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A midlife crisis "What would you do?" Thread


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I begrudge paying to go right to Land's End - I chose to stand on Lizard Point, being the Southernmost bit of the mainland...

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...then a few days later, Dunnet Head, the Northernmost bit. Weather was lovely*

 

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...that lovely that in the rolling fog, I very nearly walked off the edge of a cliff, only alerted to imminent death by the sudden noise of the sea a long way below me

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Or buy an MX-5 and a caravan - best* of both worlds.

5 hours ago, Wack said:

I'd agree with that ,apart from anyone who's never been further north than Manchester will be blown away by the highlands , not saying floatylight has never been north of Manchester but for those that never have it's pretty spectacular

I lived in the Alps for four years and I still found the scenery in Scotland thoroughly enjoyable when I was up there last year.  Rover 75 was a surprisingly decent choice of vehicle - comfy seats, rides well on shit surfaces, adequate handling and decent visibility - although I could have done with a bit more poke on some of the steeper roads.

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8 hours ago, jamescarruthers said:

The boot does not get smaller when the boot is in it. Its not 1970 (sorry shitters!) so no stupid designs with the roof just plonking in the boot. 

Although the contemporary Saab floppytops do indeed lose half their boot space when the roof is down.

Agree on the engines though - the T5 is great fun but a bit "all or nothing", the 2.4T is a better bet when you're not driving like a twat.

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12 minutes ago, wuvvum said:

Or buy an MX-5 and a caravan - best* of both worlds.

I lived in the Alps for four years and I still found the scenery in Scotland thoroughly enjoyable when I was up there last year.  Rover 75 was a surprisingly decent choice of vehicle - comfy seats, rides well on shit surfaces, adequate handling and decent visibility - although I could have done with a bit more poke on some of the steeper roads.

I wouldn't get hung up on the NC500 either , we had a great time just bimbling about, though a RWD mx5 with 3mm on the rear tyres wouldn't have been ideal if it had snowed more than the few flurries we had, it hadn't even occurred to be there would be snow in April.

 

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We stayed 

2 hours ago, Floatylight said:

Thanks for all the responses so far, I think April ish with B&B's /Airbnb is the way to go, not really bothered about hooning it everywhere, so more of a GT kind of cabrio sounds appealing.. 

Any more thoughts / suggestions / recommendations for Stop overs etc welcomed!

We stayed in “the bothy” in Tongue which was a nice modern B and B with a good breakfast and a friendly owner.  Polcraig guesthouse in lochinver was run by nice people with a good fry up. Cal an Dun in applecross - nice old house with a hint of Basil Fawlty going on. This was a couple of years ago now though.

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Kinda local to the nc500.  Have done the area many times in the camper and loved every minute... Have also torn across the country on a sunny day in the old Celica convertible, and the Audi Coupe... Bloody awesome, in a totally different way!

Car wise, would recommend something a wee bit bigger, a big petrol engine in a place you can really let them sing is hard to beat.  Road surfaces can hamper anything too light/flicky....

Great dilema to have though!

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5 hours ago, Floatylight said:

Thanks for all the responses so far, I think April ish with B&B's /Airbnb is the way to go, not really bothered about hooning it everywhere, so more of a GT kind of cabrio sounds appealing.. 

Any more thoughts / suggestions / recommendations for Stop overs etc welcomed!

We just winged it using booking .com though we did leave it a bit late one evening , everywhere was booked until we saw a vacancies sign at a B&B down a long drive with speed bumps, unfortunately she'd just booked the last room 

Going in was OK  Over the speed bump but the MX5 was lowered, coming out it grounded and made the most awful scraping sound

I can still see the woman's scrunched up face in the rear view at the noise it made 

She was inspecting her speed bump as we fucked off sharpish up the drive.

 

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I've done it twice now. Once in a rented Renault Captur. Second time in a Passat. Both enjoyable driving cars for different reasons. 

You see a lot of campers and it does look romantic, something I'd like to try. At the same time it's nice to stay in random houses and meet people and have space to dry damp clothes.

 

 

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9 hours ago, rob88h said:

Every two years I make the Christmas trip home from where I live now in Essex to the famille home in South Yorkshire, taking in Lands End and John O'Groats on the way (man maths). It's become tradition. What also has become tradition is to make it a little different each time.

2011 - inaugural (DNF, Porsche exploded), 2014 - Unfinished business, two year tradition had not established (MR2), 2016 - Motorways were boring, avoid all motorways (944), 2018 - Roof down all the way (GTV Spider, frozen), 2020 - take in the NC500! (Volvo 480, still not MOT'd with a month to go...). I'm hoping to go this December but for 2020's attempt I might have to get a bit liberal with the traditional December dates given what's going on across the country.

Category of choice: always a sports* car.

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Can I vote this one for the 2021 AS Topless calendar ?

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I built a camper from a Hi-top Renault Traffic van many years ago and loved the vantage point when driving, but hated finding somewhere to park it each evening or in towns..  It wasn't the best 'car' to drive for fun and in practice it got barely used.  I'd suggest that if you opt for a camper - then go for one that's compact.  The VW combi carries humongous fashion tax but it's popular because it actually works well for parking and a sightseeing-style of driving.  It's easy to pack stuff away and yet convenient to stop and make coffee and lunch. It's also narrow enough to pass other vehicles in the narrow streets of quaint towns or out in the wild when a farm vehicle is coming the other way.

Over recent years I've used my Chrysler Grand Voyager for car-camping.  It's comfortable, economical and I've always found the gateway to a field or somewhere quiet to stop for a night.  Vantage point is also great ..but the vehicle is rather soul-less.   I'd also say that camper vans are possibly the least sociable. Perhaps because families are already a crowd and so don't need or want to talk to others, and because people close their doors 'for privacy'. 

I used to be keen on motorcycle touring, and did tens of thousands of miles around Europe with a tent and cooking gear.  It's often very sociable when you're camping to be on a touring bike or in an interesting car.  But the wet and the clobber of long-distance biking is not something I can be bothered with now.  

I also said, on two different occasions, when coming back up the length of France on a bike "I never want to do this again".  It's dearthly boring riding for hours on a motorway.  

Aside from around England, I've been down to Italy (via the Octoberfest) and again down to Portugal in an open top kit-car, taking a small tent and camping gear. Through Spain the sun was so burning to our lily-white Inglish skin that we had to have the roof up all the way.!   However the drive down to Munich and into the Italian Alps in an open top car, albeit a small one, was brilliant.  When in hills and mountains, driving through sunlit canopy of trees, or following a coastal or valley's river-side road with panoramic views - I don't think you can beat not  having to look through a window frame.  So for me at least a soft-top sports car is the way to go.  And a targa-top one step better still.  The driving is as much fun, when you find a fast winding road, as being on a good motorcycle, but of course it's warmer and dry ..so no helmet or protective clothing forever being cumbersome.  And it's sociable to share 'the moment' with whom you are traveling.  

Of course, an open top car needn't be fast, for example a Citroen 2CV , or an open-top Triumph Herald, or Moggie Minor are superb ways to travel.  My girlfriend and I drove down to Vienna in a bamboo green 2CV  and came back via the Alps, slow up hill but a wonderful and memorable way to go ! Similarly, a sports car needn't be driven fast to be enjoyed.  Personally, I like a car with character ..where you can feel its heart-beat, so I favour a classic car ..and a manual gearbox.  But there's a whole lot to be said for a more modern sports car or convertible which are often easier to get in and out of - and are generally more practical inbetween using it for holidays. 

Accommodation wise ; I found long ago when touring on a motorcycle that I like to have a small tent with me, and a bottle of brandy, and just enough cooking stuff to boil water and to make coffee.  Then, if I see somewhere special that I like (often somewhere remote) I can enjoy going to bed with, and waking with nature.  I'm happy with a cold breakfast, a cold buffet lunch, etc., so I don't need or want a lot of cooking clutter with me. 

However I'm also glad to not sleep rough every night, and I like to come down to a freshly cooked breakfast.  I also enjoy the differences in small B&B's  ..some in town, others in farmhouses.  It part of the pleasure in touring to meet those who live there ..and of course to have hot shower, have an evening meal, and then to go for a stroll - knowing all along that a dry and usually comfortable bed awaits.  But still, having the tent is always a reassuring safeguard against not finding a suitable B&B for the night.

 

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On 11/18/2020 at 11:33 PM, Floatylight said:

@dollywobbler Volvo C70,  CLK, Saab, A4 or Pug 306 Cab..)

What would you do?

C70s are the best, do that

Seriously though I'd say there's 2 main benefits to doing it a cabrio over a camper, one is the driving experience but two is the social aspect, you can actually talk to people and see more at the places you stop. Do it in a camper and it's too easy to spend all your time in it and not actually do anything or meet anyone. Can you tell I'm not a camper fan :-)

 

 

17 hours ago, jamescarruthers said:

 2.0T is too slow 

Got to disagree! I had one as my only car for about 5 years and I thought it was plenty quick enough, although I admit I've not tried a 2.4.

With you on everything else though, the C70 mk1 is a brilliant and seriously underrated car, if I didn't have big dogs and a child now I'd have another in a heartbeat.

I remember once running straight through the night 4-up from London to Luxembourg, roof up and foot down, then back again a few days later roof down and taking it easy, was just glorious. Well, until a seagull shat on one of my passengers at Dunkirk anyway...

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15 hours ago, Bfg said:

Of course, an open top car needn't be fast, for example a Citroen 2CV , or an open-top Triumph Herald, or Moggie Minor are superb ways to travel. 

I think this really touches on something that has hitherto been missed.  You should do it in something you can remember driving because it's actually interesting.

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18 hours ago, Patent said:

I've done it twice now. Once in a rented Renault Captur. Second time in a Passat. Both enjoyable driving cars for different reasons. 

You see a lot of campers and it does look romantic, something I'd like to try. At the same time it's nice to stay in random houses and meet people and have space to dry damp clothes.

 

 

 

Screenshot_20201119-213036~2.png

The bridge looks so out of place with the surroundings

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56 minutes ago, Wack said:

The bridge looks so out of place with the surroundings

Like a lot of things it's actually a lot smaller in real life! When you're traveling across the bridge it's just a flat deck so it doesn't take away from the views, but I'd never thought of it like that, it is a bit modern

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On 19/11/2020 at 15:56, Floatylight said:

Thanks for all the responses so far, I think April ish with B&B's /Airbnb is the way to go, not really bothered about hooning it everywhere, so more of a GT kind of cabrio sounds appealing.. 

Any more thoughts / suggestions / recommendations for Stop overs etc welcomed!

https://www.strongarbh.com

If you can get over to Mull, id suggest 2 nights at the above very expensive place. 

http://www.thecafefish.com

And eat at the above fish restaurant. 

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Having both a camper and a floppy top... in my experience roads like the Nc500 (or at least what I imagine it to be like as I’ve never done it so I’ll use snowdonia as my point of reference) are definitely best experienced in a car.

I’d choose something like a Saab, comfort cruisey-ness and not a gazillion pounds... 


 

 

This post not influenced at all by the fact I’ll probably be looking to move my Saab 900 convertible on soon... ;-) 😆

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