Touring: Lyle Hill, Glencoe and the Ardnamurchan Penninsula - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Touring: Lyle Hill, Glencoe and the Ardnamurchan Penninsula

This weekends grand tour started off with a twist, by starting after going to the cinema. I had noticed a rather pleasant evening so took the M8 West Bound and drove through Greenock to catch the sunset...

As you can see its rather pleasant, and clement for Scotland

_DSC0834 by, on Flickr

and maybe more importantly, clear out North and West. As we all know from previous threads the North West of Scotland has a madjestic landscape thats rarely bettered anywhere....

See where the sun is, thats where I would be headed early the next morning

_DSC0850 by, on Flickr

This photo was taken around 10pm, so it was a quick run down the M8 to bed and I spoke to a forum member on the phone. Hands free. We discussed the virtues of the W221 and the new suspension on the forthcoming W222 that reads the road to sooth out the ride. No such features in my car, just a ride thats firm that borders on the uncomfortable. We both agreed that a CLS350cdi shooting brake would fit my life style perfectly...

A very quick sleep and it was up before 4am to get to Loch Lomond before sunrise

_DSC0862 by, on Flickr

Being a bit tired and ropey the bottom of Loch Lomond has a polarising filter that fits a 77mm lens. I wasn't brave enough to go in and get it it, its waste deep and blooming cold. I always dread the day where I drop something like this in, car keys being the big fear as I go remote places with no phone signal and clamber around...

Still, could be worse, its only a filter....

The drive up to Rannoch Moor still in my mind yields, after Skye, the finest Scenery Scotland offers. The A82 is almost unique for a trunk road in passing right through the heart of it, sat just on the Moor, not in an embankment, not shrowded by trees but proudly in the Landscape.

The roads set back about 20m from this view, and you can see it clearly

Loch Tulla

_DSC0876 by, on Flickr

The problem, parking...

_DSC0897 by, on Flickr

Low car, rocky bumpy ground and an absence of Laybys at Loch Tulla make this sort of thing tricky. Its a small car so you can get it all off the road, just. And its 5am, hardly ANY traffic.

Further up the A82 you climb up into Rannoch Moor and officially into the Highlands. Again the road runs right on the road and you can see this...

Lochan Na-H Achailaise

_DSC0926 by, on Flickr

The road sits here between Lochan Na-H Achailaise and Loch Ba. Its a forbodding but beautiful place. The ground is boggy, and building the road here must have been a nightmare as its a boggy place. The rail route takes a rather different way, and engineering wise both the A82 and West Highland lines are feats of engineering to be able to cross this terrain without subsiding in.

The road runs pretty straight along here and it looks like you can hit collosal speeds here, but the subtle bumps means Autobahn style driving isn't quite what you can do...

_DSC0930 by, on Flickr

Further up, you come to another of my haunts, Buchaille Etive Mor...

Me and the car are happy here...

_DSC0934 by, on Flickr

Further along here I met a Mercedes driving photographer of the name of Dave, not a member here but hopefully to be one. Turns out Daves a bit of a Mercedes fiend having every E class since the W123. Oddly, Dave, went for a 211 but actively sought out a pre facelifted one, for the 3200cc I6 and 5g. Dave did not make the folly I made. Sadly, his is a 2005 and is rusting in the arches. His 210s spring perches went with rust. Its a shame Mercedes as recently as 2005 are building substandard cars that rust, but despite that, we both agreed there is something about being at the wheel of a Merc that you do not get with "lesser" cars. My 204 even has rust, one of the pipes for the power steering is really rusting and eventually it will let go leaking power steering fluid go. The Scottish Climate isn't agree-able to those cars.

Still, car got a rest and Dave and I took shots here....

_DSC0939 by, on Flickr

The next step was to drive down to another of my haunts, Loch Etive. Bumpy road that and I can tell my shocks have seen better days, I tend not go above 50 on any section of this road and hover between 20-40 and I've gone down here twice in my C class and not once chinned it. Something I put down to what "corned" on here said the day I got it. Really well damped. 10k miles of me have taken the sheen of them and I grazed the bottom of the car in twice....Dave said he tried to keep up, but was scared he'd chin his car trying....

This is of course the reason for driving down this car killer road, that has many scrapes on it...the view

_DSC0985 by, on Flickr

Look at the reflections,

_DSC0986 by, on Flickr

So still the waters actually stagnant up the top of the Loch....

I followed Dave back up and despite Daves slightly more sedate pace, I still grazed the skip. You know what, the only thing letting down the skip, is me....

We parted company at Glencoe car park....

_DSC0994 by, on Flickr

Fired off a frame of the pass of Glencoe and talked cars...

_DSC0999 by, on Flickr

The best of the morning light was gone, so I drove to Fort William, had lunch, updated Facebook and caught up with texts/calls I missed on the phone. Hit the petrol station two, the skip was hungrier than me taking £70 of diesel. I took about a tenners worth of fish and chips, chocolate and crisps....

I had planned to go to the Mull of Kintyre as I was driving up as the weather was good there too for the evening, and I thought, nah. Can do that another time, lets go to Ardnamurchan, apparently its the most Westerly point of the British Isles, hard to believe when you have Cornwall and Wales that stick out more I thought, on the map it is anyway.

To drive there you need to head up near Glen Finnan, and then round Loch Eil

_DSC1006 by, on Flickr

I stopped here, spoke cars and photography with a member here and discussed a lunch plan and how to get a speeding ticket on the motorway. No such issues up here, one if you go 90+mph along this road, you will die, but you won't be able to do because you share this road with the sheep.

You then follow the road round and over to Strontian, the road improves here, and you can really really go for it, don't forget to take in the view of the Pap of Glencoe

_DSC1010 by, on Flickr

Then ton it up the hill, sweeps and crests as you charge down to Strontian. When I say ton, I mean kmph obviously...:lol::lol:

A long time later, and I mean a long term later you get to Ardnamurchan, which IMHO is one of the biggest waste of time anyone would embark on.

Bar a good view of Rum, or is it Eigg

_DSC1013 by, on Flickr

Which you can get a better one from the road to Mallaig taking about 1hr less. The scenery is flat, the scenery is boring, everyone with a camper van wants to go so you are held up at pace that tests the patience of a fat person first in the queue at MacDonalds.

The lighthouse is quite interesting, I suppose, and a catch up with someone in the know about these things (a member here) revealed its the only Eygptian Style one in the UK...

_DSC1019 by, on Flickr

_DSC1025 by, on Flickr

_DSC1037 by, on Flickr

Mate, enjoy these pics, these are the only ones I ever intend on taking of it. Never again, boring featureless landscape to get here, crap road with actual traffic on it, no places to Overtake once past Strontian (so over 30miles then of going 25mph if you are lucky).

After an admittably irritating journey and an even more frustrating one back as I was stuck behind Victor Meldrew in his Jag S type which was shook off by the camper van in front of him I began to appreciate the lighthouse a bit more. It is a one off and maybe in a sunset or better day it might be a good trip, when maybe the footie is on and no-ones on the roads, but its 5hrs driving time there and back, and when you can get to Skye, or Gairloch in that time, you'd have to be certifiable to go here when you can go there.

It just not got it...

_DSC1043 by, on Flickr

Not compared to Glencoe anyway...
_DSC1056 by, on Flickr

So after feeling grumpy about a wasted afternoon, I found a pub in Ardmore, and had a venison Casserole in red wine sauce. That was good, and with the mash and the gentle fading light looking on to Loch Linnhe I felt better about the day...

Still should have gone to the Mull of Kintyre though....

_DSC1057 by, on Flickr

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 03:10 PM
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I really love the pics of the lighthouse. Also a lot of the other shots are very sharp.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Its a long haul from Fort William to get to the lighthouse, the light house, despite my ranting, is a lovely building and the only Eygptian style on here in Blighty.

But Skye and Rannoch Moor are the very best of Scotland.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-26-2013, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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PS if you are interested here is the whole album

2013_05_Lyle Hill, Glencoe, and Ardnamurchan - a set on Flickr

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