Thursday, 3 November 2016

Alan and his 1972 Landrover

I've sold my camper van, bought a backpack and gotten rid of most of my possessions. So, after a very quick visit to see my brother on the Isle of Mull it's back to the mainland and time to try out this whole hitchhiking thing. First challenge: 100 miles from Oban to Glasgow.

It's quite a steep climb out of Oban and I'm already starting to think that I should have bought a smaller backpack. I opted for 65 litres and although it's not stuffed full, it's still pretty heavy. I'll have to see how it goes but I can definitely see myself discarding a few items along the way. 

Once you're out of Oban it's a pretty fast road with lots of bends so not really very good for thumbing down a lift. Thankfully there is a good pavement and after about a mile I found a spot where vehicles could potentially pull in to pick me up. It didn't take too long as after about 15 minutes an older man with his dog pulled up in a van. He was only going a mile down the road but I took the lift anyway and he dropped me off at a large bus stop where it would be easier for cars to pull in. 

Another 20 minutes and my second lift of the day pulled up. Another local only going another 4 miles down the road but progress is progress! This took me to Connel and he dropped me off at another bus stop. After 15 minutes here I realised that half of the passing vehicles were turning off to go a different direction from the way that I wanted to go so I walked another 1/2 mile down the road to the other side of the village. It took 40 minutes at this spot but eventually Alan pulled up.

Alan is another local in his late fifties and he drives a 1972 Land Rover that he's owned and loved for over 20 years. He took great delight in telling me it's history, how he'd replaced the engine, what all the different levers do and how he'd been given the choice a few years ago between his girlfriend and the Land Rover. He chose the Land Rover.

It was a great journey and I was very thankful to Alan for stopping. He wasn't quite going all the way to Glasgow but as far as Paisley which is a short 15 minute train ride in to Glasgow. I think this was a good start to my hitchhiking attempts and it only cost me £1.40 to buy him a coffee at the Green Welly Stop in Tyndrum and £3 for the train. Considerably less than the £20 bus ticket from Oban to Glasgow!

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