George and Kris Perrin, Brian Weekes and I had spent the night in Oban at an excellent friendly bed and breakfast (thank you Jessie).
I'd done The Squires a couple of times but that was in the days it was held at Gretna.
We left Oban around 1000 hrs and took a leisurely cruise down to Dunoon via Inverary. From there we took the Ferry across the Clyde to Gourock. It had been a number of years since I'd took this crossing which made it all the more enjoyable and another reason to avoid Glasgow!
Steve Giddens, Kris and George Perrin and Brian Weekes on the Dunoon Ferry.
Having disembarked we headed off towards Kilmarnock and re fuelled at a place called Stevenson before hitting the A76 across through Sanqhuar towards Dumfries. We then dropped into the lovely village of Moniaive and pitched tent.
Brian Weekes and I headed off to the Craigdarroch Arms to find that on the Thursday night it had been £3.00 a pint. Now, with a field full of Motorcyclists it was £3.50 a pint! Immediate boycott as we headed off to The George Hotel. Excellent evening as George and Kris Perrin arrived in the bar and the four of us nattered and drank. Dave Wood had recovered and attended but did bed and breakfast. His Stepbrother had also come up from The Wirral - aged around sixty - first Rally!
Brian's Grandson Sam and his girlfriend Lizzie rode up from Bristol arriving around 2300hrs - straight to bed knackered!
Sam, Lizzie, Brian, George and Kris in Dumfries.
On the Saturday we had a run out to Castle Douglas, Dumfries and then completed the loop back to the site.
On Saturday Evening we were once again ensconced in The George Hotel and having dealt with the local nutter, enjoyed another fabulous evening.
On the Sunday, Brian, Sam and Lizzie set off ahead of us but we all met up at Morrisons, Penrith. The Bristol contingent left and now fed and watered we went for fuel. Having got a bad back I stayed on the bike as I unhooked the fuel gun. Nothing happened. I replaced the gun back in the holster and unhooked again - nothing. Kris Perrin, who was to make payment on my behalf went into the kiosk to be told that I had to get off the bike before the pump would be turned on. I was incensed. The first time this had happened in 37 years. I told "jobsworth" what I thought of the situation to be told that sitting on the bike meant that I wasn't in control of the vehicle? Further I was told that technically I should also take my helmet as fumes could get inside and I could pass out. The largest portion of verbal b*****ks I've ever heard.
Brian enjoys an ice cream in Castle Douglas.
From here we had a largely uneventful run home with George and Kris back to North Wales and myself back to Saddleworth.
Would definitely consider doing this trip again. Three superb Rallies in ten days.
- Steve Giddens