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The Easter Weekend - Ullapool
Sat 15th Apr 2017 to Mon 17th Apr 2017
organised by Central Scotland

Car Count : 14
[ show pre-run info ]

The Easter Weekend - Ullapool

Saturday 15th April to Monday 17th April 2017

Saturday morning bright and early, 13 cars, drivers and passengers met up at Sainsbury’s, Stirling for our annual easter weekend pilgrimage to the north west highlands, based in the Royal Hotel, Ullapool.  We welcomed Philip, Alison and John on their first easter outing with us and also welcomed back Mariya, from her home in Majorca for her second weekend away.
Alan and Rosie would join us on route as he found he had a flat tyre when getting the car out on Friday evening to fuel up for the next day. Frantic running around to get a repair on Saturday morning ensued but luckily resealing the bead on the rim fixed it.

It was a bit chilly but dry in Stirling and the forecast was a bit mixed with lowish temperatures and showers expected for the weekend. So it was on with fleeces and woolly hats, heaters cranked up, and for those lucky enough to have heated seats, toasty bottoms and after the group hug and briefing, Raymond and Marcia led us on our way for our first stop at the Green Welly, Tyndrum, where Alan and Rosie had arrived before us. The car park was brim full with people getting out for the first holiday weekend after winter but we all managed to get spaces. Comfort break over we set off for Fort William for lunch and fuel top up. Roofs were down although there were the odd squall or three, but Glen Coe still looked it’s grim best in the grey light.

Arriving at Fort William there were long queues for fuel and several camper vans seemed to need 10 minutes each to fuel up which was a bit frustrating. We went to the adjacent Brewers Fayre for lunch and suitably refreshed we set off for Ullapool via Fort Augustus, Loch Ness and Beauly, arriving at Ullapool around 5pm.

After the usual very efficient booking in and dropping off bags, we were all in the bar 10 minutes later for pre dinner drinks and congenial conversation. A quick brush up and change and it was down for dinner. Following our meal we had the easter egg decoration and easter bonnet judging competitions. Bonnets seem to be more popular this year as the egg entries were down but the quality of both was still to a very high standard. Thanks all for making the effort.

The best decorated egg prizes were won by Hugh and Jacqueline and the best decorated hat was won by Irene.

It was then back to the bar for more drinks and good chat before people started drifting off to bed after a long day of driving.

Up bright and early next morning we set off about 9:30 for the Applecross Inn where lunch was booked and tables reserved as long as we arrived by 12:30 as this inn always proves very popular especially on holiday weekends. Roofs were again lowered, although it was a bit dull, breezy and chilly. We headed east towards Inverness before turning south and west towards Loch Carron and the Bealach na Ba where we would hold our egg rolling competition at the car park at the summit.
The sun came out as we headed towards Loch Carron where we stopped for a comfort and photo stop. Moving on again I went ahead to the Beach where I could take pictures of the passing cars as they passed the hairpin near the summit.

The sun was out and the sky was clear as the cars arrived but it was obvious something was up as John, driving his Mk3.5 on his first weekend run pulled off the road at the hairpin. I got photos of the cars as they passed then went to see what was up. It was obvious that he had a puncture on his nearside rear tyre. We moved his car to a safer spot and checked out the tyre. He thought he had hit a rock but there was no obvious damage to the rim or tyre. Jacking up and inflating soon revealed damage to the outside tyre wall. We inserted a couple of plugs and this seemed to cure one leak but a second leak near the rim bead did not seal with the tyre repair gunk. The tyre would inflate but go flat quite quickly. What to do on an easter sunday? It was decided that the tyre was shot and it would be better to get the car to the Applecross Inn where we could reassess. So inflating the tyre a couple of times we managed to get John to Applecross. After many phone calls (thanks to Applecross staff for help and use of phone as there was no mobile signal) John arranged to stay the night at Applecross, and be picked up the following morning where his car could be taken for a new tyre.
Raymond and I missed the easter egg rolling which took place while we were helping John but the furthest role was won by Maria. It was obviously a great event as we saw a video and there was a lot of shouting and groaning as eggs were launched. However it was pretty cold on the summit and the rollers were happy to set off for the inn where we enjoyed a tasty lunch.

After lunch and sadly leaving one of our members behind we set off on the return leg to Ullapool via Kinlochewe, Gairloch and Poolewe. The sun came out and the scenery was stunningly clear and sharp. A great drive over super roads. This was further enhanced by the odd squall which leant    a different light to the mountains. It truly is one of the most scenic areas of the UK. Writer’s note - I need to get something to stop my right arm getting wet from rainwater coming over the driver’s door window with the roof down - any suggestions (apart from putting roof up!!!)

Back at the hotel, drinks, conversations and laughs were enjoyed, then dinner. This was followed by our charity fundraising raffle and Wattie’s quiz where we raised grand total of £156. We even got non MX5 hotel residents to buy raffle tickets and enter teams for the quiz. It was a great night and thanks must go to Wattie again for preparing the questions and acting as question master in his own inimitable style. Again a long driving day proved too much for some of us and we drifted off to bed for a well earned sleep.

Monday morning and the sun was shining and we looked forward to our run home via Inverness, Tomintoul, Granton on Spey (where we had a lovely lunch at the Garth Hotel), Glenshee and Perth. We took a diversion after Blairgowrie to Perth due to reported traffic delays at Broxden where we were due to finish the run and instead drove via the Friarton Bridge and ended the run at Kinross Services. Farewells were exchanged and everyone said it was a great weekend and had thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

I would like to thank everyone for coming along and making it so enjoyable. See you at the next run.

Drew & Ali

Report by: Drew

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Your Comments
17th Apr 2017 16:49 :: Dave
Great weekend, thanks for the organisation.  Home safely.

17th Apr 2017 17:00 :: Bobbie & Richard
Great weekend as usual. Thanks to Drew and Jim for organising.  Big shout out to Wattie for a very entertaining quiz. Apologies to Alan for winning again.  Won't be at the next pub night but looking forward to the next run.

17th Apr 2017 17:19 :: Jim and Maria
Thanks to Drew, Ali, Raymond and Marcia for looking after us on our runs, Walter for a superb quiz, Maria for organising the hotel and menus and all the members who make this a great Easter weekend away.

17th Apr 2017 18:30 :: Steven & Dawn
Huge thanks to Drew, Ali, Raymond & Marcia for another well planned weekend away. Thanks also to Maria for sorting the hotel & to Wattie for his quiz. We had a superb time & a great laugh. Thanks also to the company that we shared over the few days away. It certainly made the difference. Hope you all arrived back safely

17th Apr 2017 18:53 :: Hugh & Karine
Another cracking weekend, thanks to Drew and Ali, Raymond and Marcia for organising and Maria for the hotel. Also Walter quiz master supreme. Great to see folk, see you all again at the end of May.

17th Apr 2017 19:54 :: Bobbie & Richard
Got it wrong again! Thanks Raymond and Marcia. Great weekend. Should also have said All the best to Alison and Philip for nexf weekend (They're getting married folks)

17th Apr 2017 20:51 :: Ian and Irene
Many thanks to all who helped make a great weekend.

17th Apr 2017 20:53 :: alan & rosie
Brilliant weekend thanks to Drew,Ali.Raymond and Marcia for all their hard work and organisation.and thanks to walter for the high quality entertainment.

17th Apr 2017 21:57 :: Drew & Ali
Thanks all for a great weekend and your comments to Raymond me and our better halves.
Report added

18th Apr 2017 07:52 :: Hugh & Karine
Another cracking weekend, thanks to Drew and Ali, Raymond and Marcia for organising and Maria for the hotel. Also Walter quiz master supreme. Great to see folk, see you all again at the end of May.

18th Apr 2017 09:27 :: Wattie97
Fab weekend with our MX5 cronies. Huge thanks to all who helped with organising this trip. The runs were super hotel spot on and company well up to to standard.
Glad you enjoyed quiz and see you all soon. Wattie.

18th Apr 2017 10:42 :: Jacqueline & Ian
Another brilliant Easter weekend on fabulous roads with even better company. Many thanks to everyone who made it all possible.

18th Apr 2017 16:51 :: Raymond & Marcia
Many thanks to all, you made it the weekend it was. The "going clockwise" this year was something different, perhaps a bit busier but that's Easter for you... but entertaining on Monday!
Thanks to Ian for leading us homeward from Grantown on Spey.

19th Apr 2017 16:43 :: Carol & Evan
Great WE, many thanks to Drew Ali, Raymand & Marcia, & Wattie, who made it all possible.

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