Monday, 31 October 2022

Very Wet for the last weekend in October

 The Scottish branch of the Moto Guzzi club had an end of season get together in Aberfoyle this weekend, it happened to coincide with Halloween time, now dressing up in anything other than my bike gear as not my thing but we went along and took part. I was surprised just how much effort people put into this Halloween lark but it was great to see everyone despite the scary faces! Of course as we headed West on the V85's it rained, especially over the Dukes pass, the roads were bad enough with leaves but that just gave it a slight edge. We arrived in a dreich day in Aberfoyle and managed to get a cup of tea and a sandwich moments before the food stopped, remember NOBODY can eat after 3pm, why would people expect such a thing?

The evening went well, food was average but served super quickly and efficiently, we then retired to the corner of the bar to talk nonsense for the rest of the night. Sunday dawned with false hope, there were glimpses of sun in the sky but fortunately by the time we had breakfast it was full on heavy rain, just as well, wouldn't want to be accused of having an easy time. 

We headed to Tullybannocher to see who made it to the Norton year end meeting, and after several near death experiences (caused mainly by Range rovers and vans going too fast including one which submerged me as it drove through a small lake on the road in a corner) we made it and surprisingly the East was dry. Some of the Guzzi friends came along (In cars) and there was actually a great turnout.

Too many to mention but have to commend Campbell for coming on his rotary from Aberdeen, down the long way over the Lecht where he almost got blown off! Bill made it down from just South of Aberdeen and John Hyman made it only to spent the day trying to get his Commando going so he could make it back to Dundee. David T had problems no doubt due to the rain and turned back and was spotted in the West by our spy, Jim who was heading off on a family holiday, there is no escape! All in all a good turnout and good to see everyone, braw, and the rain even stopped on the way home! We will keep an eye on the weather and hopefully meet up in a layby over the winter months.  

The pictures tell the story as always. 

Ready to go
Jake and Ally taking it serious
George & Mrs George 
Martin and Sue, up from Oxford to dress like this
The Gruesome threesome (Maureen)
Bill and Kat Arrived almost Dry
Still smiling
Dennis turned up on his nice Dommi
Very smart
John H at the spanners
Bill overseeing the repair
John still looking Happy
Even when it rained 
Nigels Dommi, sweet runner!
Budge turned up on his BMW
And brought me this momento from the 90's, nothing changes apart from the news medium!, Postcards, then txt's and now Electronic versions
Johnny T on his Tiger, I feel like a classic may be in his radar soon
Martin from Dundee brought his sweet 16H
Alan won the short distance award
Marion's Trident
And Hubby Alan's rocket 3
Another Bonnie
Phil's Norton
And Campbells Rotary, 150 miles to get there!
Tay Valley spies spot David turning back
And Sunday night dinner with the Norton Girls, Fiona and Savi

Tuesday, 18 October 2022

The North of Scotland video

 I eventually put together a wee video of our trip in the North of Scotland, hope you enjoy it.

Monday, 10 October 2022

North of Scotland jaunt

 We had a few days off and despite the dire weather forecast we decided on a small tour around Scotland, the length of the tour would be decided by the weather ultimately and the , well and the WEATHER! We had been in touch with Savi a friend of ours from the Netherlands who is touring around the UK and the Isle of Man in a converted van and her Norton Dominator. We agreed to meet her in Helmsdale for the night and continue on a small tour of the North.

The route as far as Strontian

Fi and I left Perth on a windy and wet morning and stopped at Tore services for fuel and food, we had also arranged to meet Guzzi Club North supremo Gavin (aka Mad Farquar) and his wife for a catch up there. A pleasant lunch followed and we set off in windy but dry conditions North, around 20 miles from Helmsdale we waved at a Norton heading south which looked suspiciously like Savi. We stopped and tried to call and eventually got a message she had a problem with her side stand and was looking for a welder and we would see her at Helmsdale, she arrived eventually having had the welding sorted out. A pleasant night at the private Hostel in Helmsdale followed catching up on what had been happening. The wind and rain woke me up in the early hours but I got back to sleep again and by the time morning came it looked nice again but remember this is Scotland and that can and does change rapidly.

Breakfast was taken in a nice cafe and we set off on a slightly modified route as heavy winds and rain were forecast, up to Altnaharra and then after a stop to admire the scenery and to water the plants the Norton started to misfire a bit but was fine into Lairg where we stopped for lunch.

A9 Stop
Gavin, Iso and myself at Tore services
Fiona's V85 contrasting with the flowers
Savi's Dommie
Interesting architecture at the restaurant
Ready for the off
Well almost, we had to have breakfast first
Stopping to enjoy the rain
A brief respite from the wind and rain
The Dommi with the long road ahead

After a leisurely lunch the Norton was reluctant to run, several attempts at changing plugs with some used ones Savi had and managing to get a spark plug from a local garage it became obvious there was more afoot. A decision had to be made so a call to the welder from yesterday proved fruitful, he would come and bring spark plugs and a trailer (decent chaps)  we went back into the cafe then even they closed so we waited but true to his word the blacksmith from Tain appeared, still no go so he agreed to take the bike back to his workshop and Savi would pick it up the following day in her van. 

Just after 5pm we headed to Lochinver in the rain and fading light but managed to arrive just before another downpour, a pleasant night was spent catching up with our friend Kenny Wheelan our host at the Culag Hotel who as always looked after us very well and we crashed out early, Scottish weather gets to you sometimes...... often!

I was woken up by the heavy rain and wind battering the windows at about 3 am but thought it was a bad dream and managed to get to sleep again. We got up for breakfast with the rain still howling down but as we enjoyed breakfast some blue skies appeared. The plan today was to set off for a short visit to a nearby beach for a photo then ride to Inverness to drop Savi off for her van, it was cold and wet most of the day with glimpses of blue skies to show us what Scotland could look like albeit briefly! Petrol at at Ullapool was a rip off at 10p a litre more than the rural Highlands but by Contin I had to stop, same rip off prices and no toilet facilities, typical Scotland! We had a quick stop to heat up and then drove into Inverness to drop Savi off, say our goodbyes and carry on via Whitebridge to Fort Augustus and to the Corran ferry, The cafe at Spean bridge was closed as it was after 3pm and who would want a cup of Tea or to eat in the afternoon so the lukewarm tea in our flasks was the first drink we'd had since breakfast, We had been on the road all day in driving rain but our spirits were still high. We were relieved to roll into Tim's campground just before 5pm, we had a pod so managed a cup of tea after we had pulled off our wet gear, (did I mention it was raining) 

Dinner was excellent at the hotel as always and in the morning it was raining! Luckily the rain stopped at Comrie and the last 20 miles home was dry, what a result! Fiona and I enjoyed the trip and the bikes were excellent, less rain would have been good but then it wouldn't have been so much of an adventure.

Until the next time, keep on keeping on!

I will do a video once the pain has worn off!

The girls and Kenny saying goodbye
The Beach
Don't let the sun fool you it didn't last long
Almost the Bahamas but 8 degrees!
Fiona and Savi , note Fiona lives here and isn't fooled into taking her helmet off because a a brief appearance of the sunshine 
A view
Looking happy despite the cold
Saying goodbye
Oh look its  still wet
Waiting for the ferry
Peaceful at night on our way to the pub
Excellent view from the front of the pub
The bikes getting soaked again!