Most of the gang met at the Applegreen Lusk on Friday April 28th and headed to Belfast Port for the 11.30 to Cairnryan which was a handy crossing. As it was also a Bank Holiday weekend in Scotland traffic was heavy but once we got north of Glasgow it was pleasant driving.
Roads were really good with good surfaces and spectacular views everywhere, but only passengers had the time to enjoy them! We took the A82 through some really beautiful areas such as Loch Lomond and the Trossocks National Park, Tyndrum and the wilds of the Highlands to reach Fort William where we overnighted. A few wee drams etc. were had its said...
Saturday April 29th saw us take the lesser travelled A830 to Mallaig and this is a spectacular road with even better views and scenery around every bend. Road surfaces, camber were also designed, it seemed, with drivers in mind and was a really enjoyable spin to Mallaig where we took a 20 minute ferry to the Isle of Skye.
We headed to Portree where we had booked lunch in the https://isleofskyebakingco.co.uk/ and they looked after us nicely. After a short spin around Portree we headed off the Isle and on to Inverness. We didn't take the main route but again went 'off piste' and took the A890 where the road went from standard roads with a lane either direction to a single track road with regular passing points to dual carriageways, all through the middle of nowhere, or so it seemed. Eventually arrived in Inverness where we stayed overnight and enjoyed all the hospitality which the town had to offer.
On Sunday we had arranged to meet Steve Rose of PCGBs R2 who had been of great assistance in putting our route together and answering numerous emails and calls with complete patience. Some of the Inverness R2 guys met us at the hotel and we tried out best* to keep up with the turbos etc. but did meet Steve and perhaps another 10 cars in Tomintoul where we went in convoy to Dalmunzie Castle for (a slow) lunch. Along the way we passed ski runs with cable cars and still some packed ice on the hills and made an emergency run for petrol for one of our brethren who hadnt topped up...
After the slow lunch we followed one of the R2 members who took us the fast route towards Edinburgh. Our hotel was centrally located with convenient parking less than a minute away. Beers and good food were had that night along with visits to museums, churches and other places of worship :-)
Sunday brought a short stroll around the city to visit the castle and have a general look around and then headed towards Cairnryan for our 3.30pm ferry. Its fair to say that whilst the ferry destination was reached by all, it didnt involve the planned route in all cases. We all got on the ferry with literally only minutes to spare in some cases for the return trip to Belfast port and onwards to Dublin in most cases.
Was it a good trip and would I do it gain? Yes and Yes.
Were the roads fantastic? Yes
Scenery Good? Yes
Good bunch of people? Absolutely
Distance covered? Varying from 1,500 km to 2,000km (incl from Cork to Belfast both ways)
Whens the next trip? Need someone to step up asap and start planning!
*within legal limits