Tuesday, March 08, 2016

SCOTLAND'S WINTRY A9 ROAD

The weather forecast was almost, but, not quite as dire as some we have heard before a journey. Nevertheless, if we were going to make the journey we had to travel in daylight.  The forecaster warned that with the temperatures being low, driving conditions could be icy and in addition, there was snow expected on high ground, which would move onto lower ground later on in the day.  It was mid February, daylight hours had increased by four minutes a day since the Winter Solstice, so, that meant we now had a decent chunk of additional daylight time in our favour.
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You Can See The Icy Road Ahead.
Being a Tuesday, we expected to encounter a fair amount of commercial traffic.  Most of the commercial vehicles and some streams of cars were all heading in the opposite direction.  In front here, there was a truck and a tanker.

The road, Scotland's notorious A9 two lane road, is currently governed by average speed cameras. Vehicles of 7.5 tons or more, are restricted to 50 miles per hour.  Overtaking opportunities were limited, unless you thrived on serious risk-taking.  There being no other road north, it meant that domestic and smaller vehicles were forced into slower speeds for much of the time.  You see road signs that tell you 'frustration kills'.

Here we are into the steady upward climb of  'higher ground' as can be seen by the snow-capped hill on the left and the broken white slopes appearing on the right.  Just in case you are wondering, we are on one  of  the sections of dual carriageway on this road.   There are not many.

P1000007-A9-North-3-Wb

Still, onward and upwards.....
Climbing Higher
Climbing Higher still

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Mucky Windscreen.
 
Then clarity.......The snowy  marshmallow pillows were lovely
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This is my way of climbing peaks, using four wheels.

Mucky Windscreen
The dual carriageway at this point is on two levels.  In the right corner, you can just see a bit of the upper level.
 
 We caught a heavy bout of 'lower ground weather' as forecast, just after a quick, a very quick lunch stop; me darting in to a road side cafe to buy two coffees to take away.   Here we are driving into 'the weather'. The light and the sky were very threatening  What a difference an hour or two makes to a day.  All that lovely bright light, the gorgeous skies with fluffy clouds, had totally disappeared
 
 


A few minutes more and we met the weather totally as forecast, we were well and truly in it, a mix of snow and sleet and  very subdued daylight.


The rest of the journey, the last hundred miles or so, was punctuated by more  heavy wind-driven snow and sleet. But, it was still daylight when we reached journey's end.  We'd done it!



5 comments:

zalandeau said...

We say :

" Quel temps de merde ! " :)

Jennyta said...

Your A9 sounds very like some (most) of the roads around north Wales!

ZACL said...

Hi Jennyta,

It's good to hear from you.

I have driven on a few North Walian roads, fortunately mostly in good weather. Indeed, there are many similarities. I was glad to be on a bus tour once, when visiting Ben Nevis in The Western Highlands, on which occasion, it was shrouded in heavy mists. The Grampians can be 'interesting' too.

Kate Braithwaite said...

Beautiful photos

ZACL said...

Hello Kate,

Thank you.

Iwas experimenting witha pocket camera and was very surprised and pleased with the resullts. What Isaw, was what the camera was able to repeesent, which, is not always the case.
:)