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Post Easter Weekend - Ullapool
Sat 7th Apr 2018 to Mon 9th Apr 2018
organised by Central Scotland

Car Count : 13
[ show pre-run info ]

Post Easter Weekend

Saturday 7th April to Monday 9th April 2018

Another great weekend in one of our favourite areas of Scotland is over and what a fabulous time we all had.

Twelve cars gathered in the Perth Tesco carpark and everyone met up in the cafe for a pre run coffee and chat. We were joined by Clive and Pam who had driven up from Gatehouse of Fleet and Peter and Fiona, all four being Easter weekend virgins.
Everyone was excitedly looking forward to the weekend and the chat was lively and loud - well Alan was loud and Steven had ants in his pants.

The weather was a bit overcast when we went back to the cars and had the group hug and briefing. I sometimes wonder if anyone listens to me when I do this as people seem to ask me later on what I had told them earlier! Oh well it must be an age thing  - at least it is on my part!!
However this did not stop us from putting roofs down and setting off via Blairgowrie where we picked up Ian and Irene making 13 cars in all.

Onwards for our first comfort break at Glenshee which was pretty busy with the ski crowd. We then had a spirited drive via Braemar and over the Lecht and Tomintoul to Granton on Spey where we stopped at the Garth Hotel for lunch (and comfort stop) which was slickly delivered as usual. Everyone also got a bargain as lunch was not the £9.75 rate quoted by me on the run website page but £7.95 - dyslexia and dementia on my part - at least it wasn’t the other way round as I would have had to twist a few arms for an extra £2.00.

Anyway the weather had stayed dry but coolish as we headed off to Inverness for fuel and a regroup at the Seal and Dolphin centre at the north end of the Kessock Bridge which is now a cafe but they still have the facilities for yet another comfort stop.

Off we went again for our final destination at Ullapool. After dropping off our luggage in our rooms, most people met up in the bar for refreshments, some went for a walk and one couple who shall be nameless decided to do a quality assessment of local fish and chip shops, having a single fish each in two adjacent shops on the seafront. They both agreed the shop facing the ferry terminal was much superior to the one round the corner. They still had room for the 3 course meal later!

A quick shower (a very quick one by my wife as the water ran cold. - mental note for next time we visit - have a shower before the masses leave the bar) and we were ready for our dinner. Again the food was very good and efficiently served. We then all retired to the bar where we eagerly awaited the Wattie Quiz. We were split up into 6 teams of 4 with another team made up of another party in the lounge. The teams this year were drawn from the hat to prevent accusations of cronyism/cliquism but more to prevent the brightest among us from winning again! But this tactic didn’t succeed as Richard, Bobbie, Clive and Pam won, and Alan was last. It was a great evening and many thanks to Wattie for preparing the quiz and delivering it in his very amusing style.

Sunday morning was bright and clear as we assembled in the car park after breakfast. Raymond and Marcia were leading the pack this time and we all set off on our run round the scenic coastal route towards our first stop at Gairloch. Again the views were stunning with mist clouded mountains lovely coastal views round every bend. This is why we always return to this area. Where else in Britain can you drive for miles without seeing another car and taking in spectacular scenery. We had our first comfort break of the day at Gairloch (we hoped to go for a cuppa at the Gairloch hotel but a quick phone call to see if they were open soon dismissed that plan - no staff to cope with 26 people) and a few of our ladies did some shopping at the harbour gift shop.

Off again and a really spirited coastal drive to Applecross which was really busy. The Inn were prepared for us and their slick service soon had everyone seated and supplied with food. The scallops I had were superb. Quite a few of us could not resist the ice cream van opposite the inn and were soon licking delicious ice cream cones.

We then set off up the Bealach na Baa for our annual egg rolling competition at the summit car park. It was somewhat fresh at the top but this did not dampen the enthusiasm for this event. Wattie’s launcher came out and Dave established an early lead which seemed to be the winner until Peter made a late bid and passed him by about 2 feet. Carol took the lead in the ladies competition with a superb roll which looked like it would pass the men but died in the latter stages. Much discussion took place on the size of egg and position on the launcher, needed to achieve a winner but we might be trying to analyse too much - great fun though and you should view Maria’s video on Facebook to hear the comments by Launcher in Chief Wattie and others.

Back to the cars, heaters on full blast and heated seats set to high for those who had them, and off we went, headed back to Ullapool with comfort stops at Lochcarron and Achnasheen.
Arriving at the hotel, we had the post run get together in the bar prior to getting ready for dinner.
(note - hot water was available this time so I enjoyed a long soak)
Later in the evening we had the raffle. Many thanks to all those who donated prizes. We sold tickets to members and locals and made the sum of £140 for our charity. Added to this was the contribution from the quiz of £31 so we made a grand total of £171 - a superb effort - thanks everyone, and I believe everyone also won a prize.
Most people went to bed earlier tonight as it had been a long but entertaining day.

Monday morning and the view from the hotel over the sea loch was lovely - blue skies, calm water - peace perfect peace. Breakfast proved a little more difficult - if you were early you would have got the cooked breakfast but mid way through the kitchen ran out of gas due to a problem with the gas storage system, so it was continental for the remaining diners. The hotel did apologise and made up for this by not charging for breakfast.

We had the team photo in front of the hotel prior to setting off for home after a superb visit. We headed back to Inverness for fuel and a comfort break before heading to Aviemore via Granton on Spey and lunch at the Winking Owl. Again the service here was excellent and they quickly served everyone with the food pre-ordered. There were also extra portions of chips ordered for those who felt hungry after missing out on the morning cooked breakfast.
Sun still shining, we set off southwards to House of Bruar for - yes - another comfort stop with instructions to the ladies for no retail therapy but this did not prevent a bit of window shopping.
Unfortunately the rain started just before we reached Bruar and so it was roofs up for the remainder of the trip to Lochearnhead, via Tummell Bridge, and our end of run and comfort stop.

We all agreed that it was a fantastic weekend with great driving roads and everyone said the Monday route was preferable to the processional route via Fort William. The consensus was also that we had just done the North West 200 Comfort Stop run. and would have to investigate further comfort stops if we decided to do the NC500. After all we will all be a year older with less storage capacity.

All in a great weekend and thanks all for making it memorable. See you all next year.

Report by: Drew

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Your Comments
9th Apr 2018 17:39 :: Bobbie and Richard
Brilliant weekend as always. Great drives, great company and even the weather played along. Thanks to Ali and Drew and Marcia and Raymond for superb organisation and to Wattie for excellent quiz. See everyone at the next one!

9th Apr 2018 22:14 :: alan & rosie
Thanks to Ali and Drew,Marcia And Raymond for organising such an amazing weekend.Thanks to quizmaster Wattie for producing the most challenging quiz yet !!!!

10th Apr 2018 08:28 :: Irene & Ian
Thanks to all for another great weekend.

10th Apr 2018 09:41 :: Hugh & Karine
Another fantastic weekend, thank you Drew, Ali, Raymond and Marcia for organising and also Maria for negotiating a good rate again with the hotel.

10th Apr 2018 10:07 :: Wattie97
Fab weekend big thanks to the organising team. Runs were superb company was great. It takes a lot of work to coordinate these days away and everything was spot on.

10th Apr 2018 12:18 :: Jim and Maria
Thanks to Drew,Ali,Raymond and Marcia for superb organisation. Wattie for first class entertainment and all the members who made this the superb weekend  that it was.

10th Apr 2018 12:55 :: Dawn & Steven
Huge Thanks to Drew, Ali, Marcia & Raymond for a well planned & executed weekend. Company was excellent & even the quiz exceeded my expectations. I would like to pass on a special thanks from me personally to Raymond for the run from Ullapool to Applecross on Sunday morning. I'm still smiling. Cheers Raymond

10th Apr 2018 14:10 :: Drew & Ali
Thanks all for your comments, they are much appreciated - it is the people who make the weekend great. Report added. See you all next year!

10th Apr 2018 20:36 :: Peter & Fiona
What else could you add? Nothing!
It was a superb weekend from start to finish. Extremely well organised by Drew, Ali, Raymond and Marcia. Great venue in The Royal Hotel - thanks Maria. Fun and Games with the Wattie Quiz and the egg rolling! Great roads and scenery, even the coos at the side of the road! Why drive an MX5 - simple! Great company and weekends away like this.

11th Apr 2018 21:05 :: Dave
Wow!  What a great weekend and great company.  Roll on Easter 2019.

12th Apr 2018 06:57 :: Raymond and Marcia
Thanks to Drew & Ali for all the work put in to making this another memorable event for all with a great drive & commentary. Thanks to Maria for undertaking the hotel arrangements and not forgetting Wattie, our quiz master supremo.

16th Apr 2018 21:52 :: Carol & Evan
Many thanks to Drew, Raymond, Ali & Marcia for organising another great WE. Thanks also to Wattie for the quiz and egg rolling. Great company, great roads & great weather. what more could you ask for.

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