NC500 ROAD TRIP DAY 7 – NESSIE, CAIRNGORMS AND BO’NESS
Driving on after finishing the NC500 may seem to be an anti climax, but in this road trip there is no such thing. A planned meeting with Scottish Lotus owners is something to look forward to, and when the route leads you through the Cairngorms area using B-roads then driving fun is guaranteed.
Fortrose was left behind early in the morning since we had to cover over 300 km’s. While Loch Ness was almost on our route, we couldn’t let this chance to spot Nessie go by.
From there on a long drive on wet roads and some light rain to and through the Cairngorms was a truely great journey. This National Park is not very well known by tourists but deserves more attention. It’s twice the size of the Lake District and it has more mountains, forest paths, rivers, lochs, wildlife hotspots, friendly villages and distilleries than you can possibly imagine.
The lunch location at Dalmunzie Castle Hotel fitted the scenery perfectly, although to road that leads to the castle house had seen better days. It understandably kept some Scottish Lotus owners from joining us for lunch, which had more to do with the condition of the road than with the driving skills of them.
The last part of todays route lead us from Dalmunzie to Kilmany; Jim Love of the Scottish chapter of Lotus Drivers Club took us there after Andrew Laing had pointed out that the statue that was erected for the commemoration of Jim Clark was quite close to our route.
It was a quite, peaceful and beautiful moment to be able to stand next to this beautiful sculpted Scottish hero.
Evenings we were guests at the monthly meeting of Scottish Lotus drivers in Bo’ness Motor museum. Although we arrived after opening hours the privately owned museum stayed open so we were able to enjoy all memorabilia and cars. It holds a fantastic collection of over 25 classic cars including world famous tv and movie cars and props from James Bond, Harry Potter, the Saint and much more.
A must see when in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh.
This long day ended wonderful. Jim Love and Jim Grant – who owns two Elan’s, one of which he brought to the meeting – took us to Kinneil Estate to see the hill climb track of the famous Bo’ness hillclimb, still kept alive by Jim Grant who organises the annual Bo’ness Revival Hill Climb. Jim’s a great narrator and it was a real pleasure to hear first hand history and stories.
As a goodbye Jim Love took us to The Kelpies in Grangemouth near Bo’ness. Most impressive!
The Kelpies are 30-metre-high horse-head sculptures depicting kelpies. Kelpies name reflected the mythological transforming beasts possessing the strength and endurance of 10 horses; a quality that is analogous with the transformational change and endurance of Scotland’s inland waterways. The Kelpies represent the lineage of the heavy horse of Scottish industry and economy, pulling the wagons, ploughs, barges and coalships that shaped the geographical layout of the Falkirk area.
So, there is life after the NC500. This day was as grand as the others. A big thank you to Jim Love, Andrew Laing, Jim Grant and the Bo’ness Motor Museum.