Annual Overseas Trip Sunday 19th Sept 2018

How times flies. After our scorching Summer, we wondered if our annual trip to the Cowal Peninsula would, as usual result in a drooking.

Not so, although it was mighty close!DSC02266

The ferry trip from Gourock was wonderful. The sky was talking to us, and Dunoon looked splendid at a distance. Tourists on the boat were gasping at the wonderful views.DSC02274DSC02280

We breakfasted, as usual at the Cafe at Younger Park- noticing their uber-sized scones (resisted with courage)DSC02283

Thereafter, although somewhat repetitive, we crossed over towards Colintraive & then up the road to Strachur.The road surfaces were VERY good, unusually so nowadays.

Inveraray looked very inviting and Johnny passed thru successfully with being copped. 

S(Kippers) awaited for lunch just beyond Inveraray- certainly mostly OK.DSC02285 DSC02286

Most returned via Dunoon & Sheila’s Diner (no longer Sheila) but Meringues still the specialty, as can be seen.DSC02289DSC02290

Two naughty lads returned via The Loch- and had a vunder run back, in record time-   WOW! Magic.

Another year, another dollar. See u next year, Dunoon.DSC02269 DSC02288



Our Man in Hava—actually Lurgan July 2018

We sent our senior foreign diplomat, Boris G to The Province, ostensibly to suss out matters pertaining to the forthcoming September Weekend

Ulster 30s First Minister, George S met the delegation off the Stena Ferry (very impressive) & proceeded to lavishly sit down to a ‘meal’ at the Lisburn Motorway Service Station. (Wow! but actually very good)

Geo, who is now a Clerk of Works at his local Lodge/now Community Centre as well, stopped to check on progress. At that stage Boris was not impressed at the internal appearance (looked very Irish)- however, on a later visit, it was no longer giving off a shambolic appearance.20180726_153601

An interesting archway crosses the road opposite the Orange Lodge, which boasted a Chapel on one side and the said Lodge/Community Centre on the other. Many might think it cotraversial- I’ll keep my opinion to myself.

The weather was fab & on arrival at destination George, June, his Missus, was sunning herself in the sheltered back garden & we joined in, in a flash (no flashing permitted)- with a wee aperitif. IMG_0006IMG_0010 Mealtime was spectacular- yummy, & then a visit to Castle Ducati (to see George’s Racing bike & Paddy (sponsor) & then Ivor (master engineer). Reminded me of The Last of the Summer Wine. One was a double of Compo!

Photos of George on Ducati forced onto this page; looks good though- the bike I mean.George 119488483_1340963222639152_4722173321159611615_o (1)

The next day started with Clerk of Works, then provisional booking for September 2019 Weekend! This was a long way round to Armoy to watch practice.20180727_144206 20180727_151635

That was very interesting, noisy & VERY dangerous looking. We had some food there (very good) & watched from 2 different spots.

So dangerous, in fact, that a paramedic, tending to a fallen rider, is fighting for his life!

We prepared for next day’s BBQ Run. Starting close to Belfast & eating near Banbridge. Boris was concerned as the weather forecast was decidedly dodgy. Indeed, I stated that @ WSVMCC we would have considered a call off phone round. “No, no, it’s never as bad as forecast”. WRONG!

As soon as we started off from the Meeting Point nr Belfast, it threw it down, non-stop for about 3½ hours. In fact we were travelling through deep flooded areas & the bikes made it! Except for a BMW whose rear wheel bearings collapsed.

We arrived at Dave’s huge establishment: one barn used for cooking and the adjacent one for drying out & eating. You would have laffed to see some 20 grown & mostly “elderly men” giving off plumes of steam as their waterproofs vainly tried to dry out some 5 ft plus from the paraffin “bonfire” of a contraption. The food was great and despite the conditions, lots of hilarity.

No aggro & great fun.

In due course we squelched into our wet gear (yuck!) & headed off for a hot shower & an even hotter furnace room for our gear.

The next Monday, by the way, there was a Post Mortem on why residents of the Province were not warned of the severity of the rain. Well, it was a Saturday & it appears no one at the Weather Centre works after noon Friday. (Allegedly). Michael Fish, all is forgiven

Sunday was motorcycle free. A fab breakfast in town with the in laws & a visit to their farm type dwelling. Wonderful place, with loadsa room for all things mechanical & Sandra has developed wild gardens full of natural flowers- really beautiful. Also keeps donkeys as well as husband20180729_121115 20180729_123714

Dinner out then preparations for return trip. Clothing all dried, thank Goodness

Uneventful return- still nurturing the pleasure of the trip.

Although the Province is small, you know what they say- “guid gear in wee bulk”. Loads to do, the  old shipyards, the Titanic experience & fab sea views & countryside, good motorcycling roads. Worth a visit anytime.Titanic (2) Titanic (3) Titanic (4) Titanic (5)