Today I set off in high spirits. It’s a Monday and there are buses running along the stretch of road between Carradale and Campbeltown. No need for double-walking today. Yippee!To get to Carradale I must drive down the good old B842 – a road I feel I know only too well, having driven and walked each section several times already. I’ve grumbled about this road, and today… well, today the road gets its own back.
Around a corner, and I came face to face with another car. A rare occurrence to meet anybody else, but here we are, nose to nose. No worries. There’s a passing place just behind me. All I have to do is reverse…
It’s a new car, I’ve not had much practice at reversing yet, I’m on a bend, I’m a little flustered, and I forget momentarily about the single-track nature of the road…
The car ends up well and truly stuck, with two wheels sunk so deeply into the soft verge that I might as well have driven straight into the ditch.
After several fruitless wheel-spinning attempts to get the car out, I decide I need to call Green Flag. Meanwhile, the other car has stopped – just as well, because I have no phone signal and very little battery left on my phone anyway. (I must have forgotten to charge it overnight.)
The couple kindly offer to drive me to their house where I can use their landline. It’s “just down the road” – which turns out to be about 6 miles away – and longer than that because we drive up to Skipness first so they can pick up a paper.
At least I get a nice cup of coffee, a scone, and somewhere warm to wait. And I get reasonably prompt service from Green Flag, although it does take the operator some time to understand exactly where I am. Even the local garage in Campbeltown, who phone me back, seem to find it difficult to work out the right location.
“Just follow the B842 from Carradale towards Skipness,” I tell him.
“But how will I find your car?” the mechanic asks.
“You can’t miss it. It’s the only one stuck in a ditch.”
The couple give me a lift back to the car and I wait for the tow truck to arrive. It’s cold. While I wait – all of 20 minutes – two cars pass by. Both stop and offer to help. Nice people in Scotland.
The tow truck driver arrives – and I greet him enthusiastically, but he is a typical dour Scotsman and responds with a scowl. It seems he’s worried about the single track road.
“Need to hurry in case a bus comes along,” he says.
“Don’t worry. There aren’t any buses on this section of road,” I tell him.
He doesn’t seem convinced.
Anyway, he soon pulls me out and the car seems to be undamaged. He tells me to drive ahead so he can follow behind and make sure all is well. I drive carefully, praying I won’t meet anything coming towards me… and luckily I don’t meet anything on the road.
Later, I drive into Carradale, but I’ve missed most of the buses running today, and I really don’t have the heart to do any more double-walking. So I sit in my car, overlooking the little harbour, and drink my hot chocolate, before heading back to my B&B. I’m going home tomorrow.
So, as far as walking goes, this was a DISASTER of a day.
I’ll leave you with one of the photos I took earlier in the morning, when the day was full of promise and the early-morning sun was streaming down on Arran.
Miles walked today = none worth counting!