Still no further forward with the test issue so even the suggestion of dry spells yesterday was enough to get me out. Talking to Conchscooter about the 'Vital Spark'
put me in the mood for Inveraray.
My mind was made up when my step dad, Bob, decided to join me. He's been biking for 30+ years but due to him spending most of his life in Australia, had never found himself on the A83 through Rest and Be Thankful. This had to be rectified asap and this was our chance.
Bob likes old BMWs. This means that his bikes often don't work (Hi Bob!
). His bike was working yesterday, though it has an odd feature where is makes a (fairly irritating) beeping noise when you put the indicators on. It only beeps the first 3 times the indicators flash so it's not much use to remind you to turn them off again. If my bike did that, I'd never use my indicators.
True to form it started to rain just as we climbed on our bikes. It was light, but obviously had the potential to pick up so I wasn't too confident. It did get worse and in places there were fairly large puddles on the road. I set a target of the town of Balloch at the south west corner of Loch Lomond. If the weather wasn't better by the time we reached there, we'd head back. We were in luck.
The weather at Loch Lomond was actually pretty good and it seemed like we had clear skies ahead. So we pressed on.
Bob had said that I should feel free to stop and takes photos whenever I feel like it. However since I normally traipse about for half an hour or more when I pull over, I would be leaving him sitting by the side of the road by himself so I only grabbed a few snaps.
Annoyingly, I made the decision to get my photos of Glen Croe on the journey back rather than on the way out. This allowed the sun to move (or Earth to rotate) just behind the hills I wanted to photograph so some of the photos ended up a bit washed out. New rule: Take photographs when you see something worth photographing. One of the reasons I didn't stop was that the roads here were so busy. Rest and Be Thankful normally only has a handful of vehicles in there when I visit. Yesterday there was a guy there to direct traffic! I was glad when we passed it as the traffic thinned out a bit.
I hadn't been in Inveraray since the middle of June. So this was my first visit since the school summer holidays started. It was also a Saturday. It was busy. On my previous visits I've wondered how some of the shops here survive with so few customers. I now see that they get swamped in the summer. My first stop of course, was the Vital Spark.
There are always a handful of bikes on the car park. Sunshine on a Saturday seems to multiply that by 6 or 7.
After a brief stay, we headed home. Traffic was far better on the way back, thankfully.
This photo in particular annoys me. The mountain face looked great earlier in the day with the sun casting shadows all over the place. Now it just looks blue.
I took this photo at the same time as the others here. You don't have to look far in Scotland to see a rain cloud.
Turns out it had been raining all day in Falkirk. Which made the day all the sweeter. We will apparently get some sunshine this week, so barring a miracle with the test, I should have some more photos later in the week.