Halloween weekend scary surprises in the woods and a ride out in fantastic sunshine

Fabulous autumn sunshine for Halloween weekend.

Fabulous autumn sunshine for Halloween weekend.

So it is a month since Team Tandem Ecosse returned from their highly successful tour of the vineyards and beaches of the Medoc region of Bordeaux in southern France.

And I have been champing at my chain to get the “old git” and the “old gal” back on my saddles to get back out on the open road before they lost all their new found fitness they achieved in France.

But it would need to be said they have had a fairly hectic schedule since we all got back to Matilda’s Rest here in Auchterarder – with simply no time to fit in a quick ride out.

But on Saturday morning, I was delighted when the “old git” came out to the garage and started to give me the once-over – checking out my bits – to see if everything was still ship-shape, or at least tandem-shape!

Despite the long trip back home in Matilda Transporter I was feeling in great shape and was ecstatic when the “old git” said that we were going out on Sunday morning – and that the forecast was for some nice Autumn sunshine.

I couldn’t wait to feel the wind between my spokes again and was raring to go! But first my dynamic duo had a Halloween night visit to the Enchanted Forest at Pitlochry  to fit in to their schedule.

The “old git” and the “old gal” have been regular visitors to the event over the last four years – which is effectively a sound and light show in the forest.

Or as the blurb for the event says: “With dazzling visuals and innovative design set against an original music score, including a new orchestral piece, you explore the stunning autumn woodland setting of Faskally Wood near Pitlochry. Using the forest as a natural backdrop, you will experience a lighting show that is, quite simply, out of this world.”

And they told me this year’s show – called Flux – was the best one yet. And because it was Halloween, the dynamic duo decided to wear silly light-up cowboy hats!

The "old gal" and "old git" with their Halloween hats!

The “old gal” and “old git” with their Halloween hats!

It seems it was perfect conditions for the light show – with a clear starry sky allowing for perfect viewing. The lighting also created some interesting effects!

A pink effect shot of the "old gal".

A pink effect shot of the “old gal”.

And a blue effect shot of the "old gal".

And a blue effect shot of the “old git”.

And since it was Halloween – my duo decided to scare a few people with some horror faces!

Scary faces! Surprised the camera didn't break!

Scary faces! Surprised the camera didn’t break!

It seems a great night was had by my dynamic duo – and they returned not too late, so we were on for tomorrow!

Sunday dawned and the sun was splitting the sky – as had been forecast – a perfect Autumn day. And as soon as I heard rumblings in the house, I knew we would be off soon.

A quick bacon buttie – a specialty of the “old gal’s” and then we were ready to go – with the “old git” bedecked in his t-shirt, shorts and sunglasses as if it was the middle of summer! Had no one told him that while it was sunny, it was a bit chilly?

Anyway we were soon heading towards the village of Dunning along the quiet back roads of Perthshire. And what a treat it was for all three of us to be back out! The “old gal” was even heard to say: “I’ve missed this!”

Amazingly we were fair cantering along – and I am most impressed to report that my dynamic duo’s fitness had held up to the standards achieved in France. With a bit of light breeze at our backs we were whizzing along with what seemed like very little effort.

And in the sunshine, the air actually felt warm. And the “old git” and the “old gal” were having fun being back on my saddles – proving it really is better fun together on a tandem! The “old gal” even managed to take a shadow selfie to give an impression of how sunny it was!

A shadow selfie - showing how bright the sunshine was.

A shadow selfie – showing the bright sunshine.

After the French trip – and the amazing visits to the area’s vineyards – there was much joking about which chateau we would stop at, and which wines we would taste on today’s trip!

But unfortunately the climate in Perthshire doesn’t exactly lend itself to growing grapes and wine making.

This was the closest we could get to a chateau - the gate!

This was the closest we could get to a chateau – the gatehouse!

We did find one or two big houses along the way, but the closest we could get to the actual chateau was the gatehouse at the end of the driveway!

And no caves either to sample the local wines, so my dynamic duo had to make do with their water bottles, or bidons! But what was in them? Well, under pain of death from the “old git” my lips are sealed! I cannot reveal their secret contents!

Cheers! But what was in those water bottles to make the dynamic duo smile so much?!

Cheers! But what was in those water bottles to make my dynamic duo smile so much?

In no time at all we were in the village of Dunning and decided to pedal out towards Bridge of Earn, before turning about half way along and heading back for Dunning.

Turning into the breeze, the “old git” suddenly remembered what cycling into wind felt like – and also realised why wearing a t-shirt and shorts without any under layers wasn’t perhaps the best idea! But of course, the “old gal” was well wrapped up – as she doesn’t like getting cold!

Back through Dunning, and the “old gal” put (another) smile on the “old gal’s” face when he decided that a stop for the obligatory gin and tonic was required to fuel them up for the journey home. After all, it would have been rude just to cycle past the door.

And as the sun was at its brightest, the dynamic duo decided to sit outside in the picturesque beer garden of the Kirkstyle Inn. It really was a lovely spot to while away 20 minutes basking in the unseasonable weather.

Time for tea - well a g & t anyway!

Time for tea – well a g & t anyway!

Refreshed it was time for to head back to Matilda’s Rest – but the wind had got up a bit and it was a bit tougher on the return journey heading into the wind.

And to underline it was Halloween weekend, we had a quick stop at Maggie Wall’s Memorial – which is a monument to what is reputed to be the last witch burned at the stake in Scotland. Dating back to 1657 it is rather a haunting spot – and someone had left a pumpkin lantern to add to the eeriness of it!

The "old gal" was "spooked" at Maggie Wall's Memorial!

The “old gal” was “spooked” at Maggie Wall’s Memorial!

Another half hour pedal and we were all back at Matilda’s Rest – euphoric after a highly successful first post-holiday outing.

After a quick rub down – and that was just the “old gal” – I was safely tucked up in the garage while the dynamic due brewed up a welcoming pot of coffee!

And the good news for me is that both the “old git” and the “old gal” are keen to get out for more rides over the Autumn and winter months ahead!

Just a small matter of making life less busy to find time for it!


6 thoughts on “Halloween weekend scary surprises in the woods and a ride out in fantastic sunshine

  1. Hi Matty, it’s good to talk ! Bet it feels like you never had a holiday . Still at least they took you out in clement weather, and allowed you a whole 20 mins rest. Zut alors et sacre bleu I hear you say! You must be practising for next year already! I hope you have recovered from all that resting and are super-fit again. Bet they didn’t take you to the Enchanted thingy – have to tell you it did look like fun !


  2. What a lovely ride in lovely weather but a T/shirt without a base layer !!! Brrr, even down here in softie land the air isn’t actually warm . Nice photos.


  3. The water bottles have returned, I could not be more pleased. I have to say , though, the Halloween hats are a close second. A lovely account which taught me even more about a part of the world where my family come from and I know very well!


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