Friday, 10 October 2014

Rally - Mull01

Do you remember that old rhyme we all learned at school? "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain"? It turns out it was all lies. I was there yesterday, and it rained, and we were in the mountains. Nowhere near the plain, or the sunshine, just huge watery drops of Spanish rain drenching the roads and anything that was out on them. A bit like Mull in fact.

It set me thinking though. One of the reasons that this event is so popular amongst rally fans, especially those from the deep south, is the location. For anyone contesting the event, or officiating at it, or just spectating, the 'Mull experience' starts long before they land on the island.

It really gets going just north of Glasgow coming up Loch Lomondside to Crianlarich through Glen Lochy and the Pass of Brander to Oban, or via Stirling and Callander to Tyndrum and Glen Coe then on to Corran and Lochaline. Whether it's warm, dry and sunny, or cold, damp and misty, the scenery unfolds ahead of the travellers, the excitement and anticipation rising as the great craggy vistas open up before them.

Glen Coe was magnificent this morning. Moody, magical, mysterious and magnificent. Shrouded in mist and low cloud which was beginning to rise off Rannoch Moor and climb the peaks that surround it. On such mornings, the eye is easily fooled, seeing shapes in the mist. Plaid clad highlanders rising from the heather with claymore blades glinting with moisture - water, or could it be blood? The streams in these parts used to run red with the stuff, but this damp autumn morning, the steel grey streams were white frothed and silvery flecked as they tumbled over the rocks.

So here's a suggestion, when the rally is over, take your time going home. Don't just look and marvel, step outside, taste the air and feel the history tickle the hairs on your arms.

By the time I got here, Scrutineering was almost over. Darren Thompson in his Nova was second last man through after wiring problems with his lightpod, but there were no prizes for guessing who was last man through, Eddie O'Donnell. How come it's always the locals who are last? Darren had wiring problems with his lightpod and Eddie was - just Eddie.

The black Escort is now bright green. Kawasaki Racing Green according to Stewart Morrison who painted it. Dingbro's finest, said Stewart. So why did Eddie change the colour? Apparently, John Lindsay of LindsayPhotoSport had a word last year. He was shooting pictures for the Mull calendar and said to Eddie his black Escort was difficult to photograph at night. All he could see was the green wheels. So Eddie came up with a brainwave. Paint the car green and the wheels black!

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