Thursday, April 04, 2013

Driving, Distillery & Directions!

There are two kinds of drivers in the world - ones who drive with maps and ones who drive with a GPS (and you thought the ones who ask for directions, and ones who don't, eh?!). My husband (P) belongs to the former and his brother (referred to as G for the rest of the post) belongs to the latter.

Just as we entered Scotland
Flash back to a holiday in Scotland in 2006. We'd gone to Liverpool to meet my brother-in-law and his family (especially our new-born niece). G, P, my 5 year old nephew U and I decided to get out of my sister-in-law's hair and go on a 5 day trip. P and I of course wanted to map our route and plan the journey, G waved us off saying his trusty GPS Mr.T would show us the way brilliantly.

Around the first bend in our drive

And off we went.... after a couple of days of traipsing around castles and lochs, looking for Princesses, Crown jewels and monsters, we decided we ought to go visit a distillery. After all, we were in Scotland! We chose the Isle of Skye (home to famous Talisker) in the inner Hebridges area of Scotland. Now to get there we went early in the morning drove into a ferry and with the car, crossed a small channel from Fort William to Mallaig.

Lovely weather, lovelier Heather (couldn't resist that!)
We drove into a bright sunny morning on the Isle (in July). Beautiful meadows, heather everywhere (and I recommend a holiday there, just to see miles and miles of purple, lavender, mauve and all shades between blue and pink.... breathtaking!) a stiff wind, but hey, we were in Scotland. Stopped to take pic after pic after pic, till my nephew got thoroughly bored and demanded a LONG drive. We had initially planned a trip to the Talisker distilllery, but discovered on the ferry that kids under 8 had limited access during the tour. So we just wandered around. Mr.T was quite upset by our sudden turns and twists and stops, but he coped valiantly as we were still heading in the same direction.We just drove in the Cuillin area, admiring the view. When we were thirsty, we drank Coke and the sheer beauty kept us going. U drank lots of Coke too....... and THREW UP! All over the car.

The clouds crept up in a matter of seconds!
The story changed now.The weather changed in a jiffy to dark, foreboding and rainy! (Scottish weather, remember) We had planned to drive back via the Kyle of Lochalsh, a beautiful bridge over the straight via Inverness, back to Fort William for the night. But with a now sick and moaning child, we decided to go back via the ferry.... which shut at 5.45 p.m...... and the time now was 5.10 p.m. G had had enough and wanted his son to feel better ASAP, so he drove like a madman to try and get to the ferry. We had no time to re-program Mr.T.

Mr.T started panicking... and HOW!! I still laugh at the directions it gave. "Turn back NOW". "You are going the wrong way.". "There is no left turn ahead."  At one point when its GPS must've read that we were over 20 miles from our original, it sadly intoned "Your destination is not this way. Turn back. Turn back. Turn back". Imagine a child groaning, a worried father driving fast, a terrified brother cautioning his brother to drive slower, a hungry me and a totally panicking GPS! And we had no time to turn it off (it required a password et al, which only my b-i-l knew). It was bleating piteously until we almost reached Fort William, when U began howling "Dad, please don't take me somewhere else, I want to go to the hotel. I promise I'll be a good boy. Mr.T loves us, he doesn't say wrong things. Please take me back!"

To date, we tease my nephew (now a teenager) much to his mortification on how he pleaded for us to listen to Mr.T! And the Talisker distillery tour? Just remains on the to-do list.... another day.... another trip! Slainte Mhath


  1. Today is a day for enjoyment - every post I read is fun. You took me on a journey with that GPS. oh lol.

  2. lol
    the GPS Fiascos .
    Imagine how it is to drive in *INDIA* using GPs. no proper roads , turns and estimated time is always wrong. we once thot we will hire an auto and ask him to follow us and pay him as we were lost at india gate. There r many circles and it was Bloody confusing :D

  3. That was some fun journey! Enjoyed travelling with you and Mr T :)

  4. That Scotland holiday looks awesome!

    Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  5. Hilarious read ! I never trust GPS. I rather go by my own instinct !

  6. That was fun. I could just visualize the whole scene with Mr.T asking you to 'turn back'! :)

  7. This is fun to read now...but, must have been stressful then. And you painted my imagination and how. Now, I want to go to Scotland...just like the rest of the world I want to visit.

  8. LOL!! That is so funny! Panicked GPS and panicked nephew!

  9. I heard of a lady who drove 900 miles out of her way because she followed the GPS blindly! So you weren't so badly off, huh? :)

  10. OMG! How did I miss this? Howlarious. Though must have been horrible at that point for all of you.

    I lol'd every twist and turn.