(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
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.
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…
No more clicking noise 🙂
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.
Now off to make it filthy for a week… 🙂
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.
The view out of the kitchen window 🙂
Some pictures of one of the many places we stopped.
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.
Another random stop for refreshments.
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.
Jem got hold of the camera and ‘papped’ me. I normally prefer to be behind the camera.
Some pics of our drive from Bettyhill back to Melvaig.
We found a cave.
Another stop for refreshments. This time in a little chocolate factory.
Back in Melvaig for dinner.
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…
Apparently they are kinda special to see.
And another one with the car in it
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.
This is about as dark as the sky gets in the summer.
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.
Lunch and tea stop
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!
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!