Our annual Applecross Norton trip this weekend, We left just after 6.30am Friday to meet Mickey our friend from Ireland at Lochcarron at 1 pm. The first 8 miles were dry then the rain started and never stopped much for the run up, real Scottish rain not the namby pamby rain you get elsewhere, rain that would penetrate the hull of a submarine, rain that eventually no matter how much you spend on quality bike gear gets through to your skin. Our first impromptu stop was at Rumbling bridge about 30 minutes after we had set off to adjust Fi's mirror and while I stopped she reported a clanging noise , further investigation found the right rear indicator (just fitted this week) had vibrated loose and was hanging by the wire (thankfully) I tightened it up the best I could and set off. As we passed Crieff I noticed it vibrating loose again so another impromptu pit stop in the pissing rain (did I mention it was raining?) Petrol at Lix Toll then onward to Ballahullish for breakfast, as we rode up onto Rannoch moor there was a glint of sun which looked hopeful but it lasted about 3 miles before the rain started again but this time in the distance it looked like it was night, I've seen Glencoe pretty black but this was Black as night, as black as a hoer's heart.
We were glad to stop for sustenance at the cafe at Ballahullish before making our way up through the tourist hell that is Forth William, to be honest it was better than I thought as I think the poor tourists were probably hiding in their B&B's, those that weren't though were out driving their Hire cars and camper vans very badly, we were going to stop for fuel at Inverinate but having just passed a load of aforesaid badly driven tourists we pressed on to Lochcarron figuring if Fi ran out of petrol I could transfer some from my bike (bigger tank) and I'd rather do that than risk life and limb to pass these idiots again. Lunch stop at the Riverside cafe and we met up with Mickey, after a catch up, food and tea we were lucky enough to time leaving the cafe with the rain starting again. Up over the Bealach dealing with idiot tourists again and despite it hammering down all the way to the top hairpin the rain stopped at the top and we had a nice descent into the campsite.
We got the tents up in the dry and then done what we normally do in Applecross which is party on! A great turn out despite the conditions with special mention to Mickey who rode from Ireland, Toon and his girlfriend from the Flanders NOC in Belgium who sensibly came in a van and Russell from around Manchester I think who came up for the night on his 88 Dommi and who bumped into Tim and Paddy on the way.
A great weekend in great company, a new addition to the hostelries is the Junction, just at the bottom of the hill (at the junction funnily enough) we ended up there on the Friday and had a great night. Saturday we ate at the walled garden at night, the Inn in the afternoon so we made sure everyone got a taste of the Norton owners club cash. With Applecross being so busy I'm sure there is room for all 3 to coexist and prosper in future.
Sunday it was still raining, we were amongst the last to leave and got Alex down to Laggan where we were staying the night in a B&B, I was glad to call it a day then and get a hot shower and a bit of heat. Today it rained 70% of the way home, I suppose thats good considering the previous days, George Martin abandoned his attempt to join us on Saturday at Kintail as it was getting late and he was drowned, it must have been bad if George didn't make it! Similarly Liz turned back on the Friday due to being scunnered I think which is not in character for her either.
I shall spend the next week drying everything out but once again thanks to all who came along (and those that at least tried ) another great weekend !
|Lochcarron, Fi still in good spirits|
|Mickey with his giant phone|
|People in the water, mental!|
|Early Friday evening|
|Russell, Tim, Philly and Paddy enjoying a beer or 2|
|Ewan, David and Anne speaking to Alex's head|
|Bert met up with an old pal|
|Getting later so more nonsense being talked|
|Not sure what I was getting the blame for|
|bikes at rest|
|Tim Russell and Paddy's choice of mounts|
|Stag do prelude|
|What are you looking at|
|Posing for the camera|
|Saturday afternoon in the Inn, nice of Norrie and Snibs to join us|
|Glimmer of blue sky|
|Not so hopeful|
|Tim looking for a friend|
|Paddy and Brother John |