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2CV Alaska Challenge

March 13-15th 1999 - "Dress Rehearsal"
Trip to the Outer Hebrides

Stornoway Dispatch

Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Monday 15th March 1999

Dear Mom:

Petrol, petrol everywhere, but not a drop to put in the car... today, Sunday, we ran out of petrol. Problem being, that the Outer Hebrides is a very religious place and everywhere's closed on the Sabbath day, including petrol stations (in all the excitement, we had overlooked this fact).

We were taking the 6.15am ferry on Monday morning from Stornoway back to the mainland. Stornoway is on the Isle of Lewis, 35 miles to the north. 35 miles..? but without fuel Stornoway might as well have been the dark side of the moon.

Jose and I stood on the side of the road and had a lively debate about the petrol situation. The sheep eyed us curiously. I was just ducking for the fourth time when I remembered that we had a spare can of petrol in the back of the car. This calmed Jose down, and the sheep relaxed a bit. However, there was only 5 litres in the can. Ordinarily, a 2CV would get 40 to 50 miles out of those 5 litres, but our 2CV was heavily laden with a full set of spare parts (including a spare engine, gearbox, transmission system, suspension, etc., etc.), and those 35 miles to Stornoway were across the Harris Mountains, and the road makes even 4WD's take a deep breath.

Jose and I took a deep breath and a period of silence ensued between us. Feeling some need of solitude, I went and sat up on the top of a nearby hill. Three of the sheep followed me, and we all sat in quiet contemplation, gazing at grey rocks and green heather, the streams, lakes and waterfalls, the ever-present sea studded with mysterious islands, the huge sky with its racing clouds, and for a moment there we almost discovered God... the petrol crisis would resolve itself, one way or the other, in the morning.

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These Bulletins originally appeared on The 2CV Alaska Challenge web site and remain the copyright of Rob Godfrey.