Br of Cally W/End Scouting Trip, 21st – 22nd August 2014

JG had recently experienced the wonders of the Cairn-na-Mount Road, and felt it would be a fantastic focus for our June 2015 Weekend.

A number of hotels were tried, including Edzell, Banchory & Ballater, with not much enthusiasm or flexibility by the hotels.

So it seemed logical to go back to what we knew & enjoyed, (viz the Br of Cally Hotel), although it will still be a fair run on the Saturday.Something for Robert Main

So David Kerr, Grumpy, John H & JG braced themselves for foul weather & drove up to Br of Cally via Callendar, Killin, Ben Lawyers, Aberfeldy and Pitlochry. The weather was reasonable, after all.Glen LyonTea Room

As a consequence, we can now incorporate the road we know & enjoy next year, from Br of Cally, via Braemar to Crathie. Here we go on to the South Deeside Road, which is very quiet, good surfaces and winds through forests.Ballater - Station 2 In Ballater we can stop for a while, perhaps not to overfeed ourselves, as lunch may be only a couple of hours away. Back then to the South Deeside Road which joins the Cairn-na-Mount Road, which is truly fantastic.Cairn O Mount

We can now explain why it was necessary to scout. Our Sat Nav plan did not work out, & we’ll need to do some further research to organise the lunch & the route back to Br of Cally, hopefully, with Norrie’s tall beech hedge as a feature.Beech Hedge

Have no fear, it will be all right on the night (as per AS). Will keep you up to date.

 

 

 

 

 

Sat-Nav David’s Sinuous Sortie 17th August 2014

Well, first all the good stuff- great roads, few main roads, well researched, very educational, great lunch, good company etc., more below.

Now the down side- Hurricane winds (especially Forth Road Bridge), loads of unscheduled stops, God knows where we were at any one time, except Linlithgow, Blackness & North Queensferry Hotel.

In reality, a great day. We managed to avoid virtually all the forecast rain, & maybe the Hurricane winds were responsible for that.

We gathered at the edge of Easterhouse, where the supermarket trolleys were locked up in a cage (didn’t see that during The Games?). After breakfast off we went towards Coatbridge, by Drumpellier Park (5 minutes from Easterhouse, but not on the day- est 20 minutes- so much effort to avoid M-ways, well done David)

As I say, very little knowledge where we went- sure, we had a few stops; bikes finishing up in all directions. But in the end, David blamed his Sat Nav, (with which we sympathised), & we all agreed he should donate it to one of our more deserving Members. Me-me!Linlithgow Loch (2)

At Linlithgow we stopped at the edge of Linlithgow Loch and Palace where we didn’t get a history lesson from David. It is however, very interesting, the birth place of Mary, Queen of Scots & I urge you to look it up.

Once comforted, off to Blackness Castle.Castle 2Blackness Castle A very ancient edifice which has a very chequered history. It was used as recently (as I recall) as the 2nd World War as a munitions dump. Details on the Web.

Yesterday, however, Dave used an Ice Pick to climb into his pulpit, as per the Reverend I M Jolly, & ensure that we all took in details of the Castle’s history. Not bad for a guy who can’t read. (the notice, Dave- DO NOT climb the Walls).IMG_2640

We meandered (& I mean that) to the Forth Road Bridge, using some of the roads being laid for the new bridge. JG thought he had cracked it (driving over the Bridge without being blown off it), by going into the right hand lane & encouraging a car to drive level with him on the left- but the guy was “thick” & overtook him!

Lunch was first class, & we had the welcome company of Dave & Mary Stewart in their very nice Merc. Dave was looking so much better, almost back to his old self. See Dave, your UK operation was a miracle!Lunch stop

Post lunch, again followed our leader in total bewilderment. We passed a couple of villages where the flowers were abundant everywhere, and were astonishing- so much effort & pride displayed by their inhabitants. On one of Dave sorties into the “unknown”, Peter, doing his duty by marking the direction to go, (remember, we were facing in every direction under the occasional sun) decided to park his bike in a strange position. All was OK, especially the bike, thank GoodnessPeter`s bike 2

A quickie stop somewhere and back home via mixed routes.Coffee stopPetrol stop

A glorious day out, so let’s get more in before the gloom of Winter descends.

Many, many thanks, Dave.

 

 

Ronnies Overseas Adventure Sunday 3rd August 2014

The nights are drawing in! You would certainly have thought so with the dark & gloomy clouds spewing down the rain onto the M8 heading for our departure at Gourock.The FerryIMG_2579

Some of us just made it- as usual the closest (Bobby), just & no more. One had forgotten his Passport, so we were involved in a hassle again. and 3 hours later, we arrived at our destination- Dunoon. Ronnie had forgotten his bike there.

We then headed South to gather our overnighters, Harvey & Heather. They really had a shitty journey on the Saturday night, from Walkerburn to the ferry.

Finally, we arrived, ravished at our usual Garden Centre, next to Younger Park.IMG_2587 Excellent breakfast & then North to Strachur & a left towards Otter Ferry. That bloody road had not been properly swept, & while the scenery was breathtaking, so would have been the consequences of not keeping your good eye firmly on the nasty single track road. Of course, Otter Ferry is a delightful place, & we spent some time there, in the dry.Otter FerryIMG_2601Otter Ferry 3

In the dry, too, on the road to Portavadie- noting the dozens of trees that had been blown down last winter, in a solid non stop organised lining of the road , roots facing you. Likewise to our right, many trees had been felled, allowing us a splendid view of the basin where we were heading.

The Marina welcomed us for the 3rd time.IMG_2609IMG_2612 A splendid facility, essentially in the middle of nowhere. Nowhere, as well, was Richard (our local Member) to be seen. Ron, he must have a new email address- please furnish.

First class service this time & excellent nosh. Not so excellent was the  return journey by Loch Lomond. Those going to the ferry stopped at Sheila’s Diner for cakes AND meringues (H & H) you were lucky Grumpy forgot the foto).

Ronnie, despite the weather we enjoyed the fruits of your labour. Just get that bloody road swepped for next year, PLEASE