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To Newton-Stewart, Galloway


Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 18 & 19 May 2013

Saturday 18 May, to Newton-Stewart, Galloway

It is raining cats and dogs when we leave Beauly and we hope it gets better when we go further south. It is about 450 kilometers and we also have to book something for the next week because we have not done that yet. Halfway we call a few numbers of people where we have an option and eventually we choose a house in a suburb of Newton Stewart for £ 175 for a week.
The road is floodedBut the rain is becoming increasingly violent and the weather forecasts do not predict much good for the rest of the day and we follow the traffic reports because more and more roads become impassable due to flooding. Our destination is south of the Galloway Forest Park and when we have passed Ayr it appears that almost all roads through the park and around it are closed. When we see how an SUV tries to drive through the deep water and comes to a halt a moment later, we are certain that we do not have to try that with our car. There are some diversions indicated but we constantly encounter closed roads and eventually we drive more than 100 kilometers extra to reach our destination.

Sunday 19 May 2013, a flat tyre in de middle of nowhere

Galloway Hills Cows in GallowayThe next day it is fortunately better and we are going to drive through the area. We drove here once along the main roads to Stranraer so for Teije it is a feast to fill this white area on his map. This week we will explore the whole area from Newton Stewart to the south, the peninsula The Machars and in the southwest the peninsula of Rhins or Galloway. But today we take some deserted roads north of the village.
Cottage in Galloway Old announcementIt is a vast area with long and bad single-lane roads and very little habitation or traffic. Everywhere there are signs that the road will soon be resurfaced or that the road is closed for harvesting but all seem very old signs like the one on the right which is 2 years old. Oh well, they will harvest every year around the same time, so what does it matter. But, even though the landscape is always beautiful, it is also a bit boring, we hardly see any nice houses and certainly no castles.
In the middle of nowhere Sheep riding is allowedBut Teije seems completely happy with all the new narrow roads that he discovers, even though they are sometimes so bad that even he now and again doubts whether he should drive onto them.
The best thing I see today is this traffic sign with a sheep with rider near New-Luce. It is prohibited here for mounted sheep to poop on the road? The sheep is very big compared to the rider and the heap behind it. Or is it forbidden to ride sheep? That is possible because we have never seen a sheep with rider!
In the middle of nowhere on a single track road, 10 kilometers from the nearest village something happens of what I am always afraid. There is a new gravel layer on the road and suddenly poof, we have a flat tire. And since we are driving on autogas, we do not have a spare tire. And we are in the middle of the road, which are normally very quiet but now there is suddenly a lot traffic coming. The people help friendly to push the car half of the road but they can not do any more and also remind us that there is no mobile coverage here.
There is a thick nail in the empty rear tire and we cannot get it out. Teije cuts a hole around it and then tries to fill it with such a one-time paste, but that does not work. We can not go any way. But since the band is already totally damaged, Teije decides to drive back slowly to the village and see if there is a someway to contact the AA.
And we are lucky, there is a pub that is open now. But here too we have no signal for our mobile phone and we explain the situation to the owner and are allowed to use his phone. But we have to stand in the corner of the garden because only there is a weak signal! After calling the AA a couple of times they do not want to pick up the car on a Sunday afternoon, tomorrow morning we are the first they will help. But there is no bus going through this hamlet and there are no places to overnight. So we call the ANWB, the Dutch AA where we have an insurance for help, even when we are abroad. After a lot of calling back and forth, all in the corner of the courtyard, the ANWB manages to persuade the AA to send a truck to take us to Newton Stewart.
But we still have to be patient for a couple of hours and that's how we wait for 6 hours in the pub, where we have something to eat and drink and we talk to the residents, almost all of them English, who tell that this area is being boycotted by the government as far as facilities are concerned. But it is precisely because of that peace and lack of involvement that they came here.
We are being towedAnd finally there is the truck that comes to pick us up. The car is hoisted onto it and the driver drives with a speed of 60 to 80 kilometers per hour on the very narrow road while I watch the car in the side mirror pounding back and forth. In my imagination I see the car getting loose and falling off so we won't have a car anymore. That I am terrified may be a bit exaggerated but it is the most unpleasant car ride I have ever had! When we are dropped off at our house after 45 kilometers, I am very happy that our car, except for a flat tire, is undamaged before the door. Tomorrow morning a garage will bring a new tire. Pfff, that is another adventure I can leave behind.
View from our cottage Our old-fashioned cottageI spend the evening inside in an armchair in the old-fashioned decorated house and Teije is sitting on our porch for a while. Well, that was our umpteenth car trouble in Scotland. Actually, we have that almost every year when we go by car and not just only in Scotland. Tomorrow I will remind the people of the garage to fasten the wheel well!

 


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