We spent the day exploring the locality, beginning with Glen Isla. Christine was thirsty so we stopped at the hotel where I was served the weakest coffee I have ever suffered. Enjoyable quiet ride but another disappointment was Peel Farm cafe, good reviews on google but Christine and Rowan’s quiche was served cold. She complained, they took it away and returned it after I’d finished my cheddar panini, £7.25 buying a filling of cheese slices with a small salad and coleslaw after I’d requested no coleslaw. The panini was at least hot, unlike the quiche which returned lukewarm. Christine had almost finished it when the waitress asked if it was satisfactory and said she wouldn’t charge for it when the answer was negative. Rowan didn’t complain and was charged. The chocolate cake and coffee were acceptable.
We rode around the Loch of Lintrathen and on to Alyth, a small attractive town with the broad Alyth burn passing through the centre. We’d come for food, supplied by the Co-op, and returned to Bamff to cook. We stopped to check the map and I spotted some writing on a piece of slate propped against a road sign. I removed the undergrowth that obscured much of it. I used to be a strong supporter of the United Kingdom and was pleased that Scotland rejected independence in 2014. As one who abhors nationalism I disapproved of the SNP and Plaid Cymru. I’ve re-examined my beliefs in the years since and realise that the same word serves two opposite ideologies. There’s the controlling type (Russian, English/British, American etc) which seeks to dominate and the nationalism intent on freedom from oppressive control and which seeks cooperation and mutual respect. The rampant English nationalism whipped up by the ruling conservative party and its paymasters and clients is at odds with the aspirations of a progressive society and I wish Scotland well in their independence quest. Much of Wales is unfortunately content with Westminster oppression.
After cooking we met Paul at 21:00 for the beaver walk. He farms his land sustainably and was a pioneer in reintroducing beavers, a passionate advocate for them. He pointed out the dams they’d built and the trees they’d felled and eventually we spotted one swimming in the river. The light was insufficient for a clear photograph but it was fantastic to watch. Paul asks for a £5 per person donation to a beaver charity which we were happy to give.