Day 12 – Braw Hoggies frae Bonnie Scotland

Get up and decide, what the hell… I will put the bike into the custom show, at least it’s something to do.  I give her a quick clean up… Rid the wildlife off the front at least, then make my way to the rally site.  Lost again… I’m not even going to talk about it cos it’s just grrrrrrrrrrr……!

Arrive at the site, park up and go look for some info about the show.  I ask in the HOG information tent, but the woman doesn’t know so wait for her to wander off and find someone to help.  There does seem to be a few more people here today, but nothing like the usual number… Strange.  Eventually she comes back with a bloke who looks about 11 in tow, he tells me where I need to be, so off I trot.
I need to bring the bike to them and then they will fill in the paperwork.  As I pull up on the bike, a woman shrieks, ‘that’s my bike’ omg people will think I’ve pinched it!  It seems Zoe used to own my bike and she is delighted that I am putting it in the show.  She thinks it should win, biased or what, and is very appreciative of the few touches I have added.  She is actually lovely and helps to lift my spirits.
I park the bike in the ‘Ladies of Harley’ category, I’m the only one so far, and proceed to polish the chrome. It is baking hot and the show is in a bright white amphitheater, it’s absolutely roasting. 

 As people pass by, they make appreciative noises and some even take photos, good boys.  Suddenly I am joined by another bike… I recognise that v-rod… Blimey it’s Elaine from Scotland, we met in Portugal, (see 2012 for details). 

I immediately say hello and ask if she remembers me… She does… How lovely to meet up with her again.  Then along comes hubby, who says straight away, you’ve lost weight, to which Elaine says,… I was gonna say the same but didnae want to.  I explain that I’ve had an op and it seems so has their mate, Jimmy, who I also met in Portugal, he’s lost about 10 stones too. Anyway they wander off and I continue to polish the bike.  Once I’m satisfied with it I’m feeling dehydrated and need a drink so make my way towards the HOG terrace.  I can’t really afford the buffet today, but I see another buffet has opened up at €15 a go so I have a look in and it seems good. Only 1 drink included and no barbecue, but again is in the shade and I do have 6 hours to kill.
Finish lunch and am heading back to the bike when I bump into Lynn, (Italy 2010) and Derna… small world or what!  Lovely to see them.
After checking the bike I walk back towards the HOG Terrace and past it to the smaller bars and cafes on the quayside.  Stop at one for a drink as the view is nice.  After waiting ages for a waiter I go into the bar to order an orange juice… No juice… Ok water then 🙁 what about the wifi… No wifi :-(( ok I get my water and sit in the shaded area on the quayside.  The bill comes, €1, not bad… I’ve only got a €2 coin so turn to my neighbour behind me to ask if they can change it for me…. Woah! It’s only Alex and Jimmy, two of the scots… We start chatting and soon we are joined by Elaine.  They are such lovely people and I feel so comfortable with them.  They are like me, ordinary folk who love their bikes and touring, we get on really well.  
Of course Elaine and I are rivals in the bike show and to be honest I think she should win it, her bike is so good and unusual as its a v-rod.  However, E tells me about this other bike that always wins.. The story goes that Steven Tyler from a band called Aerosmith had this very bike built for his wife and then when they divorced took it back and sold it. This couple from Spain then bought it and have been touting it round the shows ever since.  Of course with that kind of provenance it wins all the time, but I have to say I think it’s horrible… It has diamanté rhinestones, pink ones, stuck all over it FFS… Yuck!!! Seriously yuck!!!

That’s it… next to mine.
There is a fourth bike in the category, it’s quite nice, but still not my taste.  I’m still convinced E will win.
We spend the rest of the afternoon together, killing time til the results of the show.  Alex has got his bike in it too… That’s a seriously lovely bike, the detail is fantastic, I especially love the leather work.  He likes to surprise people when they are looking at the bike… It has remote control air suspension so without warning will suddenly rise upwards confusing onlookers as they don’t know Alex has the remote.
The results are in… Alex gets 2nd place behind a Lithuanian trailered bike (a bike that has been brought in not ridden), diamanté Doris wins the Ladies of Harley Category and we go over to see who has got second place.  Elaine feels sure it will be the other Spanish bike, whilst I think it will be her.  I am truly gobsmacked because my bike has got second place!  Elaine, Alex and Jimmy couldn’t be more delighted for me… What lovely people they are.  

I have to ride it up a ramp onto a platform to receive my prize and a photo with Bill Davidson… Err who?  One of the Davidson family, but not sure which one.  

The MC then announces me as the winner… Christina from Espania.. Um no Ireland, second place, Padraigin… He obviously can’t face trying to say my name so just shouts Ireland a few times.  Bill shows me my trophy and says I can collect it later, then it’s all over.  I am so made up… What a fantastic day I’ve had.. Such good company too.  Thanks to Elaine for taking the photos for me… If I hadn’t bumped into them today I wouldn’t have a record of it so it must be fate.

Back to the hotel… Lost again… Quick shower and change then out to meet up with the guys for a drink.  Met up in a small bar, very busy with mostly local people. Later on there’s a live group performing with lots of clapping and very loud singing, but it’s great to see young spaniards really enjoying traditional music.  
Late back to hotel… Plan to meet up with the guys in the morning for the traditional bike parade… Um better do my packing now then. Yawn, am so tired…. Zzzzz

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