The modern 3.60 m high Mercedes-Benz Tourismo almost looks like a foreign body between the historic stone houses: after all, many of the small houses only come up to the window line on the giant high-decker. The houses are so tiny, the streets so narrow. For Gordon Mayne, however, no reason to be nervous. He knows every bollard, every wall here and whatever else could be in the way and manoeuvres the 12 m coach majestically between the tightly packed houses down to the harbour and back out.
Via the A95 and the A941, the journey goes from the coast into the mountains. The steering wheel is never still whilst the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo winds along the narrow roads through the first gentle hills of the Highlands. One bend follows another with barely any straight stretches of more than 500 m. Only rarely does the road run in line with the topography or other obvious factors. “They must have drunk a lot of whisky when they built these roads,” jokes Gordon Mayne whilst already heading for the next bend.
The needle constantly moves up and down on the left side of the tachometer: just 20 km/h on blind bends, at the most 60 km/h on the few straight sections. Both hands on the wheel, Gordon Mayne masters the relentless back and forth with amazing calm. He confidently leaves the gear changing to the automatic transmission, with which he prudently equips all buses operated by Maynes Coaches.