May 13th – Day 5: We are in Scotland!

We crossed the border at 11:45 this morning on the B6318 at Harelaw – no fanfare, no cheering crowds, just a few sheep. We’ve seen signs warning of red squirrels, toads and deer but no actual red squirrels, toads or deer. We’ve had drivers admire Riley Blue in filling stations (we’ve refuelled twice today) and when we’ve been parked having a break and we heard ‘Nice car Mister!’ from some hoody-wearing lads on BMX bikes – and we’ve turned lots of heads as we’ve roared through villages.

Follow today’s route here: Day 5 Route and see where we’ve obviously missed turnings and driven miles out of our way. We’ve calculated that we added over 30 miles to today’s total, largely due to our driver (me) ignoring or overruling our navigator (Gael). Once again our tracking app has let us down, not recording the whole of the day’s route – we are not impressed!

We have sustained our first LeJoG injury – my right ‘accelerator’ knee has been very painful though an application of Royal Primary Care prescribed anti-inflammatory gel has helped. Perhaps the answer is to press harder and keep my leg straighter…

Huge thanks to Geoff and Christine, at Ashcroft Guest House in Haltwhistle where we stayed last night, for their generous donation to our charities, Geoff is a former fireman and Highways Officer and once owned a MGB-GT whilst Christine liked our three back seat driving Teddy Bears.

Haggis is on the breakfast menu tomorrow morning here at Rosebank House, Blairgowrie – I can’t wait, I love it! Gael, despite being a Scot, doesn’t like it at all.

Yet again, Riley Blue has been brilliant. I am so impressed at the way it has soldiered on and on, day after relentless day, over some of the roughest roads I’ve driven on.

We saw no wild life but Riley Blue has head-butted several thousand bugs.
We are having to clean its windscreen twice a day.

I’ve been making mental notes of what I might do differently next time. A thorough suspension overhaul beforehand is top of the list: rebuilt dampers, new bump stops (and spares of the latter) plus a couple of driver aids: intermittent screen wipe and a head lamp flasher. Apart from those few things, Riley Blue has been perfect for the trip

Tomorrow we head for Dingwall. It’s a day I’m especially looking forward to as our route takes us via Culloden. I shall always remember watching the 1964 BBC production that graphically depicted the brutality of that battle and hope we may have time to visit its site.

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