Paul & Jan Gerring kindly offered to plan a tour of North Wales and give the Area Rep a 'day off'. I jumped at the chance and enjoyed a fabulous few days of good driving, good roads and good company. Whilst the late September weather wasn't exactly conducive, it did underline how good our cars are in the wet!
We gathered at Aston Martin Bristol for coffee and a full briefing with detailed notes devised, written and printed by Jan. Despite lots of interest being shown earlier in the year, only 4 cars actually set off on the day. Consequently, the staggered start (so that we didn't form a convoy) soon turned into a convoy when we all found ourselves on the same stretch of road after about half an hour's driving!
Our first planned stop was the amazing dam at Caban Coch Reservoir, scene of many a car tour coffee stop...
... and our first taste of the weather to come!
Suitably refreshed, the drive north through mid-Wales from Buith Wells to Dolgellau, along the coast to Barmouth and up to our base at Criccieth was surprisingly dry. We even managed an ice cream (tea cake, in my case) at a beachside cafe before the final part of the day's journey to our base for the next two nights, the Bron Eifion Country House Hotel.
Dinner that evening included the visit of members Hugh & Lynn Williams who, by coincidence, were staying nearby.
Pre-dinner drinks. L-R: Lynn Williams, Gillian Fawkes, Laura & Royston Piper, Rick Cullen, Paul Gerring, Hugh Williams, Jan Gerring
The next day was a full one of proper driving, taking in both the famous (so called) 'Evo Triangle' and the Horseshoe Pass. There is a full description of the Evo Triangle here.
The roads in this part of the world are fantastic. A mixture of long sweeping bends over moorland, past lakes and steep valleys, plus thick woodland with hairpin bends... all punctuated with falling leaves, standing water and the occasional farm traffic. If our cars were dirty, they were also very happy!
Concours judges please look the other way now!
Thankfully, our second planned stop on Day 2 was at the Ponderosa Cafe at the top of the Horseshoe Pass where the sun obligingly popped out for a photo...
...and what a view!
Back at our hotel for the evening provided a little time for R&R, albeit with a little tomfoolery in the bandstand!
The weather on the final day (Friday) for our journey home was atrocious. We decided to abandon our planned trip to Telford (as originally suggested by someone who couldn't join the tour) and do our best to enjoy the journey back to Somerset regardless. However, that wasn't before Rick left his mark by trying the hotel's ancient bell pull system, only for the pull to come away in his hand, much to the amusement of those of us who witnessed it. Typical Rick!
Thankfully, the hotel staff were unperturbed!
So, a jolly good few days away came to a close with all present thanking Paul & Jan for their effort (which had included trying the route some weeks before... in glorious weather!). A bouquet of flowers as a token of appreciation gave them something to think about in terms of getting them home in a GT8.
And finally thank you to our cars:
GT8 (Gerring), V8 Vantage (Cullen), DB9 GT (Fawkes) and V8 Vantage (Piper).
Words & pictures: Area 4 Rep.