2CV Alaska Challenge
March 13-15th 1999 - "Dress Rehearsal"
Trip to the Outer
Loch Ness Dispatch
Loch Ness, Tuesday 16th March 1999.
We made it... on a mere five
litres of petrol we made it across the Harris Mountains yesterday, Monday
morning, but only just... we left Tarbert, Isle of Harris, at 5am, and
drove straight into the teeth of a howling gale. The rain was being hurled
horizontally straight off the ocean; the wind was throwing right and left
hooks; visibility was practically zero as we fought to keep the car on the
narrow mountain road. Yeah Gods, it got so bad that I almost started
Battered, bruised, but still in
one piece, the 2CV staggered into Stornoway just before 6am, where we
discovered that the 6.15 ferry was being delayed because of the bad
weather. A cafe was found, where we huddled over hot mugs of tea and
watched the angry storm through steamed-up windows. The MV Isle of Lewis
finally sailed at 10am. It seems we were lucky: sometimes, when the
weather gets really bad, the ferry can be delayed for 3 days.
After an uneventful crossing we
arrived in Ullapool at 1pm; back on the Scottish mainland, where the rain
still cascaded from the heavens. During the 80 mile drive south to Loch
Ness, sheep became a part of our lives again, but these sheep were much
saner than their Hebridean counterparts, which you can identify by their
wild staring eyes.
The driving rain had started
leaking into the 2CV, through the front ventilation flap, so we used
coffee mugs to collect the streams of water. The suspension on a 2CV gives
it a peculiar rolling motion, which combined with the heavy rain and
streams of water coming into the car made us feel as though we were in a
lifeboat; and talking of lifeboats, Loch Ness is the only loch in Scotland
which has its own dedicated lifeboat service. There was no sign of the
monster, though, and we reckoned that Nessie must have taken a cheap
package tour to Benidorm to escape the weather. By now the rain was
starting to leak through the roof, and the coffee mugs were overflowing.
Jose and I looked at each other: it was time to go home.
Postscript: during the
Outer Hebrides trip our fully-loaded 2CV did nearly 2000 miles, over some
of the roughest roads and through some of the most extreme weather
conditions that can be found in northern Europe. The fuel tank shield was
smashed during the drive across the Harris Mountains, and the car began to
leak water towards the end of the trip, but apart from these things the
car performed perfectly. Citroen 2CV’s never cease to surprise us. They
really are quite amazing cars!
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These Bulletins originally appeared on The 2CV Alaska Challenge web site and remain the copyright of Rob Godfrey.