Evo VI -Road Trip to the Scottish Highlands

(First posted on MLR forum in October 2014)

Jem and I thought we’d like to go away for our first anniversary and, as we did a driving holiday for our honeymoon, we figured another driving holiday would be great. We took my Scooby to Scotland a few years ago and always wanted to go back so that’s where we thought we’d take the Evo but right to the top this time

Knowing that we’d be doing a lot of miles and quite few of them at a decent pace I gave the Evo a very good check all over to be sure everything was tip top.

I checked all the tyres and rotated them. I was pleased to see the wear on them all is pretty even meaning my ‘homebrew’ wheel alignment can’t be too bad

IMAG0024_zps9a48a6fe

IMAG0023_zpsc4e160ef

IMAG0023_zpsc4e160ef (1)

IMAG0020_zps6f3e6a1d

The front brake pads weren’t too bad but I didn’t fancy chancing them running low at an inconvenient time so fitted new pads. Nothing too special just standard Mintex but I find these are perfectly good enough for road use.

IMAG0052_zps4695aa73

IMAG0050_zps57f32c5f

As I’d mounted the 3 port solenoid directly to the bodywork in the engine bay it’s clicking noise transferred into the cabin quite loudly. Maybe cool to hear in a track toy but not in a road car especially for 16 hours constant motorway driving to Scotland so I bought an anti vibration mount jobbie…

IMAG0053_zps3cf50be4

IMAG1083_zpsb7e8ee9f

No more clicking noise πŸ™‚

Lastly it got a proper clean and polish with some Super Resin, didn’t get time for a wax though. This is how it looked just before we left.

IMG_3902_zps66ae563b

Now off to make it filthy for a week… πŸ™‚

We’re in East Sussex so it was gonna take a while to get to the Highlands. We split the journey there into two parts, doing the first third on a Thursday evening arriving at a cheap Travelodge in Wakefield at about midnight. Next day we were up early to get on with covering some miles.

We were mostly sat in the loser lane at around 60mph which is kinda boring and hard work in something that just wants to go faster but it did mean the Evo managed 34mpg which we were both pretty impressed with, especially as it was full of a weeks luggage for all weathers, some food and a fair chunk of my wife’s shoe collection!

We stayed in a place called Melvaig on the west coast of the Highlands with a view overlooking the Isle of Skye. It was so quiet and peaceful, the perfect antidote to a day spent buzzing around in a noisy car.

IMG_3916_zps3362e61c

IMG_3913_zpsea6d6788

The view out of the kitchen window πŸ™‚

IMG_3952_zps6ccd78e8

Some pictures of one of the many places we stopped.

IMAG0090_zpsebf868d4

IMG_4063_zpsbb542a2e

IMG_3965_zpsec91a6c2

IMG_4016_zpse0ecbcc3

Obviously it’s Scotland so there was going to be rain at some point. Fortunately it’s the copilots job to open and close gates.

IMAG0098_zps7f92b42a

Another random stop for refreshments.

IMAG0101_zps1525eb92

IMG_4069_zps56f52d82

I worked out, if we went as far north as we could on the mainland then we’d just about be at the same latitude we were at exactly a year before at the start of our honeymoon in Norway. So that seemed a pretty good reason to us to head towards John O’Groats and the most northerly point Dunnet Head. We made the trip over two days, doing a big anticlockwise loop, staying in the Bettyhill Hotel on the North Coast with the second day driving the best roads along the North West coast back to Melvaig.

John O’Groats

IMG_4099_zpsab8f5a23

IMG_4103_zps8e52638d

IMG_4095_zpse174e0ce

IMG_4113_zps94e7de98

IMG_4107_zps210aa49d

IMG_4156_zpsddab857e

Jem got hold of the camera and ‘papped’ me. I normally prefer to be behind the camera.

IMG_4170_zpsde4d79f8

IMG_4230_zps3ecd72c9

IMG_4200_zps33185f22

Some pics of our drive from Bettyhill back to Melvaig.

IMG_4236_zpsf521a5c3

IMG_4246_zpsda8d7a60

IMG_4251_zpse69e2598

IMAG0125_zps39318aec

IMAG0127_zps69abf0f6

IMG_4267_zps79e2bbb3

IMG_4285_zps903c31d0

We found a cave.

IMG_4282_zpsa1e63964

Another stop for refreshments. This time in a little chocolate factory.

IMAG0132_1_zps32384115

IMG_4296_zpsad473f2e

IMG_4304_zps66abbf15

IMG_4318_zps8bf1eba5

IMG_4325_zpsd1df5c9c (1)

IMG_4332_zpsac92a8b4

IMAG0145_zpsb6012f8b (1)

IMAG0160_zpsb69a795e

Back in Melvaig for dinner.

IMAG0206_zps7c0d7fec

We went on a couple of boat trips one day. One being an unsuccessful attempt to find Whales but we did sea various other wildlife and the boat was pretty quick so riding out on the choppy sea was fun.

The other boat trip was more successful at finding wildlife. Here’s some…

IMG_4394_zpsf477b774

Apparently they are kinda special to see.

And another one with the car in it

IMG_4414_zps47cd4726

There is a lighthouse north of Melvaig so we headed off that way one evening. The road got progressively worse and there were two slightly ropey looking bridges that we thought twice about crossing but we found a perfect spot to watch the sunset.

IMAG0211_zpsf709b047

Would you?????

IMAG0212_zpsd7f7042c

IMAG0213_zpsa24e821b

IMG_4378_zpsf14d4c7a

IMG_4384_zps6812499f

This is about as dark as the sky gets in the summer.

IMAG0289_zps242860e9

IMAG0291_zps1ae6a959

We decided to do the journey home in one day. We knew it would be at least a 14 hours driving so left at 9am. I ended up doing 6 hours straight without a break until we stopped for fuel and lunch at 3. I wasn’t intending on doing that long a stint but the time flew by and the car just eats up the miles so easily it just kinda happened.

IMAG0297_zps5976381c

Lunch and tea stop

IMAG0299_zps61d2e5bf

After lunch Jem did a couple of hours driving then I did the rest of the journey. We got home after midnight so our total journey time was about 16 hours. Not bad for cruising along at 60 most of the way.

So in total we covered 2350 miles over 7 and a bit days. The Evo was absolutely faultless the whole time. It didn’t even need so much as an oil top up. You could give me a choice of any car at all and I think I’d choose an Evo or Impreza every time for a trip like this. They are just the perfect cars for this kind of thing, they are just as happy out on the flat, open, fast roads as they are on the bumpy, twisty, single track roads you find. And they’ll happily trundle along in comfort on the motorway.

This is how it looked when we got back. Time for another proper clean!

IMG_4486_zps80024903

IMG_4482_zps5b47f13c

IMG_4477_zps9d8a5a06

IMG_4472_zpsa55e4b37

I urge anyone who has something fun to drive to get in their car and head to Scotland for a few days. You wont regret it!

Say Something