"I'M just waiting here for the boy down the road to come to fix ma telly."

We are sitting in a cafe in Tarbert, the tiny fishing village that sits right at the top of the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll, listening to two wee old ladies chatting over cups of tea.

Through the cafe windows we can see a number of colourful boats dotted around the small harbour. The sun is shining brightly, sending a twinkling reflection of light into the cafe where it bounces off the walls, which are decorated with old sea maps. There are porthole-shaped mirrors and tiles made from pebbles, giving the place a distinctly nautical feel.

Loading article content

"It's the service round here," says one of the women of the TV situation. "It's terrible."

She's not wrong. In fact, that is the only reason we are here in Tarbert, the service or lack thereof. Let me explain.

My family are staying in Drimsynie Estate, a beautiful sprawling holiday resort nestled at the edge of Lochgoilhead, and our itinerary includes a boat cruise. The boat leaves at 11am, I am told, and will last around an hour and a half.

Not being native to this part of the world, when the boat's departure point was explained to me, my mind immediately raced to the only place I'd heard of that sounded like it.

So, we packed up the car on the second day of our trip and headed for Tarbert. Knowing that I hadn't really done my homework on this cruise, I asked my wife in the passenger seat to check exactly where we were going.

"Call this number and confirm the details with them, would you?" I said.

Unfortunately, there was no phone signal.

It's fine, we will just start heading to Tarbert and call them later. The problem was that we didn't get any signal. Not for the full one-and-three-quarter-hour drive. We finally got reception just as we entered the small fishing port of Tarbert.

Fine, we thought, call them and ask where the boat is.

"I'm afraid there's been a mistake," said the woman at the boat cruise company. "It's TarBET you are leaving from, not TarbeRt."

Oh dear.

"If it is any consolation, you're not the first," she added.

Hence, at 11am on a beautifully sunny October morning, we are having coffee and cake in a cafe in Tarbert and nodding along sympathetically to one woman's tale of poor signal.

It could be worse, we think, at least we have the chance to spend the morning in this glorious little fishing village, the main road into which sweeps around the harbour in a neat U-shape. Along the waterfront, boutique shops are brightly painted yellows, blues and reds.

"This place used to be thriving," one of the women tells us as she and her friend stand up to go. The two of them are well under five foot but I suspect these are women are not to be messed with.

"There were so many boats in the harbour that you could walk right across without getting your feet wet," she adds, pointing across the water to the other side of the main road.

"Now, the fishing is all done up north," she says, somewhat elusively as she stares fixedly out to sea. "The fish aren't as good though. The ones that we caught were much smaller, much sweeter. I used to eat them whole, bones, head and all."

They wave their goodbyes and head out, in search of that elusive TV signal and the boy from down the road.

Deciding to take this opportunity to explore Tarbert, we drive out along the small road that cuts along the harbour for as far as it will take us. The road ends abruptly and the water stretches ahead of us. A couple of fishermen are casting off into the swell. It is starting to rain lightly now and the wind is getting up but my three-year-old daughter and I get out of the car and follow a small path into the hillside at the side of the road. The path leads us along a curious little wooded trail that would put you in mind of Lord Of The Rings.

Our detour continues to surprise us, as, at the end of the path, there is a small beach made up of millions upon millions of tiny broken shells. My three-year-old has a great time scooping up handfuls of the shells, which come in every colour, from pinks and reds to greens and golds.

We get back on the road, this time with the correct destination of Tarbet plugged firmly into the Sat Nav – it turns out Tarbet is only 15 minutes away from where we are staying, which makes more sense that the marathon journey we've taken.

Soon after leaving Tarbert, we lose phone signal again, meaning our conversations are stunted by the fact that no-one can "Google it". It's amazing how little you actually know when the internet is no longer at your fingertips. We spend a good 10 minutes arguing over the name of an actress in Doctor Foster. Well, it passed the time.

Back in Drimsynie and after a lovely cruise around Loch Lomond, we are finally able to put our feet up.

The holiday park at Drimsynie is celebrating its 50th anniversary this years, having begun in 1967, when Douglas and Jean Campbell decided to diversify from their Lochgoilhead farmhouse into tourism, initially renting out caravans and later purchasing Drimsynie House, a baronial-style mansion offering with the amazing views of the Arrochar Alps and Loch Goil.

Built in 1859-60, Drimsynie House itself was renovated in the 1970s, with the addition of the single-storey leisure complex as the holiday resort proved ever more popular. Indeed, the number of holiday parks increased to seven as the firm expanded to become Argyll Holidays, with locations now including Hunters Quay, Loch Lomond and Loch Awe.

Drimsynie holiday park sits in a deep valley, surrounded on three sides by spectacular mountains. Indeed, when we arrived we had to drive up the gradually rising road that runs alongside Long Long in weather that can only be described as Biblical, which made the curving descent from Arrochar into Drimsynie quite an adventure.

However, today is proving that old saying accurate – if you don't like the Scottish weather, wait five minutes. The rain from earlier has cleared and the late afternoon sun casts a spotlight on the mountain tops. From the hot tub at our lodge I can just see the ridge line of a huge peak to the south.

It is an impressive view. Afterwards, I attempt to "Google it" to find out which mountain I am looking at, but of course, there is no signal. Now, don't get me wrong, I could arrange to have WiFi at the lodge but I am enjoying being untethered from the web for a couple of days.

After dinner, the rest of the family head up to the activity centre so that the kids can play.

While they are away I take the opportunity to go for a short run. I head out of the lodge and snake along the side of the holiday park, quickly gaining height as I head into the mountain. From this vantage point, Loch Goil opens out in front of me. Down by the water I can see a heron waiting patiently for a catch. The loch is as still as glass and I can see the hills, tinged now in a reddish glow, reflected in the water. The view is breathtaking.

So is the climb for that matter. After only a few minutes I can feel my lungs burning and my legs starting to protest against the effort. I keep going. Ideally, I would like to get to the top of the mountain and take in the view. However after about 10 minutes the road comes to a gate, on the other side of which are some angry-looking bulls. I decide not to push my luck and instead turn back. Before leaving I pull my phone out to take a photo. It has full signal. Quickly, knowing this connection might be fleeting, I open Google and type in: "Doctor Foster lead actress."

Thomas Hawkins was a guest of Argyll Holidays www.argyllholidays.com