Our morning was a bit somber, as we knew this would be the last full day of our camper van expedition. It was also more than a little damp, as we’d gotten lots of clothing, jackets, and footwear soggy the day before. The rain had continued through the night, and the humidity outside and inside meant that nothing had dried. We all felt a bit waterlogged. And nibbled upon. The midges were awful in the night (and in the morning!), and we were all covered in midge bites. But the morning views were beautiful, and we were able to leave our loch-side campsite with hot coffee from the café.
We drove down the western shore of Loch Lomand, moody and mysterious with mist and fog. At the very southern tip, Flora succumbed to car-sickness again. Poor girl. This time she gave us ample warning, though, so I was able to get to her well in time with a plastic bag. She was very brave, emptied her stomach contents directly into said bag, and immediately felt better. We were very proud of her. We continued on with a couple of short stops here and there to ease her tummy before making a dash over the Firth of Clyde, through Paisley, and down through Ayrshire to our destination: Culzean Castle.
Pronounced “Cullane”, Culzean was also drippy and wet, but we enjoyed our afternoon there very much. The visitor centre was where we started, after a quick lunch in the van. There was a film about the castle’s history and some information about the various buildings and extensive grounds so that we could plan our visit. We explored the extravagantly decorated rooms in the castle — made even more enjoyable by their clever “lego man” hunt, aimed at getting young people interested. There was a tiny lego figure hidden in each room, and we managed to find all of them (with a little help, occasionally). The kids loved it, and got stickers at the end of our visit. After our visit to the castle, we had a snack in the coffee house and walked through the wonderful walled garden.
Once we were thoroughly waterlogged and tired of walking, we returned to the van and headed north, up the coast towards Ayr. Tomorrow we will begin a 6-night stay in a flat in Ayr to give us a chance to get our affairs in order before we leave the UK for our week in Iceland, and the plan for the evening is to get as close as we can to Ayr so we can get there quickly in the morning. (Brad needs to drive the van back to Hawick after dropping us off, and the journey will take a while.) We found a place to stay at the Heads of Ayr Caravan Park — motivated at least partially by the fact that they had a pub on the site that we figured could provide dinner. (We figured wrong.) The site was not the nicest place, I gotta say, and the neighbors left a lot to be desired, but we had a chance to dry out a bit as the sun came out and the breeze picked up. We had a lot of cleaning and tidying to do, so it was a pretty boring night.