Today we decided to go for a picnic. We used to go for loads when we lived in Cowdenbeath, which we now realise was because we wanted to get as far away from that place as possible every weekend. We loved our house and our connected neighbour, but the area had become a breeding ground for idiots. When we moved away we don’t have that problem (yet) so haven’t been picnicking much, but today was the day to change all that.
Pitlochry was the destination; it has a lovely balance of shops, eaty places and tourism, including the hydro-dam and fish ladder, which has a nice café and interactive things for Missy. We got as far as Perth before the traffic started to build up and soon after joining the A9 we saw the traffic ahead stationary. Luckily there was a slip-road to Stanley just before the queue, so got ourselves off there and along the smaller road to Dunkeld. Mrs checked what the issue was on her phone and found the A9 was closed, so we reasoned to continue up to Pitlochry the back way, not realising it was a good 40 minute detour. Regardless it was beautiful scenery and quiet, so arrived in Pitlochry before our boredom set in. We headed straight for the fish ladder, despite a few missteps down the wrong roads.
It’s a nice wee place and Missy was soon twirling all the handles and pushing all the wee buttons, lighting up things that she didn’t know for what reason or care about. The visitor centre is set in a beautiful cantilevered, modern construction overlooking the hydro dam, which we made a move to walk over. The weather was lovely and it’s always interesting to see the brutalist style of the Pitlochry Dam Power Station.
Then the problems started. We ventured back home again via the back-roads as the A9 was still closed, as far as we could tell via social media and the google maps. We got so far before finding that this road too was starting to get seriously congested; all the A9 traffic was being diverted through this route and it was causing absolute havoc, especially as the myriad busses and lorries, unsuitable for this kind of road, tried to squeeze their way along it.
After borderline 50 minutes stationary, Missy announced she needed a poo, so we managed to duck off into a country lane, let Missy do her thing, scoop up the present and decided right then to call it. We headed back. To Pitlochry, or to Dunkeld. Pitlochry won the day for being closest and as we weaved our way back along the very tight B road, we soon hit more traffic, but this time for something a little more serious; someone had managed to get themselves rolled off of the road.
After a monumental effort, including swerving to avoid an angry car coming the other way (and resulting in a bang so loud that I swear the front wheel has cracked in two), we managed to get ourselves back to Pitlochry, parked up near a bar and have ourselves some well earned dinner. Missy was very tired and barely ate her dinner, not helped by my bashing her head off the bench seats as we wiggled our way into them. By the time we had finished our dinner, the A9 was open again, and we made the slow, steady trundle back home again.
It started with the best intentions, had mostly successful points throughout, but overall was a catastrophe of a day. Having literally just arrive back from London after that…incident, I was not ready for another logistical issue, but we had one served up to us big style and luckily, if the front wheel isn’t broken, we made it out pretty much unscathed. Unlike the poor bastard that rolled his car off the road.
You win some. You lose some.