We awoke to a dawn chorus comprised largely of Rooks croaking away. Eventually, a Song Thrush joined in and added several more tuneful notes to the chorus. Our stop at Tebay was about 30 miles shy of our originally intended stop so today would be a little longer than originally planned at 260 miles. We hitched up and hit the road at 08:30.
Fuel planning. Now get this: Aviemore is a major tourist destination both in winter (Cairngorm skiing, wsalking) and in summer (walking, canoeing, Odo hunting). There is, of course, also a significant local population. Aviemore no longer has a fuel station. It had a fuel station but the fuel station has closed. Can you believe it? From Aviemore, one now has to drive 20 miles in either direction, north or south, just to buy fuel. I can’t help but note the irony of a restricted fuel supply just a spit inland from Aberdeen, the centre of the UK’s oil industry. [OK then, DK – Disunited Kingdom.]
Such things are an important consideration when towing Guillaume. A tank of fuel, good for ~500 miles solo in our latest, more modern tug, is good for ~300 miles with Guillaume in tow. What I didn’t want to do was drive today’s 260 miles and pitch up running on fumes with the nearest fuel station then a further 20 miles away. Were I to have filled up at Tebay, our overnight halt, that’s exactly what would’ve happened. So, having used 240-miles worth yesterday, we set off and squeezed the remaining 60 miles out of our tank before filling up. Now I had some flexibility; a modest safety net.
Relaxed about fuel, all went well until, approaching Glasgow, Sally Satnav began bleating about some problem en route. We weren’t really sure what she was saying. That’s our fault for not being quite as familiar with BMW satnav technology as we might be but it didn’t appear to be recommending a detour. Road signs spoke of a road closure “in off peak times”. Francine set about fiddling with Sally Satnav to find out what she could while I kept driving. This took her ~5 minutes worth of shuffling back and forth between screens, screens which required careful reading, and still left us unsure. Imagine being faced with that as a solo driver, concentrating on the screens instead of the road ahead. No wonder people have accidents. I really do have to question the application of modern technology, sometimes.
We were approaching Perth, site of whatever the problem might be, around midday on a Sunday; not off-peak presumably. Sure enough the road was not closed but there were lane closures leaving just a single lane still open on each road at the major confluence of the M80 and M9. Once again, forward motion ceased, with occasional progress yard by yard. This queue was a baby, though, compared to yesterday’s accident (I wonder if they had been interrogating a satnav?) and we lost only 25 minutes covering a handful of miles.
We’d driven out of England’s blazing sunshine into Scotland’s cloud cover. There was occasional drizzle, too, but then things brightened as we approached the Cairngorms. We checked in to the Glenmore Forest Campsite at about 15:00 in sunshine and with plenty of fuel left. 😉 We were rewarded with a delightful pitch in the woodland close to the shores of Loch Morlich.
Those traffic jams are tiring, though. Where’s my drink?