Scotland Day 15: The End of the Journey


Scotland 2022 | 2nd. April: Balloch to Newton Abbot

My last day in Scotland, quite possibly for a very long time. I feel sad about that but I have had a great trip and feel I have got to know Scotland pretty well. At the moment it is hard to believe that I will be home in about 12 hours, putting the heating on, getting all my baggage into the bungalow and… who knows? It seems likely that, tired though I will be, I will get one load of washing in the machine after I get home. How’s that for back home with a bump.

The Journey Home

My car talks to my iPhone and records every trip I take, so I can see exactly how many miles I went between stops, how much fuel I used, what my mpg was – and see everywhere I stopped on a map! The marvels of modern technology…

09:38 Set off from Balloch
10:39 First stop: Cairn Lodge Services: excellent lorne sausage, bacon and sausage roll with very good coffee. I recommend this stop.
14:08 Second stop: Knutsford Services for coffee/toilets; poor – not recommended.
16:31 Third stop: Gloucester Services: very good; bought a loaf of bread – would like to have bought a lot more but couldn’t really afford it. Coffee, egg & cress sandwich, toilet. Recommended.
18:39 Fourth stop: Tesco Garage at Collumpton for petrol only – and they were on the verge of having none left!
19:11 Fifth stop: Kingsteignton Co-op for shopping: milk, pizza, etc.
19:22 HOME.

Total: 475 miles


As soon as we arrived home the three of us unpacked the car and said good night. We each had a lot to do.

I got the heating on and the shopping into the fridge. I started unpacking and managed to get a load of clothes into the washing machine in next to no time. In fact, unpacking was completed rapidly and I was surprised at how much energy I had. It was not long before I was reasonably settled and warming up a can of oxtail soup. The soup was truly dreadful so I shall not be buying Heinz again; the Baxter’s equivalent is far superior. I shall have to use the three remaining cans in stews to disguise the taste.

I watched one television programme but did not enjoy it. It would seem that, for the time being at least, I have lost interest in television. I think that is not a bad thing?

I reflected on what a great trip it had been – and how I wish I was still in Scotland. I was sensing unfinished business.

Travel Companions

Somewhere along the journey Wendy asked me if I had enjoyed the company of my travelling companions. They were acutely aware that this was a trip I had been planning for some time, and certainly since before Covid. It was to be a personal odyssey undertaken as soon as possible after my retirement, where I would have the luxury of time to spend as many weeks away as it took. As it took to do what?

In all honesty I am not entirely sure of the answer to that, although I knew I felt compelled to undertake the journey and was drawn to the north of Scotland. I would have enjoyed a personal journey but, in answer to Wendy’s question, I was very glad to have travelling companions. This had become a very different kind of journey and one full of shared experiences and a great many laughs.

I am a bit of a comedian at heart and I know Tim is as well. The banter between us in the car would have been worthy of a highly amusing series of comedy sketches for the BBC or Channel 4. However, our only audience was Wendy in the back of the car, and I think she enjoyed it.

Anyway, the journey has finally caught up with me so I am off to bed. It is 22:15. I have a feeling I will sleep for a long time…

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