This Sunday (24th March) saw Independant bus Enthusiast tours organise a trip on Marchants of Cheltenham's DAF Optare Spectras! I did attend the tour and I'm bloody glad I did aswell! After my ride up on a Arriva Cross Country Voyager, and an hour wait in the cold, I was treated to a Ex Stagecoach East Midlands Gardener engined Leyland Olympian K361DWJ up to the snowy village of Winchcombe! After a trip back Down to Marchants depot, we picked up the first Optare Spectra of the day. M138KRU was by far the best Spectra of the day, the engine and ZF gearbox sounded fantastic on route to Gloucester , stopping en route at Swanbrooks and Bennets Coaches depot for a quick peer over the fence! On arrival at Gloucester, we had the chance of an optional hour lunch break. We decided to stay warm and return to the depot with the driver and fetch the next Optare Spectra. M136KRU took us back up to Gloucester to pick up the others then we headed to Tewkesbury. We then headed back to the depot to pick up another Spectra M947KRU, which we took a quick 15 minute ride around Cheltenham on. Our last Optare Spectra of the day would be MCZ4426 (Ex L130ELJ at Wilts and Dorset). We went to Cheltenham Spa station via a few housing estates for photos! Finally, I endured a two hour ride back home on Arriva Cross Country 221138.
Overall it was a great day out and very well organised by the lads at Independant Bus Tours and most of all thanks to Marchants of Cheltenham for allowing them to use their vehicles.
I'm very much looking forward to Confidence's Leyland Olympian tour in Leicester next Sunday (30th March)