A first organised by Kenny & his attractive assistant Ian McP. It subsequently appeared that Kenny, being an adopted local, handled everything beyond the Great Glen, viz, hotel, routes, lunch stops etc. Ian, being a “Remain” produced paper depicting fuel stops (only here) timetables, and lunch stops en route North & South.
We,as usual gathered at Tarbet with pre-arranged scones on the menu. Lovely morning. Ian perused his paperwork, checked we were all there.
We travelled up the Lochside & stopped at Tyndrum. Others joined us, Paul & Alison at the Green Welly Shop, David & Mary, Dave & Dot 2 at the Hotel (soaked coming up the East).
We then travelled up The Glen, Ft William & stopped for lunch at Spean Bridge. It was OK.
Weather still holding as we left, and went East to Newtonmore etc and fuelled at Grantown. by then the weather not only turned wet but bl—dy cold, as well. Really Baltic The trip up to the hotel was like skating on ice, road surface & cambers combined to achieve this. We were very pleased to reach the Richmond, our weekend lodgings.
Turnaround Saturday. What a difference. Breakfast was great, cafetieres, scones, full breakfasts etc. AP & Artee joined us for the day, super to see them, greatly missed.
The routes selected by Kenny were fab the whole day. He must have spent a wad of time rehearsing. We travelled initially North/North East & passed & by-passed historical Whisky villages & towns, (in no particular order) Dufftown, Afford. Aberlour, Rothes, Huntly, Bamff, Portsoy, Cullen, & finally stopped at Spey Bay, Dolphin Centre, for coffee etc
If you’re up this way, it’s a “must see”. The location is mouthwatering, the views inland & out to sea almost spellbinding. The sun wasn’t out but dry. Sunshine would have transformed it. Check their webpage.
Reluctantly, we left the Bay & again travelled through or round & back of various emotive towns (no more Clydesdale Banks, where there were dozens). We could not fault the routes. Finally, & for those NOT feeding their faces at The Bay, ready for lunch in Lossiemouth. A steep drop to the Car Park & and equally steep climb to the balcony alongside the pub/restaurant. And WHAT a view from there.
We were lucky enough to be able to eat lunch on the balcony & feed on the views. Really magic.
We returned by Forres (losing AP), and by various roads to Grantown. If we thought we were not far from home, not a bit of it. Kenny sneakily passed the direct road to Tomintoul & led us to Morayshire again (we thought to visit his pal, Alec the Independence Man). No, another whistle stop tour of a different route home, challenged by surprising amounts of sand on the roads.
The sun was still shining when we got back after 5 pm. We sat outside at first in The Square, but the midgies were fierce & even the most hardy had to retire to the open space in front of the Richmond. A lot of larking about, then and in the morning.
Dinner was a great success, much better than previously. Good? to see Ronaldo miss a penalty.
The next morning, post breakfast was spent chatting outside & importantly trying again to get Dot 2 to sit on a motorbike dual seat WHILE ON THE STAND. There were numerous helpers and she finally seemed more relaxed. God knows how the real thing will turn out. Better than we suspect.
Kenny led us back by magic roads again finally reaching Blairgowrie for lunch around 1 pm. We had hoped to leave promptly, however, the venue seemed to be overwhelmed & it took some of us about 2 hours to get away. So we departed separately as some were served ahead of others- no paperwork! This was unfortunate as the weather was threatening & sure enough, those who were detained most, really got drookit (shades of last year’s event- Tsunami again)
A very successful weekend, thanks to the 2 Generals.Thanks a bundle