THE MORNING OF day two was dedicated to finding the nearest supermarket. The site shop is pretty well stocked, but we were advised that you need to get in early as Cashel’s remote location means there’s a high demand for just about everything. We made the journey to Bearsdon, around 25mins from our pitch and filled the trolley with everything needed for a proper barbecue. The fact it was raining at the time is beside the point. It’s August after all.
Fridge bulging, we decided to spend the afternoon exploring the East side of the loch by bike. From site, a country road snakes its way north for about five miles, running out at Rowardennan. Hugging the loch as it makes its way north, the road occasionally reveals some truly stunning views of the water between trees lining the waters edge. If you do manage to take your eyes off the loch, make sure you turn around to take in Ben Lomond. The mountain towers 3196ft above the water and an be seen from just about anywhere.
Although there is a hotel at Rowardennan (and that’s it), we weren’t sure five miles in the saddle warranted a sit down. So off we rode, heading south on the same road, back past the campsite heading towards Balmaha. In Balmaha we learnt two things. Firstly, we needn’t have travelled 25mins in the car to Asda, and secondly, Tennant’s larger is very nice indeed. Just four miles south of Cashel, Balmaha has its own village shop, with cash machine (although you have to pay £1.50), and a cracking pub – the Oak Tree Inn. Tennant’s is a local lager made from water taken from nearby Lock Katrine.
Back at the van that evening, we started researching into what outdoor activities were possible out on the water. After ringing a few places we eventually found a company who would lend us a boat with an outboard motor for the day. Complete freedom to explore the loch’s 60 islands, each with its own long history – sounded great to us! See how we get on in Day 3.