This is a sad day but even so there were some good parts to it. Last night I had spent about 45 minutes looking for a B&B in our price range in the Fort William area with no luck at all. I eventually found an hotel with a room but at an eye watering price. The cost was not refundable if we didn't make it. This is a relevant factor in why we made the decision we did.
When we woke up it was a damp drizzly day. By the time we had eaten breakfast it was raining, not hard but certainly wetter than earlier. For the first time in the trip we set off in wet weather clothing.
We fuelled up and set off along the A38. For a couple of days Numbum had a slight vibration in the driveline but it was liveable with and we'd carried on.
Today the vibration suddenly worsened and the car was almost undriveable above 30mph. We limped along looking for a garage and found one in Kilmartin. When I saw an MGB on the ramp I knew we'd found a good place.
The guys there were absolutely wonderful. We soon had Numbum over the narrow pit and the problem identified as a collapsed UJ at the front end of the propshaft. Off came the shaft and a good UJ was nicked from a Ford Escort shaft and fitted. They also identified and fixed a couple of battery cable issues.
Off we went again. With the vibration gone it was smooth as silk. Unfortunately about 9 miles down the road there was a loud clunk and the serious vibration was back. I pulled onto a safe place and tried to ring the garage but had no signal. Pam was sat under the brolly and I spent some time wandering up & down the road looking for a phone signal with no luck.
Eventually a lovely lady drove me to her house and let me use the phone. She also provided us with a flask of hot water. I rang the garage and they were prepared to look at the issue again if we got the car recovered to them. There was a strong possibility that we would be there till Monday if not Tuesday before we could be moving again.
Not only would this have lost us a hefty hotel room cost but we would have had to find B&B locally and be there with no transport for the weekend.
Neither of us fancied that so it was with a heavy heart that I called the RAC for recovery.
0nly 69 miles today.
The company the RAC used had been trying to ring us with no luck so sent a driver to give us our options. They didn't have a driver with enough hours available to take us home so would bring a loan car to us and take Numbum back to their depot for delivery home later. This sounded good to us.
About 8.10pm the loan car arrived on a flat bed and was unloaded. We quickly took all of our gear and chucked it in the boot of the Ford Focus and helped to get Numbum onto the flatbed.
The rain had stopped while we were waiting but a chilly breeze came along and we were quite cold. Some improvisation was called for. We were quite cozy in there.
While we were waiting in our improvised tent we heard the rumble of a diesel motor. Was this our recovery man? Nope, it was a driver who had seen us and turned back to see if he could help. He couldn't but he gave us some biscuits. Great guy!
We were still 92 miles from the Invergarry Hotel and they closed the doors at 11pm. That was a bit of a push in a strange car on strange roads in the dark but we made it there at ten to eleven.
We got checked in and by just after eleven we were drinking coffee and eating fruit cake before collapsing into bed.
Take an old couple and an even older car, add in over 4000 miles of driving and this is the result. This is the story of Numbum's drive round the UK coastline, driven by Owen and ably navigated by Pam. We hope you enjoy the journey. We will.