Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Pembleton Roadtrip; Isle of Bute


A half day from work on Friday and i am zooming up to Edinburgh by train with a small pack of lightweight camping gear, a one piece motorcycle suit, Genuine WW2 flying hat and MX goggles, yep time to get out in Toms Pembleton kit car again for a roadtrip, this time across to the west coast to the Isle of Bute to visit a good friend of ours, John now lives at Rothesay on the Island and it would be a great drive across there.
The 2CV engine originally used in Tom`s car was tuned up for more power, then Tom fancied even more power. He spent many hours in his man cave over the winter and now `Snotamog` is powered by this Italian beast - A 50 HP Moto Guzzi Strada small block V twin...




The power increase is very noticeable and the wee car zoomed along the winding  roads from Glasgow and Loch Lomand  via the `Rest and be Thank full` and along Glen Douglas...






And it was Glen Douglas which Tom took me to show me the MOD base there. Dozens of Silos can be seen behind a large perimeter fence. we could see two police cars patrolling inside. The base is linked by rail to Faslane, home to the UK Trident Submarines...









Past the base and some fun down to Arrochar...



Onto the short ferry crossing.  There is something magical about the Islands on the Scottish west coast,  compared to our East coast it is quite different, everything is a lot greener as it rains a lot more, there is moss and lichen on rocks and wall, and there is a lot of Ancient history to see, from Castles and ruins, to Standing Stones and stone circles...


Down to Rothesay, coffee at Johns then its up to Canada Heights and the campsite via the suitable named climb called `The Serpentine`...


Here it is on Google Earth...

I had put away the camera so did not film it. However there was a cycle race on the hill last year that i found on youtube...



Tents pitched we headed down into town for a bar meal and a few drinks...


-:)


Nice view across the bay...



It all got a bit blurry later on lol...


Outside was a fresh night, something about a seaside town lit up at night with its lights glowing across the water...





Sleep came easy after the long walk up the steps beside the Serpentine climb.
I just got a new 1 kg wee tent, a Force 10 Vando Helium 100 , 2nd hand from friend Andy who has upgraded to a tent which is a bit longer... nice wee tent and  seems well made...


Tom`s new Hilliberg is rather nice!,


Down the Serpentine and my Go Pro would not switch on to film!, maybe cold having lay in the tent all night?, typical it worked fine once at the bottom!, oh well, next time...




A lovely day as we dragged John up for toast and coffee which outside was turning into a lovely morning  with a clear blue sky and little fluffy clouds...


Into an old fashioned cafe and given friendly quick service for bacon rolls and coffee, nice old beetle outside...


Rothesay was once `The Holiday` destination of the Victorians of Glasgow and Ayrshire. Many generations went `Doon the water` by paddle steamer here and in it`s day it must have been stunning with its architecture, trams, theatres, shops, pubs and amusements. My mum came here from Irvine in 1960 for here holidays and said it was beautiful then.  Today it still attracts tourists, but like many Victorian resorts is sadly starting to look a bit shabby. It is similar to Dunbar here in East Lothian, and like Dunbar today walking along the sea front it is a lovely insight into a once grand  resort which must have so many happy memories for thousands of people who came here....



John and Tom, and an old Ford Zephyr!...


Classic art deco at the Pavilion...


West coast here has warmer winters so palm trees can survive...






I walked along to Port Bannatyne while Tom gave John a lift to where Johns Yacht is at the boat yard...



The Pembleton get lots of beeps from motorists and waves from people, like a Surly Pugsley people grin and wave and when stopped it also draws a crowd of interested folk...


John wanted to show me this small memorial at the side of the Boat Yard, to the crews of the WW2 X Class midget Submarines who were trained in these very waters here...









The XT submarine wrecks in Aberlady Bay which we so often visit would have been sailed here training crews. I have some pics of the subs here...



Johns yacht. It is getting an electric motor fitted soon...







I liked this one too!...


Next stop for lunch a cafe at Ettrick Bay on the west side of the Island, again i walked while Tom gave John a lift  first...


And at Ettrick Bay we were rewarded with a fantastic view across to the Island of Arran...




Time to head for the ferry and home. Itwas  great to see John and we will pop back over soon for his invite to go sailing on the yacht...


Here is a great insight of The Town of Rothesay and images of it in its element i found on youtube. embedding is disabled but click on the link if you wish to watch;  STV Rothesay


Bombing along loch side roads in the wee car is fantastic. The sense of speed and  freedom an insight to early motoring in Scotland...






Still some snow on the mountains...





Home all to soon in Edinburgh and home by train at 7 pm sitting drinking a coffee thinking of that view of Arran on the other side of Scotland only 5 hours earlier...

Film of some of the drive up there...

Music is `Ride of the Valkyries` by Wagner

and `Captain Coulls Parrot`  by Peatbog Faeries

1 comment:

  1. Ride of the Valkyries
    "I love the smell of Moto Guzzi in the morning"

    ReplyDelete