Thursday 1 June 2017

Rogue Runners 2017 Day 4 - Southern Loop

Day 4 & back into England. We crossed the border at the high point I’ve crossed at a number of times. There’s a couple of monoliths (lumps of rock) engraved “England” on the Scottish side & “Scotland” on the English side. We took some commemorative photos & looked on in awe as a bloke drove the length of the layby on the pavement, before getting out & opened the boot of his car in much the same way as an “Ealing films” wartime spiv might open his raincoat to reveal watches of dubious provenance. This chap however (suitably kilted) was offering all manner of “Scottish” (made in China) memorabilia, from green flocked, smiling Loch Ness monsters, to tartan baseball caps.
The sun was now warming up nicely as we swept along the wide winding roads of Northumberland, the route was intended to take us on a circular trip, but having driven 15 scenic miles alongside the River Coquet, we had to turn round & drive 15 miles back. At least it was scenic.

After that we headed up the wide & gloriously sweeping roads up to Hartside Summit for lunch – we thought. But the water was off so the café was closed - as were the toilets. It was as I was driving down into the valley that the engine stopped, I pulled over & turned the ignition off & back on again, realised the fuel pump wasn’t running & switched that off & back on. It came back to life, the engine started & I drove off.
Then it did it again.
It was while I was at the side of the road this second time that I was passed by the last two Rogue runners, fortunately the engine started & I was able to accelerate into radio range & send out a Mayday. When Matt stopped I told him what was going on, we pushed the car up a bank to gain access to the underside & I soon found that an electrical terminal had broken.

After an awkward struggle I lashed up a temporary fix & we set off. But that was not to be the end of the drama. We had missed a fuel stop. Matt pulled over & drained a gallon can into his car as my fuel gauge entered the red. I looked up the next garage on route – 35 miles – no chance. I looked up the closest garage & the only one that looked like it might be 24 hours was 18 miles, that should be OK, so we drove quite carefully with the satnav counting down the miles until at zero we found the ruined & rust encrusted wreck of a filling station that obviously closed down some years ago – Ah!
Fumbling with the Sat Nav again, it suggested there was a garage in another 12 miles. Fortunately a lot of that was down hill & we both made it to the pumps. But it was a pretty close run thing.

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