Samye Ling Buddhist Retreat

There are some remarkable contradictions in this World, such as certain Members and the word “superbikes”, however a more interesting one is Johnnie Haynes and a Buddhist retreat, emphasising serenity, stillness & quiet meditation. Not the guy we know as Johnnie FFF Haynes

.Tibetan Temple

Nevertheless, that’s where this complex character led us, and what a day that was!

We gathered, very few of us, unless Grumpy can work his magic, as the forecast & the days beforehand had been pretty stinking, and many were absent thru’ other commitments. So off we went from Clarkston Shops, via Strathaven, to the Clyde Valley and Goulding’s excellent tea room for the usual calorie intake.

Then via a twisty & complex route thru Thankerton, Biggar, Broughton and then via the Meggat valley reservoirs, Yarrow, Ettrickbridge, to just short of Eskdalemuir, where the Sanctuary exists.

A fabulous place, which I won’t detail here, but check out- http://www.samyeling.org/, to find out more about it.

A mostly quiet time, with great food, and we came away quiet uplifted- just as well, as the journey from Gouldings was virtually non stop, because of the rain.

Back via Eskdalemuir, Boreland and Moffat. The vote was “go for it” up the M74, and some got home somewhat earlier than others, especially the guy whose tyres are worn on the walls & not in the centre of the tread!

Thanks, Johnnie & Cath- fab roads, always challenging, Knockhill was no competition.

I’m off to a darkened room to meditate & try to work out how to enter the story with fotos onto the Web!

Spring Run 2012 Aberfoyle

As usual the event started off by meeting the P & O Ferry from Larne. Unsurprisingly, it was 2 hours late, AGAIN..

Some sensible ones spent the Thursday night at North West Castle Hotel, where we had negotiated special terms, and these guys kept going on about the great food and the warmth they had enjoyed that morning, while those of us who had left home some 2½ hours earlier were already drookit.

So, no coffee at Creebridge Hotel, Newton Stewart & no run up to Straiton on that fabulous road- just a mad dash to our Lunch stop at Burnhouse Manor Hotel, near Beith where, as usual, the hotel did us proud.

Then on to Aberfoyle & a welcome night at the Rob Roy, where the food is excellent & the refreshments flowing, and altogether a great night.

The local garage, thank goodness has been taken over by the local residents with the lottery helping, otherwise a big problems looming for petrol stops. It’s an absolute disgrace how so many stations have closed.

The morning route was fabulous, via The Dukes Pass, The Trossachs, by-pass Callendar, Doune, Dunblane, Braco, Glen Devon, Yetts o’ Muckhart, the new Forth Crossing to the Falkirk Wheel.

We had organised lunch at The Wheel, and a whole 96 seater boat plus spaces on the next one- which we didn’t need. You couldn’t stop laughing at the “crack” that went on.

Then back to Aberfoyle by the smallest and bumpiest roads in Scotland, including the Tak me Doon Road out of Kilsyth, Fintry, Arnprior etc. there was also a wee “cock up” by the writer, in losing his way, which caused mayhem, despite all riders having maps. At least we finally all made it.

The weather forecast for Sunday was horrendous, and many riders took the earlier ferries, and some Scottish members who lived north of the Lunch Stop at Gailes Hotel, Irvine went hoe. They missed a wonderful meal.

So another year passed and planning starts almost immediately for next year. Perhaps England, possibly Gretna next year?

Sonachan

Weekend trip to Sonachan, Ardnamurchan Peninsula Saturday, 9th & 10th June

This trip was by way of a “thank you or a well done” to our Members for completing another successful year, particularly in regard to our finances. These continue to be adequate and prudent, and thus some form of largesse was deemed appropriate. Any Member could participate.

So arrangements were made with Helen at Sonachan Hotel, with the usual negotiations, so that those camping would have the weekend free, except for fuel & meals en route. Those softies enjoying hotel accommodation would pay ½ the room hire. Dinner, Bed & Breakfast would be “on the Club”.

In the “event”, on the Saturday, going to the meeting point, some of us had to “negotiate” the Olympic Torch at Hardgate, then en route to Milton. We decided to leave promptly, to try to by-pass the Torch while it was in Luss. This “sort of” worked & we actually saw it from our favourite café in Tarbet. Only 15 of us managed the event.

The route was by Inveraray, Dalmally, Connel Bridge, Ballahulish, Corran Ferry, Strontian and Kilchoan.

A glorious day it turned out:- we ate breakfast in the sun at Tarbet, then a snack out in the sun at Benderloch café, just North of Connel- fab food & amused by a comical collie- see foto.

We sailed overseas at Corran in the sun & had “cocktails” in the sun at the Sonachan Hotel, our destination. God’s own country! While waiting for the Ferry, John G met up with a family from his distant past- they were great friends and it was terrific to see them again.

We had a great night, super food, and broke the bar tab barrier of £225!

Next day, out to see the Lighthouse, the most westerly point on the British Mainland. Admired the Hooter with its 3 huge, hand start, diesel engines to compress it. No further comment on the Hooter!

Unfortunately, we saw the first rain for 6 weeks arriving & we all finally decided to return via the Corran Ferry. Snack & fuel at Glencoe & the fortunate ones returned home via Connel & Dunoon, while 3 of us, moi included, got really drookit down Glencoe & all the way home! Lesson learned- via Inveraray next time.

So a grand weekend- we will offer the same again to our Members- it is their money that subsidised the trip. Perhaps North Berwick or nearby—?