Bill & Anne Hunter, who can tell you a few stories about it's history. The decoration is a reminder of it's history, you will find film stills and promotional posters on the walls.Picture of the Empire Travel Lodge I didn't want to risk much with my stomach, so apart from a quick walk to Loch Gilp and the Crinan Canal it was an evening in my room with bananas and French toast for dinner. I just hope I'll be fully fit again the next day for the ferry trip to Islay.Picture of Loch Gilp in the evening light

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