IAN AND DOM'S BLOG

Photographs & tales, following a jazz saxophone & piano duo from Scotland, as they tour around the UK and beyond, in their Tour Bus (a converted ambulance). Click on a photo below to read each post.

Kinlochard & Innellan

On Friday, we made a return visit to the beautiful village hall in Kinlochard, on the banks of Loch Ard in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park near Aberfoyle, in The Trossachs.  It was built in 1958 and upgraded and added to, in 2011.  We had played there before in March 2016.  Due to the recent storm and very heavy rain, Loch Ard looked full to the brim!

Click here to see Kinlochard on Google Maps

Loch Ard – very full! (Ben Lomond in the distance)

A stop for dinner at a peaceful spot near Loch Chon (just up from Loch Ard)

Kinlochard Village Hall and Loch Ard

Kinlochard Village Hall

The view of Loch Ard from the hall, as the sun goes down before the gig

The view of Loch Ard from the hall, the next morning

We were lucky to have a very warm, friendly and enthusiastic audience, including 3 ladies from Moscow who were on holiday in the area.  Whilst we were playing “Autumn in New York“, I could see the Russian ladies swaying in time to the music at the back of the room, holding candles!  Magical!

On Saturday we headed over to our second gig in Innellan. We drove across to Loch Lomond, past Tarbert and Arrochar, and through the “Rest & Be Thankful” pass into the Cowal Peninsula towards Dunoon and Innellan. This is our third trip to the peninsula this year, having played in Uig and Strachur earlier.

Loch Lomond, from Duck Bay – in glorious sunshine! (Ben Lomond in the centre, distance)

Click here to see Loch Lomond on Google Maps

Cormorants at Duck Bay, Loch Lomond

“The Cobbler” (also known as Ben Arthur).  At 884m high, it is known as one of the most impressive summits in the Southern Highlands.  It overlooks Loch Long at Arrochar.  I tried to get this photo on many recent trips, but it has always been covered in low cloud or mist.

Click here to see “The Cobbler” on Google Maps

Loch Eck

Lunch stop in Coylet on Loch Eck – exotic plants!

Click here to see Loch Eck on Google Maps

Local road sign

As I was taking the photo of the red squirrel warning sign (above), unknown to me, a red squirrel ran across the road behind me!  Doh!!!

We drove on through Dunoon and Innellan, towards Toward at the south end of the peninsula.

Looking towards the Toward road sign

Toward Beach which looks towards Rothesay

The Rothesay ferry going towards the mainland

Looking up the coast towards the north east from Toward Beach

Toward Beach, looking towards Rothesay

Looking towards Toward Light House from Toward beach

Road sign showing which way to go to Toward Lighthouse

Toward Lighthouse

Click here to see Toward on Google Maps

After dinner, we headed away from Toward, towards Innellan for our gig!

Innellan road sign (this is on the back of the Toward sign)

The village hall in Innellan is right on the banks of the Firth of Clyde.  Its a lovely hall dating from 1903 and is very well used (and loved!) by the local community.  As you can see from the photo (below), the roof suffered some damage in the recent storms, with a piece hanging off the right hand side.

Click here to see Innellan on Google Maps

Innellan Village Hall – overlooking the Firth of Clyde (in glorious sunshine!)

Innellan Village Hall’s view (looking south)

The view from Innellan Village Hall Car Park, looking north towards Dunoon

It was a fantastic gig for us!  A sell-out!  You couldn’t have squeezed any more people in.  A wonderfully warm, friendly, knowledgeable and appreciative audience.  An encore was requested…..and duly supplied by us!

The next morning we headed north back up the A815 towards Dunoon, and then stopped for coffee and croissants in our Tour Bus overlooking Holy Loch.

Dunoon

The Ardnadam Pier at Holy Loch, built in 1858

Holy Loch

Click here to see Holy Loch on Google Maps

The era of the Clyde Steamer began in August 1812,  With the rapid industrial growth of Glasgow in the 19th century, people wanted to escape the city and cruise down the Clyde.  Over 300 Clyde Steamers were operating in 1900, going “doon the watter” until the 1960s.

During World War II, the Royal Navy had a base at Ardnadam Pier, and then in 1961, at the start of “The Cold War” and during a period of great tension between the east and the west, the American Navy arrived, bringing the first Polaris Nuclear Submarines.  Local people were terrified that missiles capable of bringing world carnage were on their doorstep.  The US base closed at the end of the Cold War in 1991.

We headed on back through Arrochar and down Loch Lomond again, stopping for a cup of tea in our Tour Bus at a layby near Buchlyvie with a different view of Ben Lomond, and then home.  A very enjoyable trip indeed!

Click here to see Buchlyvie on Google Maps

Ben Lomond from Buchlyvie

…..croissant crumbs again…..!

Words and photos by Ian Millar © 2018

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