It was already midnight as we drove along the shores of Loch Lomond. The black, shimmering banks seemed far less than ‘bonny’ as the water lapped at the kerb, the rain blurring the lines between the loch and the road that runs right along its edge. The roads and visibility were terrible… we hadn’t stopped for hours… and seeing a lay-by at the water’s edge, the decision was made to pull in and get some sleep. So much for the hotel that had been paid for… and any plans we had for recharging our own and our technology’s batteries.
Oddly enough, when I looked up our route on Google Maps later, I found we had given in and parked just below Lochan Uiane, the Fairy Loch, a sacred spring so named because in certain lights geometrical shapes in blue and green appear in the water. Science attributes this magical rainbow effect to minerals, but legends say that the little folk are responsible. The old tales say that when a wish was made and a fleece left overnight, the fairies would dye it to the desired colour. So, instead of stones, we slept with rainbows and fairies… our third unplanned night in the car, all within the sphere of sacred sites.
We woke four hours later at first light and my priority was to find a restroom and a coffee… it had been a long, long time since the ferry… A few miles down the road we found a small town with a twenty-four-hour MacDonald’s. Not ideal… but as long as I could use the washroom and get coffee, I’d have raided Hell itself. I might as well have done so… the doors were locked and the staff unheeding. The air was blue with unladylike language as I drove away.
By this time we were very tired, on edge… and I swore when the sky-gods, with seeming irony, decided to shower us with rainbows. We stopped, hours later and with gratitude, in Sanquhar, but didn’t find anywhere for coffee. We were not, at that point, all that far from Dumfries, where we were going to get the ruddy tyre changed, come hell or high water… and whether they could find anything wrong with it this time or not.
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