Another shortish walk from Furnace to Inveraray. The village of Furnace lies on the western shore of Loch Fyne and got its name from the 18th Century Furnace that was built there. The abundance of wood and iron ore around the area was an ideal place to create a place to smelt iron in the 1700’s. I managed to get off the main road that led to Inveraray which was a pleasant change as I was getting fed up dodging traffic. After the shoreside path ran out I dropped into the caravan site to see if I could get a coffee and use the toilet. The café cum pub was closed because there was no customers the lady informed me. I think that people are really feeling the pinch – and those who would normally spend two weeks of the “Fair Fortnight”, as the annual holiday in Glasgow is known as, are feeling the pinch more than everyone else.
It was no time at all when I reached Inveraray, having only walked about 3 hours in total. The town consists of a main road with white washed houses on either side and a pier where the “Vital Spark” which I last saw in Lochgilphead was tied up. The Scottish Maritime Museum boat was also moored at the pier. I like Inveraray – it has a great hotel in the George which lies at the top of the road. Last time I was here I saw a wedding where everyone was gathered outside the church watching the bride and groom leave. The groom emptied a bag of coins onto the road for a “scramble”. All the children would scurry about picking up the money – I had forgotten about that custom and it reminded me of being a boy and hearing that there was a wedding on. Mt friends and I would all rush to whatever church was having the ceremony and hope to get lucky. Sixpennies were like gold as the rest would be threepenny bits and coppers. It was vicious with elbows and knees used to be the first to get to the silver.
Inveraray also has an impressive castle, the clan seat of the Campbells so being a Campbell myself it was interesting to see again. Argylle is Campbell country but its probably fair to say that they were the shrewdest clan in the highlands using the law to gain the lands they had reather than brute force as was the way of the clans in the Highlands.