I had originally planned to take a long route via A939 and A82 to Glasgow. However since there was a severe rain front coming in from the West I skipped the A939 part and went south from Drumnadrochit. I took a slight detour via the road towards Skye but otherwise took more or less the quickest route.
Traffic was okay until a few miles before Fort William. There was no real reason for the congestion other than a roundabout with lots of traffic. Still I lost about half an hour there. Since I was looking for ways to kill time this was only half bad.
The rain had started shortly after leaving my apartment, but as far as rain goes it was more of a light drizzle.
On the way to Glasgow the A82 still proved to be the most beautiful road I have ever driven, especially the part east of Glencoe. Further east on a part I hadn't driven before I encountered a parking place with a short footpath leading to a beautiful waterfall - pictures will follow soon.
I finally arrived in Glasgow in a surprisingly dry state (my cheapass rain protection really worked!) at 18:30. I killed the final half hour to my check in with a light dinner at a nearby pub (The Duchess at Duke Street).
I left Glasgow in the dry but the rain started soon after reaching the M77. And what a rain it was! I had planned to go along the coast in the Lake District to reach my destination in Broughton in Furness. Since the rain turned from water to cats and dogs, I quickly readjusted the route and skipped all intermediate waypoints. This of course led to my satnav routing me via some "interesting" roads. You see, my satnav assumes an average speed of 10 kph below the speed limit. However in Britain the speed limit does not reflect the speeds that one can actually drive on the roads. Even in normal conditions the pass I eventually reached could only be driven with maybe 70 kph.
However it was raining cats and dogs and the drainage systems on those roads could as well be nonexistent. On the positive side: I learned quickly how to was through 10cm of standing water with my bike. And those 10cm are not an exaggeration: There were waves in the pools of water, Landrovers were only doing 20 kph there and I once managed to get the parting wave in front of my bike over my windscreen and onto my helmet.
Already on Friday my tablet/satnav took some water damage. It worked more or less until I reached my destination although in the end sometimes water drops would cause it to register a touch input which would in extreme cases close the satnav app and open the dictionary (with voice guidance still working in the background).
In the apartment on Friday evening the water finally made its way into the volume down button, pressing it constantly, and finally into the power button. This set the tablet to a constant reboot loop...
I opened the tablet that evening to let it dry on the inside and behold, it was working again the next morning!
The raining cats and dogs then came on Saturday. The problems with the tablet manifested some 40 km before reaching my destination and in the end I gave it up and switched over to the phone. I left it in the relatively dry inside pocket of my tank bag and used just voice guidance. Promptly the app crashed without me realising it in time. Google Maps was not an alternative since I had no mobile reception. So I restarted the app, memorised the rest of the way and got on my way. In fact the app did not crash again and voice guidance did lead me to my destination where I was greeted first by some dogs and soon after by Jen, who saved my life by providing me with milk and bread so I didn't have to drive shopping that day again. My current apartment is a lovely cottage at a working farm, two miles from the nearest settlement and pub and eight miles from the nearest village.
The final damage assessment is as follows:
- Tablet works again, although I somehow mechanically broke the MicroSD card containing the map data. Luckily I have WiFi and a spare MicroSD card with me
- Phone: Broken touch screen, and it thinks that the headphone is connected although it is not.
- Everything else seems to be okay
I will give my phone until the middle of the week. If it does not work by then I will probably buy a replacement phone to be delivered to the post office in Bielefeld university where I can collect it on Monday next week. I found some people with the same problem online. For a few it worked again after a few days. Some others were apparently successful by putting the phone in pure alcohol to remove the residual water. I might try that in the coming days if I can find some cleaning alcohol in the shops nearby.
With my phone gone I am no longer reachable via WhatsApp. For those with an urgent need to contact me, please use Skype chat which I set up on the tablet.