Touring: Argyll Scotland - S204 S220cdi - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Touring: Argyll Scotland - S204 S220cdi

This weekend the clocks went forward, not ideal for getting up early but then again, the met office do not always predict full sunshine in Argyll, so its a case of needs must, set that alarm for 6am, and get on the road.

The good thing about a diesel C class Mercedes is that fuel might be expensive, but the consumption is meager so its a case of put £30 in and thats your fuel for the trip.

So, I did exactly that. I took my winter tyres off, (well I had the most excellent Kwik Fit do this) yesterday and shoved £30 in the tank in anticipation of the mornings tour.

I suffer with sleep problems as it is, so was awake well before the alarm sounded, and the light TBH was no great, but it was not bad either.

To mix things up a little, I decided now I have proper tyres on, I'd take a more challenging route, consisting of the A814 between Garelochead and Arrochar. This is a relatively twisty road, but its very undulating and bumpy. I held 60 in sections and over fifty in a lot, as you can look ahead and use the middle of the road.


_DSC0440 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

I pulled in at a safe spot looking for any landscaping opertunities, as I am sure along here yields many, but the light was a bit "pah" so I continued to get my under NSL hit of adrenaline in 3rd gear going quickly, but safely along the 814. Clarkson IIRC in an Impreza/Evo faceoff said the 814 was the best driving route ever. Its exciting with the bumps, but not for me. It doesn't quite twist enough, the the severe bumps make it just dangerous. Not that the 204 felt at sea, but I've known friends to get airborn here in lesser cars.

At Arrochar I parked up, calmed down, realised I hadn't chinned my C class but I've always chinned cars on that road, realised my motor really is amazing and took a picture


DSC_0081 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

I had contemplated heading back, poor flat light, and this was early. I was not pleased but was having a laugh nonetheless. From here you head up the amazing A83 section of "The Rest and Be Thankful". A top ten route with views to die for, curves, gentle elevation changes, well steep if you are in a peashooter hatchback or lorry but a turbo'd estate car makes mince of the climb....until....


_DSC0441 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

The road has been subjected to landslides and slips for ages. Our heavy rain, and deforestation has led to the hillside meeting the road. It was closed earlier but the work they will have to undertake is immense. Its not easy to reroute it, as it would mean a steep climb right at the very end, which isn't good for the high volumes of freight that go along the 83 to the Mull of Kintyre.

I peeled off at the A815 turn and aimed for Dunoon and Loch Eck. My reasoning was the weather looked ace, and its really been half a decade since I have had Mercedes cars, and its a time honoured tradition that I tour this area as an anniversary. I've done this every year since having a Mercedes.

The road runs to Strachur, along the banks of Loch Fynne. Looks ok to me.


DSC_0085 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

From Stachur, the road climbs up as you aim for Dunoon, you then have an amazing run along Loch Eck


DSC_0091 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

views Not with standing, Clarkson should have taken this route for his drive of the two rice rockets. Its an incredible road, and another driver agrees. As I was setting tripod up for the Loch shot, the thunderous sound of 8 clyinders in Vee could be heard for about minute, then a slightly out of shape Audi Rs5 cabrio blasted round the corner, and blat blat from the exhaust as it changed up. Terrific sound and rousing for the AM. Quite how he got out of shape in that thing beats me, but he was really really going. I breifly thought about jumping into the Loch in case it and I were going to meet?

I had now formed the real plan for the tour. Head round to Ardentinny via Stone (midge lane on google maps) and then back over to Colintraive. I recall as a passanger in the back of my fathers work car which he abused royally the drive to Ardentinny was a good one.

Can you guess where I am...c'mon it ain't difficult


_DSC0456 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

This is an interesting route as it essentially doubles back onto Loch Long, Firth of Clyde (just) and you look onto Cove and Killcregan. Over in the far distance is Coulport and the start of Loch Long. I had covered over 60 miles probably to travel as the crow flies.....ten....LOL


_DSC0469 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Past Ardentinny the road gets epic. Single track, 1 in 5 gradient. My sort of road, all thats missing is a warning sign saying "Road normally impassible in winter conditions". Reason I pulled in here was I met a coach tour coming the other way. A coach has no business being on a road like this. Its too narrow and pulling in spots are few and far between. Its a very steep drop to Ardentinny for the coach, and a steep climb up from Loch Eck, imaging being stuck behind a coach on this. Enraging.


_DSC0475 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Anyway, I hoofed it round the hairpin and revelled in the road holding my summer tyres give, and once up high, whilst pulling in spots aren't that common, you can see for a fair distance so 50 to 60 is possible no problem. The shocks are really good on these 204s so chinning it is a real challenge, I've not yet and I do hoof around.

On googlemaps, after rejoining the A815 you take a little road labled 75 over to Colintraive. This is a fun run, too much fun to stop and take pictures and my C sport demolished.

There's a nasty resevoir called Loch Tarsan. Roads nice though. I must get here early AM one day, the view at Loch Striven is to die for.


_DSC0480 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

The weather was still pleasant but lunch was beckoning. Hunger was really brewing so I thought, aim for Loch Fynne Oyster Bar. Its probably about 30 mins from here, maybe more.

Quick stop at Strachur again, nice view, but the light went


DSC_0100 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

After lunch, I drove back, it was grey and nasty, but I was fed and the MPG crept out as every other muppet had the same idea, lets clog up loch Lomond/Fynne as its the easter holiday.


DSC_0107 by stephentaylor4@hotmail.com, on Flickr

Happy Easter!!!!

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 04:40 PM
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This make me home sick for the road trips we would take to go to Cairngorm for skiing.

Beautiful countryside all over Scotland.

Did you head or are heading as far north as Cairngorm?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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I've down the Cairngorms in the past, I will again and do a thread like this for you....

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 04:06 AM
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That would be very cool.

Did you get over by Loch Ewe? I have not seen the Inverewe Gardens in almost 30 years.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
That would be very cool.

Did you get over by Loch Ewe? I have not seen the Inverewe Gardens in almost 30 years.
Not on this trip, but I've done it many times. We used to holiday in Gairloch every year.

I'll dig out a copy of a thread I did of this area and post it

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 01:00 PM
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You are spoiling me
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Noodles View Post
You are spoiling me
Thread coming up in this board pal

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