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The Easter Weekend
Sat 30th Mar 2013 to Mon 1st Apr 2013
organised by Central Scotland

Car Count : 15
[ show pre-run info ]

The Easter Weekend

Saturday 30th March to Monday 1st April


Following two weeks of cold and snowy weather it was with considerable relief  that the road reports on Saturday morning indicated that the three roads on our route that had been shut were at last open and so we met in Perth with a hope that the Saturday run could go ahead as planned.

A prompt start on a sunny morning set the tone for the weekend and we headed off for the north west coast soon arriving in Blairgowrie to be joined by Ian and Irene. A few miles further on and we reached the first signs of the heavy snow falls that had caused the run to be in doubt but the roads were dry, the sun was out and the skies were unbroken blue.

Climbing up to the Glenshee ski centre the fields around us grew heavier in snow and arriving at Glenshee we found that the sunshine and earlier heavy snow had brought the skiers out in large numbers and we decided, hopefully without causing too much discomfort, that it was not worth stopping to join the toilet cues for our first toilet stop. We continued north dropping down to Braemar and back into clear forests before turning off at Crathie onto the single track Cairnshiel road where it soon became evident why this had been shut until only 36 hours earlier. The single track road was enclosed by a wall of snow on both sides, in places over the height of the cars, and provided a photo opportunity as we drove through with the white enclosed road ahead and the blue skies above. The snow alongside us remained as we climbed up from Cock Bridge and over the Lecht to Tomintoul. As we dropped down towards Granton on Spey the snow disappeared and we had a clear sunny run to our lunch stop at the Garth Hotel where we were provided with soup and sandwiches and a chance to muse over the unusual drive we had just had.

After lunch we headed towards Inverness for a fuel top up before cruising the last sixty miles into Ullapool past snow clad hilltops and hillside fires which were indicative of the dryness of the vegetation around – this area being one of the few that were not affected by the excess of rain suffered by most of us in 2012 .
Late afternoon and we arrived at the Royal Hotel to be met by Bill and Linda before heading off to the Ceilidh Place for some coffee and cake where Gordon and Sue made the first of what hopefully will be many guest appearances over the year.

A quick freshen up and change and then it was time for dinner, which as ever at The Royal was excellent. This was followed by an evening of entertainment provided by the ever cheerful Wattie which was enjoyed by all before retiring to the hotel bar for social conversation on the first days run.
The first part of the entertainment comprised the judging of best decorated male and female eggs – I wasn’t sure how the eggs were to be sexed but apparently the categories, as Wattie gracefully explained, referred to the artists rather than the eggs.
An impressive array of eggs were presented on the tables and the winners were judged by Heather as being those decorated by Marcia (female) and Frank (male) – Wattie accepted the result with his expected grace and sportsmanship before continuing the evenings entertainment with a light hearted quiz he had prepared for us which was only interrupted on a few occasions as Wattie expressed how impressed he was by the expertise of the winners of the egg decorating.


Sunday dawned to another glorious if cool morning and the views over Loch Broom to the snow clad hills to the south west was awe inspiring and a precursor to the run to Applecross and beyond.

After a filling breakfast we headed towards Dundonnell with the imposing snow covered An Teallach mountain above and on to the shores of Little Loch Broom where the blue waters and blue skies merged into one. A short climb along the cliffs led to the drop down to Gruinard Bay, which was as picturesque as I have seen it thanks to the excellent weather.

Continuing around the coast we got some glimpses of the snow topped mountains we were to drive through later before we arrived at our first stop on the pier at Gairloch.

After a brief stop we continued on turning inland to drive down the edge of Loch Maree with the high snow clad slopes of Slioch highlighted against the blue skyline.

We then headed west towards Torridon with firstly Beinn Eighe and then the rugged Liatach mountains forming the backdrop.
At Loch Sheildaig we turned off the “main roads” onto the coastal track that took us back out past Loch Torridon to the West and then down the coast with views of the Cuillins to the south before dropping into the village of Applecross for lunch.

After squeezing into The Applecross Inn we were served an excellent lunch and then headed up the west side of  the Beallach Na Ba where we had the egg rolling competition on a grassy bank between the snow falls. Eggs were rolled, smashed on the rocky outcrops, stuck in the snow and some managed to get through the obstacles only to come to grief in the grass tussocks. Irene managed to avoid all these and was adjudged the winner by chief judge Walter.

We then returned to our cars andcrested the summit to be presented with the views down the alpine like pass to the sun kissed blue waters of Loch Kishorn.  Ian led an exhilarating drop down the pass with ice walls and people ice climbing on the hairpins to Kishorn and then on to Lochcarron where we regrouped.

A stop at Achnasheen for toilets and a little shopping was the only interruption to our run back to the hotel and a relaxing refreshment allowed us to discuss the views before a quick change and another meal.

After dinner Jim and Maria assisted by Ali held the raffle in aid of this years charity The Erskine Hospital which raised £158. Many thanks to all who contributed prizes and purchased raffle tickets – your support and generosity is much appreciated.

The evening continued with a lighthearted presentation to the prizewinners by Jim and Maria before we sat back for an MX5 Club evening with the normal banter.


To my amazement we woke on Monday morning to find the sun shining again and after breakfast and farewells to Bill and Linda we headed off on the journey home.

A run through Muir of Ord and Beuly followed by a drop down into Drumnadrochit led us to Loch Ness which we followed along its shores until we arrived in Fort Augustus for a short coffee break.

We continued to follow the Caledonian Canal alongside Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy with more snow topped mountains highlighted against the blue sky before the vista opened up to the Nevis Range with Aonach Mor, Carn Mor Dearg and Ben Nevis itself standing as clear and majestic as I have ever seen them.
On through Fort William and down Loch Linnhe to arrive at The Onich Hotel for lunch and more awe inspiring views over the sun drenched loch to the mountains beyond.

After lunch we continued along Loch Leven before climbing up Glencoe , passing the impressive Buachalle Etive Mor and then crossing Rannoch Moor before arriving in Tyndrum where we concluded the run

It is always a joy to take the MX5s to Wester Ross where the roads are ideal and the scenery stunning but this year was made all the more remarkable by the weather events  – the snow earlier in the month had caused us concerns but ended up giving the mountains there most scenic pose being dressed in snow highlighted against the blue sky. The sun was with us for the whole weekend, as evidenced by the colouring of several foreheads, and highlighted what fantastic scenery we are blessed with as it glistened off the blue rivers, lochs and seas.

As ever of course the company made the weekend therefore many thanks to all who attended and who offered their own personal moments, their banter and their friendship and enhanced a memorable weekend

Report By: Charles Kennedy

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Your Comments
1st Apr 2013 12:09 :: WSBen
Many thanks to the Central Scotland folks for a fantastic weekend, superb food, company and runs. It all went by too fast. Hope to see you all again soon.

1st Apr 2013 18:12 :: Chic
Bill - great to see you both again and hope you enjoyed the weekend
Thanks again for keeping us updated with weather and road conditions

1st Apr 2013 19:24 :: alan and rosie
What a brilliant weekend we had  a huge thanks to chic and heather for organising it. maria and jim for all the work they do and making every one so welcome .and finally to walter who kept us hilariously entertained on saturday night.

1st Apr 2013 19:53 :: Gavin & Eileen
What a weekend that was. The weather gods were looking down on us again. Absolutely marvellous sunshine. Good to see our friends from up north and overseas again. Thanks to Chic and Heather for organising the run and Ian doing the route bit and also being tail-gunner for us. Thanks also to our CS ACs Jim & Maria and also my Dad for being as entertaining as usual. Hotel did us proud as always.

1st Apr 2013 20:21 :: Frank & Rosie
So sorry we delayed the start!!  However, very many thanks to Maria & Jim and their helpers for organising such a wonderful week-end - it was just Magical!  Look forward to meeting everyone again soon.  Rosie & Frank {half of the Pot Pourri team}.

1st Apr 2013 21:30 :: WSBen
I must also mention Gavin\'s dad :). Walter, thanks for the fun quiz, the constant banter, and just generally keeping everyone entertained in true Bo\'ness fashion. Also, thanks to Jim and Maria the CS Acs for keeping things under control (just a pity the April 1st joke did not go to would think it would be easy to steal a car when you have possession of the keys). ;)  I have just been looking at the photos from our camera, and just wishing we could do it all again next weekend :)

2nd Apr 2013 08:52 :: alan and rosie
I must also add thank god walters egg didnt win the male competition we would have never heard the end of it.

2nd Apr 2013 18:31 :: Norman and Kay
What a fabulous mx5 weekend! We really enjoyed meeting up with all our Scottish friends, thanks for having us!! The runs were breathe taking and I'm so glad we were able to bring the sunshine from Ireland with us! Well done and thanks to all especially Charles and Heather for their hospitality

2nd Apr 2013 19:52 :: Ali & DRew
Thanks Chic and Heather for organising a fantastic weekend with blue skies and great roads with stunning views. Thanks also to the entertainment committee (Wattie - famous in the oscar winning film Bo'ness Nights)and everyone else who attended to make a memorable weekend.

2nd Apr 2013 21:07 :: Jim and Maria
What a weekend, brilliant. A huge thanks to Chic and Heather for all their hard work organising our three days, to Walter for his tireless work on the egg front and brilliant entertainment. I think that the hotel was the best it has been. Finally, I would like to thank all the members who made this a weekend to remember,

2nd Apr 2013 22:11 :: Marcia & Raymond
A truly fantastic weekend with breathtaking scenery & a great route of roads. Evening entertainment plaudit to the Egg Commitee chair, totally on form as we all come to expect.
Thanks to Chic,Heather, Maria & Jim for all the organisation & planning that went into making this a memorable event & also for getting the weather envelope just right on the day!


2nd Apr 2013 22:44 :: WSBen
And I do apologise for having the cleanest MX5.  :(  we live just over the hill from the hotel. We were home very quickly, grass cut, washing done and wine opened (and probably consumed ) before any southerners got home. Please, can we do it all again very soon? Missing you all so much already.  :(

3rd Apr 2013 08:44 :: Ian
What a brilliant weekend, the sun gods certainly shone on us all. Many thanks to Heather and Chic for organising everything for us. Love all the photos that have been posted, some should be sent in to STHT.

3rd Apr 2013 15:18 :: chic and heather
After all the concerns over the weather and whether the snow was going to disrupt the weekend it turned out to be the weather that enhanced the weekend with glorious sunshine, blue skies and snowcapped mountains making the views sensational- can't remember when I Iast saw ben nevis top so clearly.
Thanks as always to Wattie for his "entertainment" and particular thanks to all who attended for their company, for joining in and for keeping to the timescales
The company and banter is what makes these weekends that bit more special

3rd Apr 2013 19:36 :: wattie97
Another fantastic weekend with our MX5 cronies. Super roads great company and the hotel was better than ever.
Huge thanks to Chic and Heather and Jim and Maria for all the organising.We had a great time. Photies look super by the way.

3rd Apr 2013 20:57 :: Margaret & David
Thanks to everyone for a memorable weekend, fantastic weather, lovely views, great roads and entertaining company.    Hopefully the first of many this year, see you all soon.

8th Apr 2013 15:59 :: Evan & Carol
Great weekend, great weather , great runs, great company, great Hotel & food. Many thanks to Heather & Chick, Jim & Maria, Walter & Ian, for al the work they put in.

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