mr2oc april 06 highland drive -
well what a week. Been on an awesome weekend drive up in the Highlands of Scotland and had a fantastic time. Awesome roads, awesome company and the weather even played ball for most of it.
We counted them all out and we counted them all back in. Various levels of damage to cars, usual stone chips odd cracked windscreen and one puncture but we reckon 2 busted rims. Also of note were a couple of sticking brake callipers. They were slightly overworked. Other casualties included a couple of blowing exhausts and mine does sound a little different.I reckon thats down to a good de-coking. We'll see soon enough.
Anyhow, drove up to the Aultguish Inn on the friday afternoon. This hotel is on the A835 halfway bewteen Inverness and Ullapool which oddly enough are the 2 nearest petrol stations up there, Saturday was the run for the Applecross Road.
This is simply an awesome road which is a single track (with passing places) up the side of a mountain. 2000ft rise from sea level in barely 5 miles then it drops back down to sea level again. Some alpine style hairpins that required 1st gear to get out of which certainly tested the ole LSD on the diff. It worked for sure, left some twin strips of rubber on the way up.
We had started by heading to Achnasheen along the A832 which is the road to Gairloch then entering Achnasheen we headed for Lochcarron along the A980 and then turn left for the Applecross road. You know it's a scary road cause the sign at the bottom of the road says its not suitable for learner drivers! Certainly gets your attention.
And of course it started to rain just as I was about to head off. Perfect really, there were no dramas but the brakes were certainly working hard on the way down the other side as you never get off them long enough to cool them down.
The applecross is just amazing, like a stage from Corsica in Colin McRae rally except get it wrong it will hurt a lot and cost even more. Wonderful just bliss.
After a bite to eat in the Applecross Inn a wee blatt along the coast road then onto the A986 to head for Kinlochewe then the A832 for inverness then back onto the A835 to the hotel. A days worth of great driving, the weather wasn't the best but to be honest none of us cared that much cause we were driving some fantastic roads through some of the worlds most amazing scenery. Fabby dabby.
Saturday night was a run to Ullapool so we could get the required top up of petrol and while we were there top ourselves up with some food too. The run back to the hotel in the dark was interesting, the local wildlife made a suicide bid with the car in front of me. It looked really close from where I was sitting and I was on the brakes hard cause if they had hit that deer, the car would have literally stopped dead in its tracks. Lucky they never hit it but the looks on their faces back at the hotel was enough to confirm it was a real close miss. But it was a miss so thats what counts.
Sunday, well that could have been a short day but where's the fun in that.
We started off heading to Ullapool then took the Gairloch A832 and followed the coast round along some simply breathtaking scenery. It was stunning and even a cove / beach of golden sand that wouldn't have looked out of place in the med. Except even though the sun was out the windchill factor made it seem like -10degC lol. Followed the A832 through Poolewe (been along this whole road with the works' van two weeks previous) through Gairloch and onto Achnasheen. Turn onto the A890 heading to Strathcarron and some lovely roads. Had a plate of amzing mince and tatties in the Strathcarron Inn for lunch, would definitely recommend this place for food / staying. At 2pm on a sunday afternoon they had some folk playing music in the bar, real good atmosphere the food was great and the service was spot on too.
After lunch in the Strathcarron we were still 80 odd miles from Fort William which is itself 105 miles from Glasgow and it was like 3pm in the afternoon. Clearly was going to be a long day of driving. Lucky we had such great roads / scenery to make it worthwhile. Oh yes indeedy.After lunch we headed along the A87 for Inverness then headed for Fort William.
Quick run through Glen Coe then a slight detour along the A84 to drop my passenger off at Stirling Services so his lift could run him back to Edinburgh while I continued onto Glasgow.
680 miles of fantastic driving. Simply the best weekend in a long time and the best driving weekend ever. Fantastic roads, stunning scenery great company and everybody made it home without any real dramas.
When pipex get their webspace sorted I'll post up a link and some pics but rest assured it was just amazing.
pah toyo 15" rubbish -
had a chance to try out the new toyo 1r's and what a huge disappointment. Exactly the same as the 1s's. Feels like the sidewall is flexing under load and the car is just unstable with direction changes / line changes / tightening lines etc.
It feels like the tyres just dont grip until you give them abuse then I have to wind off some lock to keep the same line. But when I arrive at the next corner, they have cooled down again and the same thing happens again. boo hoo.
Have managed to get a set of evo 6 rims which were advertised as 17 x 8inch rims but turned out to be 17 x 7.5inch which means I'm squashing tyres to fit for the rear 235 x 40 and I'd guess rules out any chance of 245 x 35. Just waiting on some spigots and shorter wheel nuts to arrive then I can fit the wheels to the car. In time for the spirited april drive next weekend. On new wheels( for me ) and brand new tyres. Perfect timing no............ Defo not even good timing
Should be interesting