You’re right- seems now a 4 day event. A & F Baird devised the strategy of abandoning North West Castle on the Thurs night, in favour of staying that night in NI, now at our new base camp, The Dunsilly Hotel, Antrim- a great find by George S
A glorious morning. Gathering points varied from Burnhouse, Monkton & our lunch stop at Ballantrae. Johnny must have been constipated, he drove, initially like a lassie. When the blue touch paper was lit, he reverted to type, thank Goodness- we were falling asleep, so we were.
No hassle with the ferry crossing, although some clocked the number of sniffer dogs doing a sweep. They didn’t come near us, just as well, as they would only get gravy bones- & that would do the trick
According to the leaders of our pack, who will be nameless, complete with SatNavs- but not switched on- supposedly GUIDING us to The Dunsilly, managed to make a fist of it, seeking the mysterious roundabout.
They overshot the off-ramp (nae roundabout), and led us another 50+ miles before they realised what plonkers they were. If only that had been the end of it! “Wouldn’t have happened in my day”
A fab dinner with George & June and a couple of other 30 Club Members joining us. The first night of four tasting the output of grapes from various parts of the world- Murder
Come Friday a relaxed start to the day, setting off at about 11am, as some coming on the Friday Ferry. But The Dunsilly was a good setting off point.
Must have been around 50 bikes, a great turnout. The sun was shining on us again. We headed towards the Sperrins, led by the ever young Jack Moore, who can crank his scooter well over, to compensate for a pitiful top speed. Mind the road surfaces were hellish, this because George is no longer involved in the maintenance & upgrade thereof.
Went thru Toome (always worrying connotations) & we stopped at Ballyronan Marina.
We continued via Moneymore, Draperstown & past Lough Fea AND the Tyco HQ to lunch at the Cohannon Inn.
On the way back, we stopped at Oxford Island park and sanctuary, near Lurgan. A couple of lucky guys accompanied George to his home to collect his mobile phone (can u imagine George without is mobile phone?? Almost as frightening as John M without one!) George still has an interesting load of bikes. The return behind George was theraputic— not.
The main body returned to the hotel by the other side of Lough Neagh
Saturday, traditionally is the Big Day- somewhat now competing with Friday’s run since we are starting at a sensible time of day. A lovely sunny day again.
Our leader for the day was Tony Ross- and did he do a fab job? We skirted Antrim and took the wee roads past Kells to Broughshane and then Eastwards to Glenarm.
Not only did we have the odd mobile chicane to try to pass, (roads were VERY narrow), and then a huge semi permanent cherry picker which only allowed a solo to pass.
After a comfort stop by the sea, we went up the Antrim coastline to Cushendun then across the plateau to Armoy and Ballintoy. Then a few miles down the coast, into the Dunseverick Baptist Church for lunch.
Comfy chairs outside for to get a suntan to let u understand (no open air service here) and welcomed by the “minister”, who immediately recognised us as SINNERS. Yes you! After making sure we knew our place in the queue to meet Santa Pietro, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch. Perfect location.
We then skirted Coleraine and veered South along the edge of the River Bann (excellent roads to try out one’s new suspension!).
We stopped at the Marina (wonderful venue, not too busy for such a glorious day), returning to the hotel by Rasharkin & Portglenone
Total retribution on Sunday from Above for our sins, as predicted on Saturday lunchtime. It rained the whole bl—dy day, so it did. The brave ones, including some locals who joined the run (foolish? No, VERY foolish, but good pals), joined the morning run into Co. Down & back to Co. Armagh to lunch at Brownlow House- a favourite venue.
The very brave escorted the Scots platoon to Stena in Belfast.
Journey on ferry- no drama. Very, very wet thereafter for all. Gear will take 3 days to dry our- even if set alight.
Again- a WELL DONE to George & his team- we enjoyed all the friendship & blethers with our VERY good friends from the 30 Motorcycle Club. Nothing more uplifting that exchanging experiences, refreshments & indeed “issues” with close & caring friends.