Put me in a luxurious beach hotel under a palm tree and I will die of boredom. Going on road trips is what I like. Especially with the family : nothing quite as intense and fun, as spending days in a row in a car with your kids.
Of course being on the road for long hours does have it risks. Calculated risks, I suppose, but still risks. Traveling on gravel roads through Patagonia, for instance, requires 2 spare tires. You never know when your tire will run flat and you know even less when you will be able to get it fixed or replaced. We had 3 flat tires in 40 days. Apart from the expense of buying a new one, there is not much to it, it certainly makes you fluent in changing the wheel. 40 minutes the first time, less then 10 for the last. God knows how fast we would become the 4th or 5th time.
But that was in Argentina, a country that is -after all- still a third world country. Patagonia even being cut off from the world. You can drive hours without seeing a living soul. No cell phone reception. Pure adventure.
So we thought we’d try a road trip in the first world. First of all I had to plan every little detail in advance -so unlike me- but well, it had to be done : it’s almost an impossible task to find places to stay for 5 people in a country like Scotland. Some days our schedule is tight, because we just couldn’t find a place at the right distance.
And then the inevitable happened. Flat tire. How fun that is in these cars of today that don’t come with spare tires. Instead, they come with a phone number. A number you must call when you run flat, a free service comes to help you out. First of all you need cell reception for that, which is on and off here in northern Scotland. Eventually we got hold of them, and the administration process could start. A calls B who then calls C to say that D will eventually come and tow the car, which will be brought to E and then be brought back to us more then 24h later. Twenty four hour later. Meanwhile, -4 hours after the tire ran flat- we are brought a replacement car, half the size of ours, where the 5 of us or stowed in together with som of our luggage, so we can get to our B&B we have booked for tonight.
Living in a third world country teaches you to be patient. Patience you need when you run flat in the first world. A flat tire. What a terrible waste of time!