Manifest : 23 MG’S, 1 Jaguar , 2 Rovers (Canine Variety) and 42 Passengers
The run started at Dobbies in Stirling where we checked in and had a well-deserved cup of tea and a morning roll. It is so thoughtful that they keep building garden centres at our meeting points.
We set sail and headed off on the morning run towards Loch Katrine and with a fair wind we all arrived on schedule.
The Loch serves Glasgow with fresh water all done by gravity with a complex mixture of tunnels, pipes and aqueducts, another great feat of Victorian engineering and worth reading about
The route from Dobbies took us on the Callander bypass. A great route to avoid the Main Street chaos that can be Callander, the scone and shortbread gateway to the highlands and a route recorded for future use.
Cruising our way through the countryside the journey to our first port of call was only slightly marred by intermittent rain. Some members stopped en route to brave the roof down but most of the wise ones stayed dry with the heater on.
We arrived at Loch Katherine and entered the carpark. We had our very own berths specially set aside for the Caledonian Club. All parked up and an hour since our last cup of tea, it’s was only right we had our picnic lunch before our 12:45 pier rendezvous for the 1pm sailing.
As we stood on the pier the Sir Walter Scott appeared. Built in 1899 and launched in 1900 and it did beg the question how did they get it up that road?
All was revealed on board, it had actually been built in Dumbarton, tested and dismantled, transported by barge on Loch Lomond before finishing its journey by horse and cart to Stronachlacher pier where it was reassembled and launched.
A feeble effort compared to an MG rebuild.
We queued in an orderly manner as we embarked the Steamer. Some turned left into the covered saloon, the rest of us turned right for the delights of sitting outside to take in the breath-taking scenery in what was threatening to become a brighter day. Ten minutes later with the mist rolling in from the hills and the rain pounding down it was time to put the roof up, wrap up and feel envy for those wise people inside.
Returning back to Trossachs pier, the Captain did a fine job of parallel parking and before long we were set free of our moorings and off on the afternoon leg of the run heading to our final destination for our tea and scone fix. The weather was mixed and never really good enough to get the roof down.
The run back was well planned through a wonderful part of the country as we navigated our way through the Stirlingshire Hills, passing through Aberfoyle, Balfron, Kippen and Thornhill before hot shoeing the last mile or so to The Smiddy at Blair Drummond.
A great day showing off a wonderful part of Scotland complimented by an excellent turnout of members and expertly organised by Iain Macleod and (mostly) Jim Greenhill.