The day before the run we expected 4 cars, and that Saturday evening we had a few phone calls and it looked like there was some interest in this run. To our surprise there were 10 cars at our first rendezvous in the City North Hotel near Drogheda. Here we met a few new, and very welcome faces.
Second RV was the Ballymascanlon Hotel, a short sharp 53km up the motorway. There we had our drivers briefing, a bit less serious than at a start of a rally, but just to remind everyone that we were going to be on narrow roads open to the public and to be alert at all times. The rally type “Road books” that Karen prepared the week before were handed out as well as the Cooley Quiz Questionnaire. When giving the briefing we were already giving answers to some of the questions, to the benefit of those who were paying attention.
Margaret and Ruth arrived just in time into the car park and our “Porsche” count was up to an unexpected 14!
The first part of the route was the Devil’s Elbow Special Stage used in the Circuit of Ireland Rally in the 90’s. This Stage has a very steep climb at the start followed by some very tight and twisty bends before our first stop and viewing point.
The weather was clear when Karen and I did the “recce” the week before our run and we could see the Mountains of Mourne, the answer to question 2, however on the morning of the run the clouds prevented us from seeing Slieve Donard – answer to question 3.
At “Crossroads – Turn Left” in the road book a few cars liked the look of the road on the right, and took it! Shortly afterwards they realised their “wrong slot” and turned around to get back on the correct route. No slagging here, I know all about taking a wrong slot or two.
At Carlingford we regrouped after a 5 minute break and headed to the next Special Stage used by ALMC in the 80’s and 90’s on the way up to the Long Woman’s Grave. There were more quiz questions on the way and when we stopped at the car park, everyone gathered around the very long grave to find the answer to the last question on the Long Woman’s headstone.
From there it was a short run to Fitzpatrick’s pub and restaurant on the coast road back to Dundalk where we had a first class lunch in one of the best restaurants in Co. Louth.
Congratulations to Robin & Sile who won the Quiz