Sept 11 – Bankend to Gretna to Glencaple and back to Bankend
Things didn’t quite go to plan today. Because we booked in to Hutton Lodge for two nights, I wanted to use today to visit the Devil’s Porridge Museum in Eastriggs. It didn’t happen.
Driving around on an inflate-a-spare, limited to 50 miles and 50 mph, didn’t allow much leeway. We’d already driven the day before and would be again later to go for supper, although we hoped for a resolution long before then.
We didn’t dare leave the B&B either because that would be the time the tyre fitter would arrive.
The phone calls started again about 10:00 am. Phone the rental company, they say phone roadside assistance. Call roadside assistance, they say call the rental company. Send an email to the girl who rented us the car. Out of office message.
Things continued this way. The last words the recovery guy said the previous day “tyre fitter will be out by noon”. According to their computer system, he made the repair on the side of the road near Shawhead. Nope. Didn’t happen.
Finally, the ‘ace in the hole’ was played. American Express says no resolution – no payment. That got things moving. They were sending someone out with a new car.
About 4:30, I heard the rumble of a diesel lorry outside the B&B. Sure enough it was the ‘real’ recovery vehicle. He shook his head over the entire situation, but loaded Iain Insignia onto the rollback ready to drive us to Glasgow Airport to get us a replacement vehicle.
While all this happened, a phone call came in from an associate with the rental company branch in Carlisle. He was bringing us a new car and would an automatic be all right.
Recovery driver took the call and the two agreed that rather than float the car all the way back to the airport, we’d rendezvous at the Gretna Gateway Outlet Village.
Resolution closer but not there yet. When we rendezvoused, guy from Carlisle wanted a credit card# to pay for the full tank of fuel in the replacement vehicle. Nope. We paid for a full tank on the first car and only drove it 130 miles. He, too, shook his head over replacing the car over a flat tyre.
Once all the paperwork was completed, and I signed on the dotted line(s), we took possession of a black Ford Mondeo, which in North America is a Ford Fusion. I drove the exact same car to my book launch for A Shadow in the Past in Kansas back in 2012, but that’s another story.
Iain Insignia – starting mileage 3490 miles (almost brand spanking new!)
Iain Insignia – ending mileage 3620 miles
The Ford Mondeo – starting mileage 51403 miles (been around the block a few times)
It was late and we were hungry, so we drove straight to the Nith Hotel for supper. Rather than risk setting off another car alarm, we drove in the same direction the car faced and drove past Caerlaverock Castle and through the hamlet of Shearington on our way back to Hutton Lodge.
The day wasn’t a total waste. I had haggis (award winning no less) with my bacon and eggs at breakfast, got some blog work completed, and some manuscript formatting done, but it wasn’t the way I wanted to spend the second day in Scotland.