Tuesday 8 November 2011

Road - Not so wild Rover

Well, there I was, inching along the bottom of a rather steep ravine. I was heading upstream with the walls of the gulley barely inches from the wing mirrors. Ahead, a huge 20 inch rock was sticking up out of the stream bed offering the choice of going to the right or to the left and knocking lumps out of either front wing, or driving a front wheel over it and risking damage to the sill before the rear wheel rode over it.

Going to the right would have meant scraping the front o/s wing against the gorge wall and there wasn’t enough room between the rock and the hard place on the other side to squeeze the n/s front wing through. Considering I was at the wheel of an 84 grand Range Rover at the time this was going to be expensive. And then I had the uncharitable thought, it’s not my car!

But then I thought again, Range Rover wouldn’t have sent me up here if they didn’t think the Range Rover could take it. So I aimed for the rock, sure in the knowledge that with the air-assisted suspension at full raised height, I would pass over the rock unscathed. However, knowing the theory and trusting the technology are two entirely different things.

I needn’t have worried. As I braced myself for the expensive career-ending crunch as the front wheel rode over the rock – it didn’t happen. There were millimetres to spare as the rear wheel rode over it and I was on my way. Further up the stream bed, I had to fold in the wing mirrors to pass between a couple of rocky walls. It was that close. But the Range Rover didn’t balk once, and it was returned to the Land Rover events team muddy but unmarked.
That final run marked the end of two days of appraisal of the 2012 model year Range Rover, Ranger Rover Sport, Land Rover Discovery and Land Rover Defender and rarely did Scotland look more magnificent. There was a trio of Korean journalists in the party and they chuckled and giggled non-stop at where they were going and how they were getting there. They got stuck at one point just in front of me, but they didn’t give up. They kept backing up and trying another route through the bog till they got out the other side still giggling like naughty schoolgirls.
Even the French were impressed with the autumnal colours, the frost encrusted grass and heather, the spooky mist shrouded moorland and the grandeur of the Borders and Lammermuirs landscape.

They were also impressed with the quality of the pastries at breakfast at the Roxburghe Hotel. They were light, flaky, tasty and succulent, and considering there were some apple pastries amongst the croissants I was able to have five of my ‘five a day’ fruit allowance all at the same time.

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