I am recently back from a family holiday in the Kyles of Bute - it was whit week. We had hired a cottage with another family who were veterans of the area. We went with an open mind but with a lingering itch – should we have gone to Corfu…
The journey up with kids, trailer, kayaks, bikes, dogs et al was smooth. The ferry crossing from Gourouck to Dunoon was military esque in its efficiency.
Then things started to change – we had a 45-minute journey to Kames Cottage on single track roads with passing places. Where am I? I thought – how come I can only drive at 40 mph.
We arrived at the cottage to be met by the lovely owner who showed us the lie of the land and who’s passing shot was – whatever you use, can you just replace it from the local store around the corner. Very welcoming and relaxed. The twelve of us then started to settle in.
The week involved early morning kayaking, wild dips every day, pier jumping, carefree cycling, fishing for mackerel (too early in the season), BBQs, walking, ferry rides to Tarbert, evenings in the Kames Hotel beer garden…I could go on. On the face of it a busy old week – but with a difference.
Everybody I came across did everything in a way that removed the hurried nature of everyday life. We were living in a village that was part of a community where people lived and worked. However, it didn’t seem like that - it was as if someone with an extraordinary large remote control had slowed down the pace.
To say I had some sort of road to Damascus moment may be taking it a tad too far – but it affected me. Positively. People were running 80 cover restaurants with demanding customers as if they were making a cup of tea for one! Ferrymen did everything with a wave and a smile as if they were in charge of a two-man dinghy.
After a few days I mentioned all of this to my friend – why do you think we keep on coming back he said to me with a wry smile.
Then it came to me like a proud Dad moment – 90% of our work comes from referrals and recommendations. So, whilst internally it may seem as if we are rushing around at 100mph in order to get things done – we also have time for the wave and a smile. The restaurants and ferrymen were experts, specialists – as we are.
If you get the chance visit Argyll’s secret coast –but don’t tell everyone.