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2018 BLOG!

Despite being very pre-occupied with the upcoming PECOS-PORTO TOUR I have started to look into the proposed tours for next year.

I have found a very nice hotel in Holland suitable for the TULIPFEST TOUR, but as it obviously gets very busy over there at that time, the hotel is already wanting me to make a firm commitment, and pay a large sum ‘up front’. Obviously I am not prepared to pay too much in advance without knowing how many people are actually going to book on the tour. Therefore if you are interested in the tour please let me know as soon as possible, a slightly revised itinerary is below;

APRIL 23rd

Sail Hull to Zeebrugge overnight.

APRIL 24th

Day in Brugge and stay overnight at hotel to be decided in Brugge.

APRIL 25th

Drive north through Holland to near Harlem, to DUIN+KRUIDBERG HOTEL (and country estate), for first of 4 nights.

APRIL 26th

Visit TULIP FEST at KEUKENHOFF 

APRIL 27th

Drive around Amsterdam through polders to follow the ‘Tulip Route’ around

APRIL 28th

Drive north around the other side of Amsterdam to Volendam and Edam and then on to Hoorn. Take tourist train and boat to Heritage village. Return around polders.

APRIL 29th

Option of morning in Amsterdam, then drive to Rotterdam for evening ferry back to Hull.

ESTIMATED COST PER CAR;   £2399

 

LATE AUGUST/EARLY SEPTEMBER BLOG

I managed a ‘bus man’s’ holiday the other weekend when I took part in a local motor club tour. Ironically it took me back to the area we had just covered on the Borders Tour but it is always nice when someone else has the responsibility of organising. I took the Alpine despite not having fixed all the problems which arose in Portugal in April and we got round OK –but another problem arose. The clutch is still rattling, the overdrive still slips but now the wipers have stopped working. Fortunately it was a largely dry day and a dose of ‘Rain-ex’ got us through the worst shower on the way home. I think a lot of work is due over the winter. The only thing I have managed to do is fit the new rear bumper. I am still hopeful that the Escort will be available for the final tour of the year. It is now all painted and is just having the final touches done to get through an M.O.T. So with a bit of luck it may be taxed and on the road this month – just when we go to Portugal.

I am not thinking of taking the Escort to Portugal at such short notice, and have been looking at a lot of modern sports cars. I really wanted to go ‘topless’ but I think the old work-horse Scirocco might be the safest bet in the end. I am busy typing up the road book and there are just a few ‘I’s to dot and ‘T’s to cross, but everything seems to be coming together – just over 2 weeks to go!

The proposed 2018 calendar has already aroused interest and I have 2 provisional bookings for Holland and 3 for Scotland. PLEASE NOTE; Scotland has been put back a week to September 16 to 26th. , but if you are interested it may be a good idea to book well in advance. More details will be on this site when I have time to plan everything.

 Photographs below were taken on the Borders Tour. 
 

 

 

2018 PROVISIONAL CALENDAR/IDEAS

April  23-29 TULIPFEST

A few days in and around Amsterdam and Hoorn to co-incide with the Tulip Festival.

June 3-10 WALES TO DALES

Possible start at Stratford on Avon, Welsh Borders, Lancashire and south Yorkshire Dales.

July  7th? BARBON AND LITTLE DEVILS TOUR/LAKES N DALES

We will attempt to beat the weather by visiting the National Hill Climb event instead of the June Club event. Saturday at Barbon Hillclimb. Sunday tour following some old Devils Own Rally routes, then continue for another couple of days in the South Lakes and Dales. Based entirely at the Crooklands hotel.

September 16- 26 WESTERN ISLES (WEST COAST 250)

Forget the much advertised ‘North Coast 500’- the west coast of Scotland is the best bit! We will include this with visits to some islands we have been to regularly and some we have never been to before. At least ten days but two night stays at several hotels including Coul House.

October 19-21 AUTUMN IN EDEN

Three or four days with tours of the Eden Valley, north Cumbria and Southern Scotland,

Postponed to 2019   CIRCUIT OF THE ALPS

Similar to our Monte Carlo tour a couple of years ago but instead of going all the way south to Monte, we will loop back over some of the highest roads in the Alps

 

EARLY AUGUST BLOG
Just got back from the Borders and Northumberland Tour which was held in mainly sunny weather with 100% good visibility everyday, showing off the beautiful un-spoilt scenery of this area. Seven days of fabulous driving on amazingly quiet roads.
Perhaps more details later.

However, the main reason for this ‘blog’ is to make an early amendment to the proposed 2018 calendar. As there has been quite a bit of interest already I felt that the Holland and Scottish Tours were too close together and it would be better to run Scotland later in the year, but June to August is ‘midge time’, so it would have to be September. Therefore the Alps Tour will have to be delayed until 2019. This also gives me more time to do a full recce of all events.

CLASSIC CAR TOURS (MK)
2018 PROVISIONAL CALENDAR/IDEAS


April  TULIPFEST
A few days in and around Amsterdam and Hoorn to co-incide with the Tulip Festival.

June  WALES TO DALES
Possible start at Stratford on Avon, Welsh Borders, Lancashire and south Yorkshire Dales.

July  BARBON AND LITTLE DEVILS TOUR/LAKES N DALES
We will attempt to beat the weather by visiting the National Hill Climb event instead of the June Club event. Saturday at Barbon Hillclimb. Sunday tour following some old Devils Own Rally routes, then continue for another couple of days in the South Lakes and Dales. Based entirely at the Crooklands hotel.

September WESTERN ISLES (WEST COAST 250)
Forget the much advertised ‘North Coast 500’- the west coast of Scotland is the best bit! We will include this with visits to some islands we have been to regularly and some we have never been to before. At least ten days but two night stays at several hotels including Coul House.

October AUTUMN IN EDEN
Three or four days with tours of the Eden Valley, north Cumbria and Southern Scotland,

Postponed to 2019   CIRCUIT OF THE ALPS
Similar to our Monte Carlo tour a couple of years ago but instead of going all the way south to Monte, we will loop back over some of the highest roads in the Alps

PROPOSED ITINERARIES

TULIP FEST
Sail Hull – Zeebrugge

Day 1.   Morning in Bruge drive to Harlem
Overnight near harlem

Day 2.   Day at Tulipfest
Overnight near Harlem

Day 3. Option for another day around tulip fields or;
Drive to Hoorn via Edam and Volendam. Train and boat to heritage village. Return to Harlem via Polders
Overnight near Harlem, option to finish here and take ferry to Hull, or;

Day 4. Drive around the Polders via coastal villages to Assen.
Overnight Assen

Day 5. Drive across country to fortified village near german border, then drive south along border to new hotel.
Overnight near border.

Day 6. Return across country and around Polders to Rotterdam.  Ferry Rotterdam to Hull or;
Return to hotel near Harlem. Take ferry Zeebrugge to Hull, subject to ferry times and costs.

Approx. Costs, 6 nights and ferry - subject to exchange rate; £2200
(Short version – ferry and 2 nights hotel £1200)

 

 

JULY BLOG

Things have been a bit ‘hectic’ since I returned from Portugal so I didn't get time to do a ‘June Blog’.

 

The Dales to Wales Tour was a huge success with 22 cars taking part including everything from a Beetle to a Rolls Royce and a Jaguar XK140 from Holland. The weather was great throughout and I think several people were suffering from heat exhaustion by the end! Unfortunately this applied to some of the cars as well.

 

The XK140 expired within a couple of miles of the finish and I believe our Dutch friends had an horrendous journey home. I still haven’t heard if the car has arrived or what the actual problem was. The Moon’s Morgan also expired at the bottom of the hotel drive on the way home. This was due to a loose oil filter and resulted in an equally horrendous recovery home to Devon. Everyone else completed the routes and made it home safely although the ‘4 up’ Rolls Royce team understandably opted to miss some of the narrower roads towards the end. Visits to the Crich Tram Museum, Anderton Boat Lift, Powis Castle and Port Merion were interspersed with some fabulous driving roads to make it a very full and enjoyable tour.

Shortly afterwards there was the Barbon and Little Devils Tour. Barbon seems to be fated. For the third year running of this tour the weather was awful for the Hill climb on Saturday. It was so bad this time we abandoned it at lunch time and never made it onto the hill.

Sunday was much better and with the entry swelled by a contingent from Lancashire everyone enjoyed the day on some classic rally roads. I was a little concerned that the three fords on route might be impassable after Saturday’s rain, but on the day there was no problem and these with a mile or so of loose surface just added to the ‘adventure’.

I then had a holiday! A cheap ferry ticket to Ireland resulted in a weekend watching the Donegal International Rally. Fantastic! The modern cars are quick, very quick, but the MK2 Escorts look and sound terrific. It was total commitment all down the field and quite got the adrenalin pumping.  I even had a few moments of fantasy, thinking I might have a go when I get the Escort back on the road, but then watching the last stage I realised I no longer have the ‘bottle’. Cars were coming flat out over a brow into a blind right hander, down a steep hill, into a chicane and then hairpin left at junction. At first sight it looked as though the chicane might make things a little tame – not a bit of it. I just could not believe how fast every car took the chicane. One Escort even got into a power slide out of the right hander but never lifted before the chicane, awesome. Amazingly the big round straw bales making the chicane remained intact – well almost. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photographs of the action as I was too busy watching.

It wasn’t all Guinness, good Irish grub and great spectating – although it was mainly that. We travelled from Dublin right across Ireland to Donegal and found some interesting routes through the Glens of Leitrim, possibilities for a tour?

Barely a week later I was back in Ireland for the Cardigan to Cork Tour. This was a somewhat diluted affair compared with the Dales to Wales Tour as there were several last minute cancellations making it hardly viable. However as those who remained committed to the event were all good customers/friends we carried on regardless, and experimented with a new route presentation in the form of marked maps, to save costs on a full recce. Whilst it worked 90% of the time I think the general consensus was that a proper ‘tulip road book’ is much better. 

I now have a couple of weeks free before the Borders and Northumberland Tour, although there is the local Kirkby Lonsdale M.C. Car’s the Star show next week. I might give the Alpine a polish and have a look down.

The Pecos and Porto Tour is fully booked but I may be able to fit in a couple more if you let me know by the 22nd of this month. There are plenty of spaces available on the final tour of the year, THE AUTUMN DALES now on October 24-29th.

Taking into account several recent conversations I have been thinking about next year. Ideas so far – but not set in stone!

 

2018 PROVISIONAL CALENDAR/IDEAS  

April  TULIPFEST  

A few days in and around Amsterdam and Hoorn to co-incide with the Tulip Festival.  

May WESTERN ISLES (WEST COAST 250)  

Forget the much advertised ‘North Coast 500’- the west coast of Scotland is the best bit! We will include this with visits to some islands we have been to regularly and some we have never been to before. At least ten days but two night stays at several hotels including Coul House.

July  BARBON AND LITTLE DEVILS TOUR/LAKES N DALES

We will attempt to beat the weather by visiting the National Hill Climb event instead of the June Club event. Saturday at Barbon Hillclimb. Sunday tour following some old Devils Own Rally routes, then continue for another couple of days in the South Lakes and Dales. Based entirely at the Crooklands Hotel.

August   WALES TO DALES

Not a reverse of this year’s tour. Possible start at Stratford on Avon, Welsh Borders, Lancashire and south Yorkshire Dales.

September CIRCUIT OF THE ALPS

Similar to our Monte Carlo tour a couple of years ago but instead of going all the way south to Monte, we will loop back over some of the highest roads in the Alps.

October AUTUMN IN EDEN

Three or four days based at Leeming House with tours of the Eden Valley, north Cumbria and Southern Scotland. 

MAY BLOG

MORE JAM THAN HARTLEYS ON THE ROAD TO LISBON

We made it! Those of you who have been following our progress on the HERO website will know that despite many last minute dramas, we managed to finish the London to Lisbon Rally in 56th place out of 83 starters. You might also have read about our ‘wheel bearing problems’. In fact it was a bit of a mystery, still unsolved.

On the second day of the event there was a terrific screeching noise from the rear axle. We checked that night at the hotel to see if there was a stone stuck in the brakes but couldn’t find anything and couldn’t get it to make the same noise in the car park. The next day it happened again about ten miles from the lunch halt in the beautiful town of Brantome in France. I couldn’t enjoy the surroundings or the sumptuous lunch provided for us as I was sure the problem was terminal. The end of the axle seemed hot suggesting a half shaft bearing was overheating. We weren’t carrying a spare as it is not something you can fix on the roadside. All we could do was carry on and see what happened. After a couple of miles the noise began again but suddenly stopped when we did a u-turn after missing a junction. It never bothered us again and we still don’t know exactly what caused it. As my friend ‘Chip’ would say; “You have got more jam than Hartleys!”.

Ironically we managed to source a bearing in England and get it sent out to us – as far as we know it is still chasing us around Europe as we never got it!

It was nearly 17 years since I and navigator Mal Capstick had done an event like this and we were somewhat taken aback by how the level of competition has increased. On the 2000 Classic Marathon we had a realistic chance of a top ten finish until mechanical problems intervened (we finished 41st). This time we would have been happy to beat our seeding (42) but slipped back each day as the navigation got more intense. The leading crews were separated by a handful of seconds while we were looking at minutes. It was very tough and they were long days driving in a 50 year old car, but the scenery and the hospitality were spectacular. The HERO organisation did an incredible job finding fabulous hotels every night for over 200 people and also lunch and coffee stops. We were never going to go hungry!

The rally started from Brooklands with a test up the famous hill climb and a run out over the legendary banked circuit – at 15mph. I can confirm it is as steep as the legend has it! A relatively gentle run through Surrey to Portsmouth led to the overnight ferry to St Malo. There were then two days through France to the Pyrenees and then on into Spain and Portugal. The overdrive stopped working from France onward making the long road sections rather tedious to say the least. One road in Portugal was called Porto El Diablo or the Devils Gateway, it was on a 600m high causeway between two mountains – we will not be using it on our tour!

We formed a Kirkby Lonsdale Club Team with Paul Crosby/Martyn Taylor (Porsche) and Jayne Wignall/ Kevin Savage (Sunbeam Tiger). At one point these two were lying first and second and we were supporting them from behind! Paul and Martyn went on to a brilliant win while Jayne/Kevin had a little misdemeanor which dropped them to a still excellent 9th. We had a little ‘problem’ on the last morning which technically should have put us out of the rally, but with a little help from our friends and a little more “jam” * we survived to cross the finish line at a gloriously sunny Cascais near Lisbon.

*(we were out of time with no chance of making anything up but came to the next time control to find all penalties had been scrubbed because a road we had actually missed had been closed, we were back in the rally!).

It was quite an adventure and the car fought us all the way there AND all the way back. An incredible experience but not very relaxing, however I have now got the basis of a fabulous tour for September – which will be more relaxing. I promise.

I still have to finalise bookings at a couple of hotels but the proposed itinerary is below. I have booked twelve rooms so far but as I have 8 deposits already I would suggest if anyone is considering booking – do it now! I have reduced the stay in Porto to 3 nights. This is because the run out to Caramulo was approx. 190 miles – a bit too much for a ‘rest day’. Instead we will stay at Caramulo and have a shorter run in to Porto the next day, so you will still have the afternoon free and 2 other days to do the ‘touristy bits’.

 

ITINERARY

DAY ONE TUESDAY 19th SEPTEMBER

Sail from Portsmouth 17.15

DAY TWO WEDNESDAY 20th

Arrive Santander 18.15. Overnight SANTANDER

(HOTEL BAHIA NEAR FERRY)  

DAY THREE THURSDAY 21st

Drive around the Pecos Mountains. Coffee/Lunch on the shores of a beautiful lake.

Overnight LEON. Approx. 180 miles

(PARADOR DE LION) fabulous!

DAY FOUR  FRIDAY 22nd  

Drive through Spain to south west via Villa Real.

Overnight VIDAGO PALACE Approx 230 mls (Some motorway)

Hotel is literally a palace which justifies the big mileage to get there.

DAY FIVE SATURDAY 23rd

Drive south through Sierra de Nogueira and Duoro Valley.

Overnight CARAMULO  HOTEL        Approx   170 mls (Some motorway)

Hotel opposite car museum.

DAY SIX  SUNDAY 24th

Visit Caramulo Museum and Art Gallery, option to drive hillclimb.

Douro Valley into Porto. Free afternoon.

Overnight  PORTOApprox. 111 mls.

Hotel out of centre but near river.

DAY SEVEN/EIGHT MONDAY 25th – TUESDAY 26th   Free/rest days. Possible organised tour of Duoro Valley and vineyards. Overnight  PORTO  (3 NIGHTS , HOTEL ,)

DAY 9  WEDNESDAY 27th

Drive north through Sierra de Geres via Ourense

Overnight  SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA  Approx 190 miles (Good roads)

(GRAN HOTEL LOS ABETOS)

DAY 10 THURSDAY 28th

Morning in SANTIAGO then cross country to VIVEIRO, over mountains and down to sea.

Overnight VIVEIRO      (THALASSO CANTABRIO)              Approx 115 miles

(Small hotel but virtually on the beach).

DAY 11 FRIDAY 29th

Drive along north coast of Spain with a very scenic detour into the mountains.

Overnight near OVIEDO                Approx. 150 miles

(AYRE HOTEL) Very modern hotel in city centre.

DAY 12 SATURDAY 30th

Drive through Pecos to Santander, sail 20.30  Spectacular roads. Approx 180 miles (40 on m-way)

DAY 13 SUNDAY OCTOBER 1st

Arrive Portsmouth 19.45

Optional overnight in Portsmouth.

Cost, depending on exchange rates;  £3400 per car, 2 people, inc. large cabin on ferry.

 

APRIL BLOG

 

PLEASE NOTE – CHANGE OF DATE;
AUTUMN TOUR NOW OCTOBER 24th – 29th

(incorporating the AUTUMN DALES and PASSOVER TOURS)
ITINERARY UN-CHANGED.

The first tour of 2017 came around quickly and passed off un-eventfully. So un-eventful I couldn’t think of any appropriate awards at the finish – well, not many!


The weather in East Anglia started good and just got better and the Park Farm Hotel exceeded all expectations and was a superb base for the 3 days. I had to use the Scirocco again as the Alpine wasn’t quite ready, but as it returned over 60mpg on the return journey home I wasn’t too disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Mike,

Just a quick note to thank you for another great tour. It was good to see a part of the country that we’re not familiar with, and there were some excellent roads and lovely scenery. The hotel was also very good, as was the company (as always!).

I think we’ll see you next year for sure!

Kind regards,

Glen Mitton

 

 

We also used the Scirocco on the local Mini Miglia Tour, a 160 mile  run around the Dales and North Lancashire on a lovely day, which had been intended as another shakedown for the Alpine.

The next tour, Dales to Wales is completely full with 22 cars entered but there is still room on the Cardigan to Cork Tour. Pecos to Porto is also starting to fill up with double figures already. We are setting off next week to do our ‘recce’ so should have some more information in about 3 weeks time. Our recce is actually the HERO LONDON TO LISBON RALLY, a competitive regularity and test event, but we will  research our own route back to Santander. I hope to be able to book most of the hotels for our trip in September while we are there, so I can publish details on return.

We got the Alpine back on the road last week and everything was going well. The car has never been as quiet (relatively speaking) with the new diff fitted and was good to drive. Unfortunately the new starter motor decided to pack-up just at the start of the Bank Holiday, fortunately we were able to make one out of two so at the moment it is ‘all systems go!’ Off to London this afternoon!

 

 

 

 

March Blog

WRC SHAKEDOWN

WRC = WRECKED RALLY CAR

Having just completed a major gearbox, clutch and head gasket rebuild we felt it might be a good idea to give the old Alpine a ‘shakedown’ before doing the LONDON-LISBON RALLY next month, so we entered a small local airfield rally i.e. a series of tests around bollards etc. Well I can certainly say it was a successful shakedown – in that we shook everything to pieces!

On the way up the M6 to the start, the diff, which normally whines, started to downright grumble. We continued regardless and arrived to find that not only was the handbrake not working but also the starter wouldn’t – start that is.

The handbrake was quickly fixed, the seat belt had just got tangled round the lever which is on the right hand side of the drivers seat, neatly squashed in between the seat and the door, so not terribly good for handbrake turns. We resigned ourselves to push starting and just hoping the diff didn’t get any worse.

The first test was just a sea of cones. A bit of a baptism of fire after a four year lay-off from competitive events. However we got round without any mistakes and the time wasn’t too far off the pace. Test 2 was on a loose surface and great fun but I was a bit cautious being so out of practice and I was on a new set of tyres I had never used before. Again the time wasn’t un-respectable and so I was gaining confidence and starting to enjoy things, that is until the next test which included a 200 yard water splash. Bearing in mind we had no starter motor I took it very steady to avoid having an embarrassing stop in the middle of the water. This resulted in a time some 20 seconds off the pace but at least we were still going and hadn’t got wet feet.

The next test included some very tight 360’s and we were warned not to go wide onto the grass. Again, not sure of how grippy the tyres would be and with effectively no handbrake, I took it a bit steady and almost forgot to complete the 360 at one point. Not a good time. The last test of the first group was a relatively fast slalom which I thoroughly enjoyed although our time wasn’t brilliant, but the car seemed to be going well. That is until we drove back to the rally base to hand in our time card. The diff now sounded like a bag of hammers in a washing machine!

We reluctantly therefore decided to call it a day and try to limp home.

It was a tense journey home but we made it. It was a great shame to end the day like this but at least it was better than having the problems in the middle of Spain or Portugal. We now have six weeks to fix everything – AAAAGGHH!

 We were actually lying 10th when we retired, which with all the problems wasn’t too disappointing, mind you, there were only 12 historics, the rest of the field were in the modern “Targa” event.

FOOTNOTE; The car is 50 years old this year – what a birthday!

 

We have since removed the diff and it is beyond repair. It was remarkable that it got us home. I have sourced a ‘new’ second hand diff but as I don’t know its history I have decided to get it overhauled. Four and a half weeks to go now, even bigger AAAAARGGGH! There is a chance it will make it to East Anglia for another ‘shakedown’ though. Hopefully that won’t be as demanding!

Meanwhile the Escort is still in the paint shop! AAAGHH again!

In amongst all this I have managed to do a complete recce for East Anglia AND Dales to Wales AND the first bit of Cardigan to Cork. Everything went fairly well and I am pleased with some of the route. However we did have to do some re-planning for East Anglia as we found that several of the planned venues for coffee/lunch stops were not actually open until April 1st, some not until Easter and some are only open on Sunday, so this has meant a little shake-up of the advertised itinerary. Some days have been re-shuffled and alternative venues have had to be added although the basic routes are as originally planned. It wasn’t possible to organise a tour of the Lotus Factory for Monday after the tour as they only do ‘Heritage Tours’ that day, which are a rather exorbitant £79 per head. I didn’t think people would be that interested. Also I didn’t find them terribly helpful over the matter. Like a lot of places these days the ‘stock answer’ to any query is “Oh, do it on-line”. Great! Except that it is never that simple! It is highly frustrating when you are stood at the reception desk and are told to go 200 mile home to make a booking on the internet.

 

January Blog

THE DALES TO WALES TOUR IS NOW FULLY BOOKED

With over 20 entries already I have had to close the bookings for DALES-WALES. The hotels must be pretty fed up with me adding names to the rooming lists on a daily basis! (Although, no doubt they are as glad of the business as I am).

The first tour of the year, The East Anglia Tour is also into double figures but I could probably take a couple of ‘late entries’. The other tours still have plenty of spaces but in view of the above I wouldn’t leave it too long to book any of them. I now seem to have several customers who are aiming to do the full calendar and are bringing friends with them. Great! I don’t want to put off any newcomers, who are always very welcome, but it does seem to be getting more like a club with everyone meeting up on the various tours.

The big event of the year is obviously the PECOS-PORTO TOUR in September. I have already into the teens of ‘provisional bookings’ or enquiries and several deposits paid, so it definitely looks viable. I recently received some more information for our recce trip in April and I can now start to confirm some parts of the itinerary and will be making enquiries with the hotels shortly. Several people have asked for time to visit Santiago de Compostella so I have shortened the route to the next hotel so that there should be time to spend the whole morning there. The afternoon route will then be more direct (not via the coast as planned) and should be approx. 100 miles. The following day may be slightly different to originally advertised with a night stop near OVIEDO rather than Ribadisella on the coast. This makes this a slightly shorter day but a slightly longer run into Santander the following day. As the ferry doesn’t leave until the evening this should not be a problem and will allow us to make a small detour into the foothills of the Pecos mountains again. I won’t be able to finalise the actual route through the Pecos until April – but I do have a plan, as usual. Similarly I can’t finalise the route into Porto just yet but we will either be visiting a fascinating old car museum on the way, or making a separate trip there during our stay in Porto. The route will probably take us through the Duero Valley, famous for Port Wine, but there may also be the option of a train or river boat ride through the valley. Again, these are things I will be researching in April. Gosh it’s a hard life etc. The cost should be as advertised (£3400 per car) as long as the exchange rate doesn’t crash dramatically. (This price is based on the exchange rate at the end of January).

 

DAY ONE TUESDAY 19th SEPTEMBER

 

Sail from Portsmouth 17.15

DAY TWO WEDNESDAY 20th

Arrive Santander 18.15. Overnight SANTANDER

(HOTEL BAHIA NEAR FERRY) ½ mile.

DAY THREE THURSDAY 21st

Drive over the Pecos Mountains. Overnight LEON. Approx. 150 miles

(PARADOR DE LION)

 

DAY FOUR  FRIDAY 22nd 

 

Drive through Spain to south west.

Overnight PUEBLA de SANABRIA (tbc) Approx 175 mls

DAY FIVE SATURDAY 23rd

Drive south through Sierra de Nogueira via Villa Real.

Overnight PORTO      Approx   160 mls

DAYS 6-8 SUNDAY 24th – TUESDAY 26th 
Free/rest days. Possible organised tour of Duerro Valley and vineyards. Visit to motor museum and harbour village.

Overnight  PORTO  (4 NIGHTS AT SHERATON HOTEL tbc)

DAY 9  WEDNESDAY 27th

Drive north through Sierra de Geres via Ourense

Overnight  SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA             Approx 180 miles

(GRAN HOTEL LOS ABETOS)

DAY 10 THURSDAY 28th

Morning in SANTIAGO then cross country to VIVEIRO

Overnight VIVEIRO                            Approx 105 miles

(THALASO CANTABRICO LAS SERENAS)

DAY 11 FRIDAY 29th

Drive along north coast of Spain with a detour into the mountains.

Overnight near OVIEDO                    Approx. 180 miles

(LA CASA CAMILLA)

 

DAY 12 SATURDAY 30th

 

Drive through Pecos to Santander, sail 20.30   Approx 160 miles (40 on m-way)

 

DAY 13 SUNDAY OCTOBER 1st

 

Arrive Portsmouth 19.45

Optional overnight in Portsmouth.

All Hotels to be confirmed.

 

Approx cost, depending on exchange rates;  £3400 per car, 2 people, inc. ferry.

 

Frustratingly, I have no more news on the car front. I was hoping both the Alpine and the Escort would be on the road by the end of the month but it seems for various reasons work ground to a halt over the Christmas period and has taken some ‘kick starting’ again, If things don’t move soon I will be doing my own ‘kick starting’!! In the meantime I have taken to long walks when the sunshines

Late December blog

BEST WISHES TO ALL CCT(MK) CUSTOMERS PAST
AND PRESENT AND FUTURE

SEE YOU IN 2017

PLEASE NOTE

Since the brochures were sent out, I have made a slight change to the first tour of 2017. The EAST ANGLIA TOUR will now start on THURSDAY, MARCH 30th, not 31st as advertised. However if this is inconvenient  there would be no problem starting on Friday, morning or night. The Thursday start will include a tour of the Aviation Museum at Duxford and then a run into Suffolk and Norfolk as per the itinerary on this website.

I am pleased to say bookings are already coming in at an encouraging rate and the DALES TO WALES TOUR is already into double figures, so if you are thinking about this one it might be advisable to book soon. Despite the change of date which disappointed some people, the PECOS TO PORTO is potentially also into double figures, if everyone who has shown an interest actually confirms their booking. I hope to be able to ‘flesh out’ the itinerary a little in the new year and give a provisional list of hotels and a better idea of the final cost.

 

CAR NEWS;

The Escort now has the engine installed in a bright shiny newly painted engine bay, and should be receiving its final external coat of paint very soon. We are making progress! The Alpine still needs re-assembling after a clutch, gearbox and cylinder head overhaul but I may have a choice of car for the first tour of 2017.

All the best for the new year

 

 

 

DECEMBER  BLOG

MERRY CHRISTMAS

TO ALL CCT(MK) CUSTOMERS PAST AND PRESENT AND FUTURE

SEE YOU IN 2017 

PLEASE NOTE

Since the brochures were sent out, I have made a slight change to the first tour of 2017. The EAST ANGLIA TOUR will now start on THURSDAY, MARCH 30TH

Not 31st as advertised. However if this is inconvenient  there would be no problem starting on Friday, morning or night. The Thursday start will include a tour of the Aviation Museum at Duxford and then a run into Suffolk and Norfolk as per the itinerary on this website. 

I am pleased to say bookings are already coming in at an encouraging rate and the DALES TO WALES TOUR looks particularly popular, so if you are thinking about this one it might be advisable to book soon. Despite the change of date which disappointed some people, the PECOS TO PORTO is potentially into double figures if everyone who has shown an interest actually confirms their booking. I hope to be able to ‘flesh out’ the itinerary a little in the new year and give a provisional list of hotels and a better idea of the final cost.

All the best for the new year 

2017 CALENDAR

PLEASE NOTE These are provisional ideas, things may evolve as time goes on! (And/or demand requires).

March/April  30-2nd      EAST ANGLIA TOUR

3 Days in Norfolk and Suffolk. Based near Norwich, Starting at Duxford.

May 21 - 27th               DALES TO WALES

Start in Derbyshire/Staffordshire Dales, through Peak District and into Cheshire.

(Jodral Bank, Anderton Boat Lift, Delamere Forest.) One night near Whitchurch then North Wales (Worlds End, Llangollen, Pontcysylite Aqueduct, Horseshoe Pass), then 3 nights at Lake Vrynwy.

June 10/11th  BARBON AND LITTLE DEVILS TOUR

Saturday at Barbon Hillclimb. Sunday tour following some old Devils Own Rally routes, including some un-metalled but smooth roads and several fords.

June 26 - July 2nd  CARDIGAN TO CORK

Start near Welsh Borders, through Brecon Beacons to Cardigan. Ferry from Fishgaurd to Rosslare. Cross country to Clonmel then 3 nights in Kinsale.

July 31st – August 5th  BORDERS AND NORTHUMBERLAND

Start in Lake District, South West Scotland, Borders ( Jim Clark Rooms, Floors Castle, Ettrick Valley), Northumberland (Cheviot Hills, Alnwick Castle) finish Lake District.

August 30th- September 1st  AUTUMN DALES

Start near M6. Pendle Hill, Ribble Valley. Then one day in Dales and one in Trough of Bowland. Based at Coniston Cold. (Skipton)

September 2nd  - 3rd THE PASSOVER TOUR

Option to carry on from Dales Tour through Northern Dales to Buttertubs Pass and Hartside Pass to Ullswater. Sunday all the Lake District Passes in one day!

September 19th – October 1st.  PECOS AND PORTO ** Dates  confirmed

Ferry to Santander, through Pecos Mountains and across Spain to Porto. ‘Rest days’ in Porto then return run around coast to Santander via Compostela de Santiago.

 

Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club
in association with
Classic Car Tours (MK)
present

STUFF THE TURKEY

Treasure Hunt/Classic Car Run

Wednesday 28th December
start Royal Hotel, Kirkby Lonsdale
finish Station Inn, Oxenholme

Entry fee £10 - includes Mince Pies and Coffee

 

cryptic and 'observational' clues
30 mile scenic route
prizes for classic and/or 'topless' cars
N.B. to book an entry please phone, text or e-mail Mike Kirk
07795 204 533 e-mail mikekirkrallying@aol.com

 

This year's Christmas Treasure Hunt will take a slightly different format. the devious srypice clues and a scenic route will be the same but in order to open up some new routes and find some even more devious clues, the start will be from the Royal Hotelm Kirkby Lonsdale. the finish will be at the Station Inn, Oxenholme. (The other slight change is that it is the day before my birthday this year - but the usual rules still apply!)

Regulations
Event Definition
1.1 The Stuff the Turkey is a non-competitive "Touring Assembly" for all road going classic cars of any age. All vehicles must be correctly registered, currently licensed with a valid MOT Certificate and be in roadworthy condition. trade plates are forbidden. Cars may be scrutineered for compliance with the RTA prior to the event.~
1.2 The event will run on Wednesday 28th December 2016
1.3 The event will be exempt from the genaral regulations of the RACMSA Ltd. Entrants need not be members of any MSA recognised motor club, nor possess an MSA Competition Licence. Drivers must posses a current and full driving licence, and have valid insurance in accordance with the requirements of the road traffic act.

The Route
2.1 The total route is approximately 30 miles, starting at the Royal Hotel in Kirkby Lonsdale and finishing at The Station Inn, Oxenholme.
2.2 There will be no timing. However, Entrants will be expected to reach the finish by 5.00pm.
2.3 Entrants will be given detailed route instructions at the start of the event. The onus on finding the correct route rests with the Entrant. The route will be defined by abbreviated instructions explained in the route notes, and 'cryptic clues' should be answered on the way around.
Entries
3.1 Entries will be accepted on the day, up to 12.30pm, but a phone call or text to 07795 204 533, or e-mail to mikekirkrallying@aol.com 24 hours beforehand would be helpful.
The entry fee will be £10 per car which will include: coffee and mince pies at the start. Bar meals will be available all day at the Station Inn.
Start
4.1 Cars may leave the Royal Hotel any time from 11.30am, subject to paying entry fee and obtaining route information.
Officials
5.1 Clerk of the Course: Mike Kirk  01539 728832
     Secretary of the Meeting: Mike Kirk
     Results: Mike Kirk (see below)
Results and Protests
6.1 The organisers decision will be final    However un-solicited gifts of alcohol may be taken into account.
Classes and awards
7.1 There will be awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall, based on the highest scores (see 6.1 above!)
7.2 Subject to sufficient entries there may also be awards for the best 'classic car', and best 'topless car' i.e. open top car that is driven with the hood down all day regardless of the weather.

NOVEMBER BLOG

Well you can’t please all the people all of the time, so I know I am going to upset somebody. However I have decided to revert to the original proposed September date for the Portugal Tour. One of the main reasons for setting up this business was to fund ventures that I wanted to do myself, so while normally business would come first, on this occasion I have decided to put myself first! The alternative October date for Portugal clashed with something I wanted to do at home – so decision made. Also, ironically I was speaking to someone from Porto the other day. Whilst she re-assured me that the weather would be perfectly OK in Porto in October there was some doubt about the conditions in the mountains and I didn’t think that most people, except the die-hard rally-ists, would appreciate snow covered roads. The lady in question also told me that Porto is a very lovely place worth spending a few days in. A very rough itinerary will appear shortly but I won’t have the full details until April when we have done a recce.

Itineraries for all the other tours are virtually complete and should be on the ‘itinerary’ page shortly. There are no other major changes except I have added an extra couple of days to the Autumn Tour which can be done as a separate event if required. 2017 brochures are at the printers and should be posted out before Christmas.

On a different note, the Escort has now been painted and just needs re-assembling! The Alpine will shortly have a new clutch and rebuilt gearbox – so get those deposits sent in I will need the money!!! (The other reason for running the business!).

2017 PROVISIONAL CALENDAR

PLEASE NOTE These are provisional ideas, things may evolve as time goes on! (And/or demand requires).

March/April  31-2nd      EAST ANGLIA TOUR

3 Days in Norfolk and Suffolk. Based near Norwich, Starting at Duxford.

May 21-27th                   DALES TO WALES

Start in Derbyshire/Staffordshire Dales, through Peak District and into Cheshire.

(Jodral Bank, Anderton Boat Lift, Delamere Forest.) One night near Whitchurch then North Wales (Worlds End, Llangollen, Pontcysylite Aqueduct, Horseshoe Pass), then 3 nights at Lake Vrynwy.

June 10/11th  BARBON AND LITTLE DEVILS TOUR

Saturday at Barbon Hillclimb. Sunday tour following some old Devils Own Rally routes, including some un-metalled but smooth roads and several fords.

June 26- July 2nd  CARDIGAN TO CORK

Start near Welsh Borders, through Brecon Beacons to Cardigan. Ferry from Fishgaurd to Rosslare. Cross country to Clonmel then 3 nights in Kinsale.

July 31st –August 5th  BORDERS AND NORTHUMBERLAND

Start in Lake District, South West Scotland, Borders ( Jim Clark Rooms, Floors Castle, Ettrick Valley), Northumberland (Cheviot Hills, Alnwick Castle) finish Lake District.

August 30th- September 1st  AUTUMN DALES

Start near M6. Pendle Hill, Ribble Valley. Then one day in Dales and one in Trough of Bowland. Based at Coniston Cold. (Skipton)

September 2nd  -3rd THE PASSOVER TOUR

Option to carry on from Dales Tour through Northern Dales to Buttertubs Pass and Hartside Pass to Ullswater. Sunday all the Lake District Passes in one day!

September 19th – October 1st.  PECOS AND PORTO ** Dates  confirmed

Ferry to Santander, through Pecos Mountains and across Spain to Porto. ‘Rest days’ in Porto then return run around coast to Santander via Compostela de Santiago.

 



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