By John Mcllhagger –
Waking up after the ‘final sleep’ before the July Argyll & Bute Run, the weather forecast did not look promising; confirmed with a look out the window. At least it wasn’t raining, though clearly it had been. Fleeces, waterproofs and windproof clothing were loaded into cars. But they weren’t needed. Maybe the Central Belt had awful weather but as the dozen or so MGs made their way to the Ardgartan Hotel the weather got better and better.
Meeting up in a lounge with a view that must rank as one of the most beautiful views from any hotel lounge, anywhere, we tucked into the traditional (and very modestly priced) roll & bacon/sausage and tea/coffee pre-run breakfast. Roofs were then all carefully folded down and we set off.
The drivers started to smile as, on leaving the hotel, they were instructed to turn left onto the A83 towards the Rest & Be Thankful. These smiles on the drivers’ faces intensified when they turned left at the top of the R&BT and arriving at Otter Ferry some 50 miles later the smiles had become grins, extending right round to the backs of their heads!
Passengers had been treated to absolutely magnificent scenery as we passed through St Catherine’s, Strachur and Tighnabruaich and the drivers relished roads that could have been designed and built just with MGs in mind. Although it was the height of the holiday season, thankfully there were very few other cars and even fewer cyclists out and about to spoil the fun.
Everyone chose to have (a leisurely) lunch at The Oyster Catcher in Otter Ferry; and a good choice it was too. It was warm and sunny (one ZT driver even had to change into a lighter shirt) as we sat outside, enjoying the views and the company.
An uncomplicated route back to the Ardgartan Hotel provided further entertaining driving and many more super views.
After our tea and cake, it was back home, having had a great day out.
Many thanks to the organisers for coming up with such a brilliant route where there was plenty of time for stops to take photos or just drink in the views, a very clear and helpful route-book and all with great open-top weather thrown in.
And then, there was an added bonus – don’t you just love it when a route takes you to roads where grass grows up the middle? We had some on the B8000 as we left Otter Ferry.
This driver, for one, is still grinning.