Deleted account rno
Well, that's the first Gathering of the Clans event over. Hopefully everyone has (or will eventually) arrive home safely. I know that many of you hardy travellers have a guid few miles to do to get home from Glen Clova.
This is only my own personal take on how the weekend went. No doubt further opinions will be posted...
First of all, let's get the weather out of the way. It was terrible. Travelling through Glen Clova on Friday at lunchtime, it was fairly obvious that sunshine wasn't going to be on the menu for our weekend. Saturday was even worse and the journey out of the glen today wasn't much better. The weather was the one thing that we couldn't plan for or control.
Here is a view of the Glen Clova Hotel taken from Mein Kamp.
Mr and Mrs Tartan Terror look as if they might just get their tent up before another downpour...
There were very few "non attendees" even despite the weather.
Saturday's Ride Outs were well supported even although it rained almost constantly throughout the day. Unfortunately there was bit of a nightmare on the second group out. A lack of people using the agreed drop off system properely led to a bit of Mystery Tour for some of the group. Everyone made it back to camp safe and sound. Poor Voyager had a wee off as a result of the trecherous roads but thankfully, all that was hurt was his pride and a bit of damage to his steed. I've got to say that Bob (Voyager) did really well in keeping in the spirit of the weekend and it didn't seem to dent his enthusiasm.
Here's the first group stopping to take in the spectacular views down over the Angus Glens and Strathmore valley.
TBH this part of our run, over Cairn O'Mount was the worst part of the day, condition wise. Definitely not pleasant.
We stopped for lunch in Ballater and then had a stop off at the Royal Lochnagar distillery. That's the first of me noticing that faint bit of blue sky. Must be fault in my camera...
The Queen then got a a Tossers Guard of Honour outside the gates of Balmoral castle.
We even managed a wee bit of mild off-roading to visit this ruined stately home.
Some road flooding (especially on Friday) seemed like one of Fanum's fords runs. Here's G.C. going through a real ford on our way back to the hotel. I expected it to be deeper with all the rain we'd had.
Over 150 miles and away from base for 6 hours. A quick pint and hot shower have seldom been more welcome.
On Saturday night we had the Whisky Tasting which was done by Gordon (G.C.) who kindly donated the bottles that we sampled and his hour long introduction to malt whisky was really well recieved by the 20 or so folks who paid £7.50 for 3 x "healthy" drams of Bruichladdich, the Glenlivet and Talisker. Informative and a good laugh. Top stuff indeed.
G.C. then finished with the "Dentist's Chair" and several half wits (me included) had whisky and Drambuie simultaniously poured down their gullets. Take a bow Blowzorn. My memory of your record breaking sitting and subsequent demise will have me smiling for a long time to come...
Here's the very attentive student of malt whisky, Blowzorn (grey top with his back to camera) wishing that G.C. will hurry up and get the Dentist's Chair oot...
We had a raffle on the Friday and an auction of the Saturday, such was the volume of donations we received from companies and good people from the forum. Here is Kev (Whatton) with his raffle prize (kindly donated by Stumpy).
I was lucky enough to have the winning bid for a rather specialist bottle of whisky.
Both nights at the Clans were simple affairs (like most of the people there) and everyone seemed to mix well, get pissed and have a guid laugh.
Here are a few of the revellers.
That's it all over for this year's Gathering of the Clans event but I'm certain that there'll be next year's to look forward to now. The weather didn't even manage to spoil things and that's surely speaks volumes of how good the crowd were who made this such a special weekend.
When I started off planning this, I was hoping that I'd cover my outlays and then hopefully make a few bob for the charity that the event was supporting: Rachel House, a hospice for teminally ill kids in Kinross. I'd hoped that we could maybe raise £500 for them.
G.C. and I sat down this morning (along with our long suffering and really helpful wives ) and tallied up what the event had raised between the camping fees, raffle, auction and whisky tasting. The hotel rooms and Bunkhouse fees made no money towards the charity. They only covered the cost to hire them. I've still to auction something which I'll do very soon on the forum but as it stands just now, through everyone involved's fantastic generosity, we've raised just short of £1,500 for Rachel House. Yep...
I'd like to say a big thanks to June Coventry and her staff at the hotel. I think you'll agree that they did us all proud. I would imagine that a few of you might well return there...
I'd also like to say thanks to all the guys who assisted me in planning and recceing Ride Outs and also batting phone calls from a novice event organiser who needed some help or encouragement. Gents, I thank you one and all
Special thanks to G.C. for being the best sound board you could wish for and for keeping my stress levels manageable with his advice and assistance. He was also top banana as Auction Man. Cheers, Gordon.
Biggest thanks go to all of the Tossers who braved the elements and turned up with their hard earned cash and made the Gathering of the Clans just a wee bit special.