The main trunk route from Glasgow to Campbeltown is the A82, which becomes the A83 at Tarbet on the side of Loch Lomond.
For most people who live in Mid Argyll, as we do, this is the best way to reach civilisation without heading for Dunoon and the ferry crossing by Western Ferries from Sandbank to Hunters Quay near Gourock, a costly option if traveling in the motorhome!
On Friday the 12th of May 2017, we set off in the van for the Central Belt for a weekend of visiting relatives and shopping, with the bonus of having a couple of nights away in the van. All was going well until the Rest and be Thankful. Pulling away from the temporary traffic lights near the summit on the downward slope I heard a strange noise and shuddering coming from the back end. Luckily there was a space to draw into on the left to stop and see what the problem was, to find the rear offside tyre had not just punctured, but blown out. The tyre was completely ruined by running on the rim to get off the road as you can see from this picture.
Now comes the tale of woe… We didn’t have breakdown assistance! We had cover via a Bank of Scotland bank account but this lapsed when we opened accounts with Santander. As we had never broken down in the 10 years we have had the van, the plan was to wait until the Insurance Policy was up and get one that included assistance in the UK and Europe. But here we were stuck on the “Rest” at 4pm on a Friday afternoon! The solution – phone Semples garage in Inveraray to come out. Problem = no internet signal to get their phone number! Long story short I managed to get their number and they were out right away (or what passes for right away in Argyll). In the circumstances the call out charge was worth it.
Things could have been much, much, worse as I managed to get the van off the road quite quickly while not losing control. In the above picture you can see the barriers which are protecting anything going over the edge and down a drop of a few hundred feet to the valley floor!
ATS Euromaster in Rutherglen deserve a mention in dispatches for sourcing a motorhome tyre at a few hours notice and fitting it on the Saturday morning.