I’ve visited Lindisfarne, or Holy Island as it’s also known, many times over the years. But, I’ve never stayed overnight and I’ve never taken Plimsoll across the tidal causeway before. All that salty water nibbling away at his ancient nether regions; horrible!
Even so, when the Land Rover Series One Club announced its annual International Rally was going to be at Kelso this year, a cunning plan began to stir in the last few grey cells sheltering from the 21st century, somewhere in the lost recesses of my brian, er… brain.
‘What if I took Plimsoll up to Kelso a couple of days early? I could do a spot of causeway driving, renew my acquaintance with the stunning Cheviot Hills, attend the rally and then toddle up to Stirling to see Tim Robeers testing his rally-prepped 110 (see October 2014 issue). What a cool plan.’
The first stage of this Machiavellian plot was to get Plimsoll’s vulnerable under-parts thoroughly protected; hence the visit to Rust Busters (see August issue). The next step was to give Plimsoll a thorough check-over, ie a wipe over with an oily rag and top-up his oil and water. Ready! Willing? Hopefully...
The drive to Lindisfarne from Northampton took for ever – more than 10 hours. Mind you, about two hours of that was for ‘comfort’ breaks for Julia (Mrs S) and me. By the time we arrived, the day-trippers were beginning to file of the island.
The golden sunlight of that first evening was a fantastic welcome after a gruelling drive that never seemed to end.
Being cut-of by the tide two times a day is what makes Lindisfarne an island and also partly what makes it a really special place. That and the rich history of the place.
Being a sensible type, I wasn’t tempted to wade Plimsoll across the Causeway at high tide; only a fool would do that. Unfortunately, every year there’re always one or two who prove the point.
After just 48 hours on the island, we headed inland. Thanks to my Garmin satnav, we enjoyed a superb ‘mystery tour’ right through the Cheviot Hills; stunning. The fantastic LRSOC International Rally, nicknamed ‘Thistle Do’ was at Kelso. The whole thing was superbly run from start to finish and we had a great time.
Before we could ‘cruise’ home, Plimsoll and I had a rendezvous to make in Glen Balquhidder, at the head of Loch Voil. While Tim and Quintin put their 110 through its paces, Plimsoll basked in the sunshine, looking handsome as usual.
Finally, we pointed his stubby nose south and rattled, roared and whined all the way back to Northampton. Over the course of nine days we covered 1134 miles. Considerably further than Tipperary, I think you’ll agree.