We set off on schedule at around 7.30 . Initially made good time stopping a couple of times. Mostly free flowing traffic with a couple of sticky bits.
We were about 50 miles from the Scottish border when the van started to handle strangely. We stopped and checked all the tyres but all were fully inflated. We set off again but it became increasingly difficult to handle so we stopped again. The rear wheel was red hot and smoking. We thought it was a seized brake. We called the AA and dutifully waited beside the motorway.
It was a beautiful day with bright sunshine but we were without shade. So we had to negotiate a path to some shade whilst keeping the van in view.
Gordon was not coping with the heat.
We had an audience who kept us company and on our toes as we swatted away the horse flies they delivered.
If you had to break down on a motorway this was probably the nicest stretch as the M6 wind's it's way through Cumbria.
So after 2 or so hours the recovery vehicle turns up. His initial joviality rapidly changed to horror as he assessed the situation. He made us sign a waiver as the van was so dangerous he could not guarantee its safety. He explained that the wheel bearing had disintegrated and if we had driven any further the wheel would have come off. We would have been travelling at 60mph along the motorway in a top heavy vehicle it would not have ended well. It certainly has not helped with Raes motorway anxiety!
Oh and the very helpful motorway traffic officer had stopped just before the recovery vehicle and told me that I had 2 hours to move the vehicle or I would have to remove it myself?? I have no idea what I was supposed to do and he couldn't or wouldn't enlighten me.
We were towed to Tebay service station and with help of his colleague they very slowly disembarked the van.
We can stay in the service station for free until the next leg of our recovery journey begins.
It must be one of the most picturesque service stations in the country. Duck pond with dozens of ducklings. Great dog walk and stunning views.
At the time of writing we are estimated a pick up at 12 midnight but that would seem unlikely.
Luckily we have our bed with us so we should be able to weather the storm. Ideally a morning pick up would suit.
We have arranged for the local garage to attend the site on Monday so with a bit of luck we should be back on track by then.
On reflection it does seem a little strange that something so serious can happen to a vehicle with little or no warning. The recovery guys said it happens quite often and there's no real way of checking!
Oh well tomorrow is another day and we live to tell the tale. At least it wasn't raining that would have made everything a whole load worse.