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Chasing The Midnight Sun
Sat 19th Jun 2004 to Sun 20th Jun 2004
organised by Central Scotland

Car Count : 15
[ show pre-run info ]

Best laid plans of mice or men?springs to mind after the enthusiastic idea of a beach barbeque and campfire, whilst basking under the glorious midnight sun. After the reality check kicked in we, well most of us, soon realised that important factors such as Scotland, weather, and more importantly age were soon to scupper plans for that kind of dreamy holiday brochure weekend.
As far north as we could get was the original idea and try as they might Bill and Linda hit barrier after barrier on their many sorties to find suitable Hotel accommodation on the Northern coastline.

Mino, prior to all this had suggested a trip to Skye, before the soon to be defunct Glenelg ferry was finally withdrawn from service, so plan B was born, we would stay in Lochalsh and with a bit of luck perhaps see the midnight sun.
Fourteen cars met up at Richards in Callander and after a quick repair to a window mechanism belonging to Phil, who thought he was on a technical day, we were off to meet up with Iain and Anne at Tyndrum. Glencoe was as normal, atmospheric and beautiful, not forgetting the inevitable holiday traffic. Not long after crossing the Ballachulish Bridge we stopped for lunch at the Onich hotel and enjoyed a quick bask in the sun before heading north again.
A much needed refuel stop at Fort William, then the 60 miles from Fort William to Shiel Bridge seemed to take an eternity, even though there were no hold ups, Alan was right, he did warn me it would take much longer than the time I had allocated.
The rain just seemed to start when we reached Shiel Bridge and the single track almost Alpine Pass road would have been excellent had it not been for the wet roads and the odd slow car. We reached the Ferry and the first couple of cars were loaded straight away, while the others joined the queue and waited under cover. Two crossings later and we were all on Skye, meeting up at the Otter Sanctuary car park for a quick car count then off to Broadford to meet up with some of the others who had gone ahead for a comfort stop recce.
Alan and Derek led a small convoy further north in Skye, whilst the others decided that the warmth and refreshments on offer at the hotel were more of an enticement and so paid our dues and crossed the controversial Skye Bridge.
Dinner was first class and in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere followed by a quiet evening in the lounge bar enjoying good company and conversation, Gavin could not believe his luck when after the barman informed him they did not stock cigars, that same barman somehow or other, produced from somewhere the biggest and best Havana cigar Gavin had ever smoked, free of charge.

After a good nights sleep, shh don?t mention the midnight sun, the early morning photographers braved the early morning midges, for all those photo?s that hopefully might just grace the cover of a certain magazine, that?s right.. People?s Friend. Following a hearty breakfast we were off to Plockton and then another Photo call at Eilean Donan Castle for when the owners club produce their own shortbread. After a quick chat to a German Mk2 BRG owner on holiday, we split up into two groups, those taking the direct route home and those taking the long way round.

Iain, Don, Phil and Alan set off for Fort William whilst
Richard led the other nine cars cross-country after stopping at Roy Bridge for some Venison sandwiches at the excellent Stronlossit Inn. Dalwhinnie reached after 30 miles ?across the tops? as Richard would say, then down the deserted A9 to turn off at Dalnacardoch onto the unclassified road to Trinafour, now if we ever get another chance this road must be included in a run, it was so demanding, the twists, turns and downhill hairpins that were so close you could almost reach out and touch the car in front, although I don?t think Heather was too impressed or perhaps she had too much for lunch. More twisties to Tummel then down to Loch Tay, we just put our hoods up to escape a heavy shower, the first all day, then lo and behold the rain goes off and before stopping to drop them again we bump into the Rx8 and S2000 (hoods down) boys, how embarrassing. Down Loch Tay to Killin where we regroup and bid our fond farewells as we head home East and West.

My thanks to Bill and Linda for their hard work in arranging the Hotel and for the response from North and Central regions in attending this event, as for the midnight sun..there?s always next year.


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