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Christmas Party


Hi-5s - Cruachan Power Stn Run
Sun 22nd Apr 2012
organised by Highland Scotland

Car Count : 3
[ show pre-run info ]

Well, Cruachan started with a couple of disappointments, first Wendy with a bad back and then Dave and Val had to call off after having brake problems earlier in the week. When we saw emails coming in from Al and Aly then Andy and Beverly we cringed, thinking the worse, but fortunately it was just to confirm they were coming and to get details.

The three cars met up at DFS at the allotted time and headed South.  Tops were down. 

We arrived at Ft. Augustus for the much needed cup of coffee to keep us going for the next few hours driving.

The weather stayed kind to us all the way South though the traffic was a bit "Sunday driverish".  Frankie was lead car and she coped admirably - nice overtake on the bridge Frankie. The two following cars coped impeccably.

We arrived at Cruachan about 20 minutes late, which we didn't feel was too bad considering the distance and traffic.  We turned into the carpark at the power station and thought we'd arrived at Scotland's main MX5 dealer - the carpark was amass with MX5's of all descriptions!

We quickly introduced ourselves to Ian N and got involved in the discussions with a very friendly bunch of guys.  Within minutes we were made to feel a bit like long lost friends - it was brilliant! The 3 Hi-5s managed to get their visit to the dam moved to the 14:00hrs slot so we fitted in with a load of the Central guys.  I think MX5ers filled the entire coach.

The tour round the plant was fascinating.  Quite amazing what they managed to do in the days before tunnelling machines.  I think we were told that there are 3 miles of road up the mountain and about 14 miles of tunnel linking various areas. An incredible feat of engineering and we are really grateful to Central for arranging the visit.

When we got back topsides we met Jim Ford, AC who had been on the earlier trip when we arrived.  Again we were made to feel extremely welcome and had a real good blether about all things MX5!!

Unfortunately the time arrived when we had to make our way back North.  We said our farewells to our new found friends as they departed for Tyndrum and we headed up Glen Orchy and Glencoe.

Tops were still down.  There had been the odd spot of rain but nothing to complain about.

Frankie was still lead driver as we wound our way up an exceedingly beautiful single track road which is Glen Orchy.  Speeds were well down as every second corned was on a blind summit.  Unfortunately we came round one corner to be met head on by a Dutchman driving a fairly large motorbike.  He saw us too late and swerved to avoid hitting us.  His front wheel skidded on the marbles in the middle of the road and off he went.  Fortunately he wasn't hurt and fortunately the bike stopped inches from hitting Connie.  We picked his bike up but the gear lever was well bent and he couldn't get it out of neutral.  His friends arrived and started prattling away in Dutch so we left them to it.

Frankie's heart was still pounding as we rejoined the Glencoe road where she breathed a sigh of relief at having two lanes to drive on again.

The scenery through Glencoe is simply to die for. The place is just so barren, a total wilderness encompassed by massive mountains of rock blanketed in deep cold white snow.

The same applied to Glen Spean, a road which Frankie and I hadn't travelled before, but again a haunting beauty as we headed back Northwards.  Being the passenger meant that I could take in all this incredible scenery, but it also meant that I had to write up the report when we got home!

The sky to the North and East, exactly where we were going seemed to get blacker and blacker but just when we thought we were going to get wet the weather faded away to the side and we managed to keep the tops down.  That is just until we had passed Laggan and only about 15 minutes from our Fish and Chip supper stop!  We decided that when the cockpit is half full of hailstones and they're stinging your face then it's probably time to stop and pull the roof up!

It really was chucking it down and we couldn’t find a place for three cars to pull in so Andy and Al pulled off and we kept on until the next layby.  We regrouped minutes later and pulled back out onto the road – two minutes later the rain and hail stopped and it remained dry all the way home!  We left the top’s up, it was starting to get a bit cold. We must be getting soft in our old age.

We pulled off the road at Aviemore for a fish supper at Smiffy’s.  Smiffy’s has won so many awards for their chips they don’t need wallpaper!  They could probably afford some though as Andy and Beverly found when they were asked for 25p for a sachet of brown sauce – each!!  Smiffy’s  didn’t let us down and we enjoyed a fine meal in fine company.  What a way to end a brilliant day out.

Over supper we got round to talking about private registrations.  Of course we already have FAB, Al and Aly have just bought MX5 5 ALS and Andy and Beverly are away home to browse the DVLA website!  We look forward to seeing what they managed to find!!

We waved goodbye to Al and Aly at Carrbridge as they headed of Eastwards to Lossiemouth and we waved our goodbyes to our new friends Andy and Beverly as we turned off the A9 and headed home to Culloden Moor.

It was a first run for Andy and Beverly so we hope it lived up to expectations and we hope to see them on our next event!

Frankie and I are sitting here just now writing up our reports and looking back on the day.  A day full of laughter and friends – an MX5 day – FAB!  (That’s Frankie and Brian)!!

268 miles clocked and nearly all with the tops down!

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Your Comments
22nd Apr 2012 19:33 :: Brian - part of FAB
A huge thank you to Al and Aly, Andy and Beverly for your company on a really great day out.  A massive thank you to "Central" for hosting such a brilliant day.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable visit and it was great to meet up and put faces to names.  We hope it isn't too long before we meet up again!  Thanks everyone - Brian and Frankie (that's FAB)!

ps - we almost made it home before the weather but when the cockpit is half full of hailstones it's probably time to pull up the roof!! lol

23rd Apr 2012 20:49 :: wendy Haywood
I'm pleased you had a good run and enjoyed your day sorry that I could not be with you but will be at Forres see you on the 6th May Wendy

23rd Apr 2012 21:25 :: Frankie
It's a pity you couldn't be there, but these things can't be helped sometimes. We look forward to seeing you at the 'Benromach'

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