Over the sea to …. Dunoon
My friend and I left a wet South Lanarkshire to drive to the start of Sundays meeting place at Dobbies, Braehead, Renfrew, next to Ikea. Just a short hop of an hour’s drive to the start. Being a Sunday there wasn’t much traffic on the M74 and as we hit the M8 Mr Sunshine come out.
After a nice Mocha and breakfast roll while waiting for the final members to arrive, we all chatted about the route and the ferry etc. A few MGs had already taken their roofs down in anticipation of a lovely day, and the weather didn’t disappoint…well not until we reached Helensburgh when there was a short down pour.
We were to get the Ferry tickets on the boat, but Mike mentioned that he heard you could purchase the tickets cheaper in the Gourock Co-op, so off we went passing through Port Glasgow, Greenock and passing by the giant shipbuilders sculptures at Port Glasgow, I must say they were very impressive but sadly, couldn’t take a photo, but they are worth a visit. The small convoy all turned in to the Gourock Co-op car park together to dash in to purchase discounted tickets. However, they only sold two-way tickets and as we were not returning the same way we all decided to continue to the ferry and purchase them on board. Lucky Willy had kept a few very old tickets back from previous years of using the ferry, so thought he had a bargain. (Surprised they took them Dated 2019 WS note)
The ferry across to Dunoon took about 20 minutes and was quite enjoyable and most of the drivers and passengers got out of our cars to see the scenery and watch the Waverley Paddle Steamer sailing by, a nice sight and to see her back in commission, I must sail on her one day.
Disembarking at Hunters Quay Dunoon, we followed the coast on the A815 for a few miles before turning left on to the B836 and a single road with passing places, remembering not to get too close to the car in front. The scenery was very nice and the road winding around the head of Loch Striven. Reaching Stronafian we took a right on the A886 passing Glendaruel and Dunans castle (another place to pop back to). Following the banks of Loch Fyne, famous for its Oysters, we soon arrived at Strachur and our lunch stop, The Creggans Inn. I have been here a few times on my travels but didn’t realise they had some very nice accommodation rooms, where you can stay overnight for a wee break, well 14 rooms in all so a nice venue for base for a small group drive out.
Lunch was very pleasant with light banter and Leslie’s jokes in abundance as were the mussels in Willy’s lunch bowl. I settled for Cullen Skink, but my friends Crayfish looked rather good, and they were very large portions!
Saying our goodbyes to the Inn we headed on to the A815 to the A83 turning right through Glen Kinglas and to the Rest and be Thankful, famous for many a speed hill climb until closing in the 70s to competitive climbs, but still opens occasionally to clubs by appointment but only for a nostalgic trip up the hill and to master the stone bridge, cobblers corner and the final hairpin.
Our route continued to Arrochar, I remember running a previous tour in 2017 from the Arrochar Hotel to the Oyster Catchers Inn at Otter Ferry, Tighnabruaich another good day. From here we turned right keeping Loch Long on the right travelling along the A814 passing Garelochhead until we reached Helensburgh then turning left onto the A818 to the A82 and to our final destination at Balloch and the final coffee and shop stop, at the Loch Lomond Shores, we just made last coffee orders.
Summary- a very good route and the weather held out for the day. Members that didn’t book on this one, missed a very enjoyable and well organised run.
A BIG thank you to Leslie and Liz Duncan for arranging todays run and look forward to hearing more of Leslie’s jokes.
The committee are always looking for help and support to organise runs for the enjoyment of our members and friends. I’m sure some of you have been on roads that you have enjoyed and wish to share. If so, please contact your committee at www.mgcaledonian.com >> as your centre needs you and your support both organising and attending on their runs as these are arranged for members enjoyment and we are all volunteers.
Caledonian Centre Member