Apr. 15th, 2015

akienm: (Default)
I remember driving from Wick, up the A99, to John O' Groats. It was a really lovely drive. We were going well below the speed limit, something like 45, because we were just looking around so much. Several times, I had pulled off to the left to let folks pass.

It was something like 4 in the afternoon. We were 2.6 miles (as the crow files) short of John O' Groats (the farthest northeast point of the British mainland). A place called Granton Cottage, just south of Everly, just north of Tofts. I pulled to the left to let someone pass. We had maybe 6" of the car out on the street, because the available space was so narrow. I had kind of pulled into the driveway just a little between the mile markers or reflectors or whatever they are. Here, see for yourself

The vehicle behind us went by, and we stopped to look at the map. While we were doing that… CRASH! We're both thrown forward.

We were hit by a woman who could just barely see over the dash, who had very thick glasses, who have the impression of nearly complete bafflement, and looked to be slightly older than god.

Her car was totaled. Ours was crunched on one side. The police were amazing. The police in the UK seem to use cell phones instead of police radios… At least, that was true way out there in the boonies. Police here are often hard professionals. The police there really wanted to help.

The cop told her he wouldn't charge her if she'd hang up her keys. I am not kidding.

The cop also called the insurance company for us, and tried to describe to the guy where we were. The guy on the other end said "well, can they get to London before the shops close?", "No they can't get to London by 6, do you have any idea where we're talking about?", "How about Manchester?" "NO!, they probably can't even get to Edinburgh before the shops close!", "Where's that?". Much more hilarity (from our perspective) ensued. Eventually they worked out that the car was still drivable, and that it'd just be dealt with "later". The call ended with the cop telling the insurance person to "Next time, GET A MAP!".

After that, the cop borrowed duct tape from the tow truck driver, and he and I taped up the fender "well enough". We were on our way again.

The police report said almost nothing. There was an accident here, on this date, at this time, between these people. Before the trip, we had asked Discover if the insurance would cover us, they said yes. However Discover didn't cover auto rentals in the UK at the time, and since we hadn't saved the name of the person who told us that, we were SOL.

This is a *mildly* amusing in retrospect memory

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Akien MacIain

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