Scotland Circle Tour – Day 3
Finding it hard to have time to create blog posts. Usually have to drive 4 – 6 hrs per day which is not accounting for sighting time, eating or photographs. If the weather is good, I am usually out until 10:30 – 11:00 each night. It takes at least 30 minutes to create just a simple post with some pictures. I will update when possible. You may want to re-read these posts as I will add more content time permitting.
There were some glorious vistas today but something happened to me that never has before on my travels. Let me set the table.
Driving some of the roads I have traversed in Scotland has been scary. Think of the old military road from Kona to Hilo that was curvy with lots of blind turns. Now subtract the paved shoulders and replace with soft boggy ground or stone walls, your choice. Then make it a single lane used for traffic in both directions. They call these tracks in Scotland. Make the single track 10% narrower. Now make that 10% narrower again. Imagine driving on the left side using a manual stick with your left hand where the shift pattern is opposite to what you are familiar with. Every 200 – 400 meters there is slight indentation widening in the road called “passing lane” so one vehicle can pull over to allow the oncoming vehicle to pass by. Many times have I had to put the car in reverse to a nearby passing lane to let someone by. Now you might be getting the idea.
I have been extremely careful driving as well. On my way to a small fishing village on a single winding track, the oncoming vehicle would not move over or back up 10 ft to his passing lane. So I tried to pull over as much as I could but the ground was very wet & soft. The other vehicle squeezed by but when I tried to go forward the front wheels just spun in the mud (front wheel drive) and I was on a steep incline. So tried to gently back up but as soon as turned the wheel the soft shoulder gave way and THUNK. The passenger side wheel slid into the ditch, the passenger side under carriage by the door fell onto a rock/ledge and the rear driver side wheel was 2 feet off the ground.
I was in trouble now. Under statement of the day.
Luckily a group of 6 cyclists stopped to help. They yelled at the other driver for being such a jerk. There were 3 guys & 3 girls.
The first thing we attempted was to have everyone try to push the car from the front. No luck. Next, we tried to put half of the people in the rear hatch to try to add some weight & possibly get the back wheel on the ground while the others pushed from the front. Still no luck. One of the girls then went to a nearby house to get some help and a man came out to assist. Now we all got to the front & pushed & with quite an effort we were able to get the car back on the road. Yes, I was one of the pushers & one of the girls was driving after I showed her how to put it into reverse.
As I was thanking everyone, I went to close the back hatch only to find that sometime during our efforts, someone had bent one of door struts, so the hatch would not close. One of the cyclists basically bent it back into an almost straight line & the hatch now closes.
As I looked the car over, it is hard to see any damage, either to the underside or to the strut. We will see what happens when I check it in.
Stu, I take back all the things I said about cycling. These young kids saved my bacon. They were from Ireland, England & Scotland.
I only wished I took a photo but I was steaming mad at the time.
I will leave you one photo from the top of a hill on the narrowest road I have ever driven (different road than the “accident”). This was a white knuckler drive but with some great views.