Kinbrylie Diary Page  October 2009


Tuesday 20th October

Well here we are again. Donald & I have just returned from a two week holiday that included a touring rally following the route of the Monte Carlo Rally.  There were seven cars in all, not all classics but a mixture. We all crossed the channel at various points and met up in Reims where the rally began.  The first morning was very wet but that did not stop us from visiting the pit lane of the old Grand Prix circuit and stopping for photographs. This was one of the few times we actually stopped for photographs as we had a lot of ground to cover.

Five of the participating cars parked alongside the pits.

This was taken on the move after we had taken a wrong turn in the town of St Claude.

Lac du Bourget, just before Aix les Bains, we thought it looked a bit like Loch Ness!!

This was one of the first views of the Alps we had driving between Aix les Bains and Chambery

After leaving Chambery the next morning, we climbed very steeply above Aix les Bains and stopped to take this photo. It was a hazy morning but you can see how high we had climbed from the Lake.

Running repairs, fortunately the problem was not serious, it was soon fixed and we were all on our way again.

A view of the Alps from south west of Gap

again south west of Gap

This was the last morning,  Lac de Serre-Poncon has a bridge across the centre and just after we took this photo, we descended to the lake, crossed the bridge and drove up the other side and across the top of the mountain.

This is at the top of the Cole de Turini. It is 1607mtrs above sea level and was a famous stage in the old Monte Carlo Rally. It was also used a few times on the Tour de France. The roads leading in and out are amazing and the hairpin bends must be some of the best in Europe. The area is also popular with skiers.

We had met a bus on the road so it was no surprise that there was a bus stop at the very top. I am not sure I would like to drive a bus on that road, but I suppose you would get used to it.

We finished our rally at Menton on the south coast of France, by then the weather had improved and it was very warm. We had a free day on the Friday and most of us abandoned the cars and took the bus to Monaco where we spent the day. Somehow or other I forgot to take the camera with me.  On the Saturday, we joined up with a French club and took part in a French Touring Rally with them.  I will tell you the next instalment next week

See you then.

Sunday 25th October

Well here is part two of our holiday, we stayed on the south coast of France for three nights.

This is a view of the marina and the Mediterranean beyond from our bedroom window. We walked round the marina and admired the boats but we saw even bigger and better ones when we went to Monaco.

On Saturday 10 October we joined a French car club for their annual rally from Menton. It was a beautiful day beside the sea, but we were to experience some horrendous thunderstorms when we headed into the hills. These are some of the French cars that took part in the rally. There were sixty competitors in all.

There was a vast range of cars of all ages and makes and some of them were quite remarkable. Everybody was very friendly and they were delighted to have a Scottish contingent present.

The drivers of the cars were obviously used to the roads and we felt at a slight disadvantage, but that didn't spoil the fun. We just let them pass if they wanted and they roared on their way up the hills and round the hairpins. At the end of the rally they had laid on a great feast and prizegiving that went on well into the night. We were all exhausted.

The following morning it was time for us all to go our separate ways but first we had to meet on the sea front for a group photograph and you can just see the big cup on the bonnet of the green Austin Healey that was presented to the Caledonian Classic and Historic Motor Sport Club which we are all members of.

We travelled as far as Lyon with friends from Inverness and this was the last warm night so we took advantage of it!!

The next day we headed north towards Calais and the others went towards Holland to catch the ferry from Amsterdam to Newcastle. 

We stayed overnight in Calais and took the Eurotunnel to Folkestone the next morning. When we arrived in Calais, we sat on the seafront and watched the ferries while we had an ice cream.  It was quite cold but at least it was dry. This is 
P & O's  Pride of Dover just arriving.

I couldn't resist taking this photo of the sunset over Calais, unfortunately the photo does not do it justice but at least you can get the gist.

All too soon it was time for us to head home but we did have a couple of days in London on the way. Again I forgot to take the camera with me but I will remember next time. Next week I hope to have some local news. The trees are losing their leaves very quickly and I missed the best of the colours this year but I will try and get some photos for next week. 

See you then.

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