Trossachs

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I like living in this day and age. The lifestyle benefits and technical trappings really are quite marvelous. I can transport my family to a different country for a weekend without too much bother. It really does tickle my fancy. We so often take it all for granted.  Roads where you can safely and comfortably maintain over 60 mph for hours on end really do open up a world of possibilities. Cars, petrol and sat nav are part of the equation,  but the advent of the motorways, since the 1960s has been such an enabler.

I had a conversation with a friend the other day, who was talking about how the annual adventure highlight of recent forefathers from the town of Accrington, was a trip to the exotic reaches of Blackpool – 35 miles away. Anything beyond a days walk used to be out of reach, unless you were a journeyman or perhaps a merchant or some such. Anything beyond a days travel is still a big deal – but now-a-days, we can get to Australia in less than 24 hours.

Our jaunt up the A1 >A66 >  M6 > M74 got us to a beautiful National Park in Scotland. One which kept her beauty largely  hidden from us this time, thanks to a low cloud, but gave us glimpses of what it’s all about from time to time. Seeing distant hills poking through a slumber of cloud, hearing the honk of a highborn stag on the wide angle, whilst the macro held the most delicate lichens dripping from the branches, the deepest dark and richest hew in the depths of the ferns. The dampness held a serenity, an intimacy with nature.

Our base-camp was the well appointed Macdonald Forest Hills Lodge on the banks of Loch Ard. As well as access to the swimming pool, we had our own private (get us!) sauna. A splendid way to start the day. We went for a pleasant short walk around Loch Spling which afforded us some quality family meets nature time. Today involved a swim / sauna / hot tub combo followed by a full Scottish breakfast (Same as a Full English, with the addition of Lorne and Scottish White Pudding) before a non stop drive back down to Yorkshire, in the company of the Charlie Connelly audiobook “And Did Those Feet”, which has had us all fairly enthralled both legs (if you’ll pardon the pun) journey.

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