NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME (WITH PHOTOS)

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Jarrow Pete
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NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME (WITH PHOTOS)

Post by Jarrow Pete »

Left hotel on Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides at 6am Thursday morning to catsh the 7.30am ferry to Uig on the Isle of Skye.
Ferry sailed on time but the two hour crossing took nearly four due to a force 10 gale. The drive home from Uig to Jarrow usually takes 8 to 9 hours going via Fort William and Glen Coe to Glasgow. Set off at noon and within 2 miles hit the snow and crawled along at 10mph in white out conditions, it then came over the radio that Glen Coe was closed due to snow drifts. I then headed for Inverness intending to go from there through the Cairngorns to Perth, putting an extra 60 miles on journey, got through Inverness and headed south down the A9 only to find the snow gates shut at Aviemore with a mile of stationery traffic waiting in 2 feet of snow. After 4 hours of waiting was informed by Police that we all had to turn round and head back the 40 miles to Inverness as snow ploughs would not attempt to clear road till daylight on Friday morning. Booked in hotel at Inverness at 10pm and went to bed. Got up this morning and after breakfast headed back onto A9 for the 280 mile journey to Jarrow, due to overnight snow found road closed 2 miles from Inverness and Police warned it would be closed till at least lunch time as they had fourteen feet deep snow drifts in places ( it eventually opened at 3pm). I then decided to head for Aberdeen and then down the coast to Perth making a 160 mile detour. Got as far as Keith and found Aberdeen road blocked with snowdrifts, after about an hours wait police organised a convoy behind 2 snowploughs to get us over the hills to Huntly and then to Aberdeen.I eventualy arrived home at 7.30pm tonight. In 40 years of doing this job this is the worst snow I have seen,the Scottish highlands were for a time completly cut off by road,rail and air.Will put some photos up in morning when daughter comes in from work and loads them on pc for me.
Last edited by Jarrow Pete on Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tweedlady
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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by Tweedlady »

GOODNESS ME PETE!!!WHAT BAD LUCK!BUT,AS LONG AS NOW YOU'RE HOME!!!BLESS! :)

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by Globalmyths »

Crikey now I know what it means to be snowed under. You were not only snowed under but nearly buried under as well. But all joking aside I am glad to hear that you made it back home safely to your family.
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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by wong »

Wow, what a nightmare Pete. Amazing amount of snow there must have been. Glad you made it home safely.
Oh Well, just a bit longer ...sigh !

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by andysfootball »

look on the bright side pete

at least the snow was british

and white !
STAY CALM AND SANDDANCE ON

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by sherri »

Good grief. That does sound like a nightmare!
Mind you, in the conditions you described, I probably would have packed it in and booked a hotel in Inverness when I first arrived there or even returned to Glascow right at the start.
But you weren't to know what was ahead and you are probably used to driving in tough conditions.
Glad to hear you eventually got through okay and are home safely, that is the main thing.
It is hard to imagine from here, where the weather has been lovely over the last week. Hard to imagine having to drive through ice and snow. The global warming must be really kicking in, hey? :wink:
Look forward to the photos.

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by danet »

Now that exhausted me just reading it. I could not imagine what it would be like to be snowed under, me living in a high risk bush fire prone area. So vastly different. And talking of extremes, that latest earthquake in Chile, being about 8 on the rictor scale, there's a tsunami warning for the coast of Australia, particularly Queensland :shock: I would hate to have one of them million dollar plus homes on on them canals being at water level :shock: .....head for the hills I say!
In fact, probably where I am standing in the pic below....is well above sea level :D


http://www.news.com.au/world/massive-ea ... 5835091246

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by Globalmyths »

With all that extra travelling how much fuel did you have left in your tank by the time you got home?
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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by anna »

what a mission Pete :shock:
look forward to seeing the photos tho :wink:

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by Jarrow Pete »

first attempt,had to delete.
Last edited by Jarrow Pete on Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by Jarrow Pete »

Following photos taken on A9 Thursday while heading South for Perth
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Following photos heading back to Inverness as Snow gates closed overnight and Police would not let anyone stay in vehicles overnight.
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Photos taken Friday on A96 heading East for Aberdeen.
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In convoy behind 2 snowploughs.
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Last edited by Jarrow Pete on Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by Jarrow Pete »

Globalmyths wrote:With all that extra travelling how much fuel did you have left in your tank by the time you got home?
Filled up in Inverness Thursday with full tank before attempting to get down A9. Even though I had only done 90 miles since previous fill up I topped tank up before attempting to get to Aberdeen. I can usually get 500 miles on a full tank of diesel(60 litres capacity)

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by captain beefheart »

begs the question why did you even set off on your journey when the forcast was warning of severe weather in the area you were going to

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

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captain beefheart wrote:begs the question why did you even set off on your journey when the forcast was warning of severe weather in the area you were going to
Because I have my own business and have a contract with Air BP that in the event of a breakdown of any of their refuelling systems I have to have it repaired within 48 hours. They only have 2 refuelling bowsers at Benbecula Airport and as one had broken down it was classed as an emergency call out.December to March are always bad months in the Highlands for bad weather but this week is the worst I have seen in 40 years doing this travelling. Usually the snow ploughs manage to keep major routes open but the damage this week was caused by the gale force winds blowing the snow back over the cleared roads.

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME (WITH PHOTOS)

Post by anna »

reminds me of when we use to have to drive up to Haggeston Castle in weather like that ..not nice .

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME (WITH PHOTOS)

Post by Globalmyths »

Wonder if the global warming crowd were doing Anti snow dances.
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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME

Post by Globalmyths »

Jarrow Pete wrote:
Globalmyths wrote:With all that extra travelling how much fuel did you have left in your tank by the time you got home?
Filled up in Inverness Thursday with full tank before attempting to get down A9. Even though I had only done 90 miles since previous fill up I topped tank up before attempting to get to Aberdeen. I can usually get 500 miles on a full tank of diesel(60 litres capacity)
Thank you.
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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME (WITH PHOTOS)

Post by Blue... »

Pete, do your radio’s not tell you which roads are open and which are closed?

There should also be updates to your GPS that should get you around the snow with updates of what is open and what is not…
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it's not rocket surgery... :5dunce:

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME (WITH PHOTOS)

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Blue... wrote:Pete, do your radio’s not tell you which roads are open and which are closed?

There should also be updates to your GPS that should get you around the snow with updates of what is open and what is not…
Blue, there are only 3 routes South from Inverness, the first route on the West side of Scotland the A82 is to Fort William, through the pass of Glen Coe down to Glasgow. This was the first route that I heard on the radio that was blocked, I then decided to head across to Inverness to attempt to get South on the A9 through the Cairngorn mountains, the radio was saying that it was passable with care. However when I got 45 miles down it found the snow gates shut, this is not uncommon and it usually means waiting a couple of hours until the snow ploughs clear the road.This time due to the amount of snow and the gale force winds they gave up all hope of reopening road on the Thursday night and announced over the radio that they would have 6 snowploughs on the job at first light. Me and the son were prepared to sit overnight in van as I carry emergency rations,blankets and a kettle for hot drinks plus a full tank of diesel, but the Police wanted road cleared, so we headed back to Inverness and had night in hotel. Friday the radio announced that A9 was closed 2 miles South of Inverness to Pitlochery a distance of over 90 miles. The radio was broadcasting updates every 20 minutes and it said the A96 to Aberdeen was passable with care,so headed across to the East coast of Scotland, Had an hour or so wait at the pass between Keith and Huntly so the Police could organise a convoy to follow 2 snowploughs through the pass.Once I got to Aberdeen travelled home down the East Coast via Edinburgh without any trouble. I have a sat nav in van but was not aware it showed road closures,will have to check that out.

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Re: NIGHTMARE JOURNEY HOME (WITH PHOTOS)

Post by Globalmyths »

If you go on to google youtube you can see American train snow plows clearing the railway lines. In one they had three or four diesel engines in tandem clearing the snow and you can see the front engine get buried in the snow which was so deep and the other engines could not pull themselves and or the buried engine out of the snow drift.
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