DAY 1. John O’Groats to Glasgow
Picture if you can the scene: it’s 6am, pitch black, -5°and I’m stood down a dark farm track up to my ankles in freshly fallen snow.
Now, imagine a shrieking fat bloke leaping about six feet in the air.
Because that’s exactly happened when, out of nowhere, a shadowy figure carrying a spade over his shoulder appears next to me out of nowhere and looks me up and down without saying a word.
The he hit me with it. No, not the spade (who seriously carries a spade about, by the way?) but a question.
‘Is that the new Nissan LEAF? Nice!’
You see, even John O’Groats – a place that’s about as far in the back of beyond as it’s possible to get – has a thriving community of EV enthusiasts.
And, when you think about it, it’s hardly surprising. Scotland is peppered with closed down filling stations and most towns are blessed with free-to-use charge points courtesy of ChargePlace Scotland.
Even John O’ Groats is on the Ecotricity Electric Highway with its own 50kw CHAdeMO rapid charger.
Now, with my heart rate returning to normal, I began to lose the feeling in my limbs as the mysterious LEAF enthusiast, seemingly impervious to the sub-zero temperatures continued to question me about the car.
Eventually though, I managed to say my goodbyes and hit the open and begin my very snowy and icy drive south.
The LEAF coped brilliantly with the conditions and was a wonderful, comfortable place from which to view the stunning scenery that unfolded in front of me when the sun came up.
I had a plan to take in a five dealerships on day one but actually made only two – the wonderful Dicksons of Inverness and Specialist Cars in Perth – as I spent so much time at the side of the road admiring the incredible views.
You could do the journey much more quickly, I’m sure, but why on earth would you want to.
Today, we’re on a little side mission for Nissan HQ, which will involve yet more of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes. That means putting our dealer tour on hold for the day, but we’re not complaining.
THE EVE OF THE TOUR
NISSAN Insider is hitting the road again…and this time we’re in the all-new Nissan LEAF.
We collected the car this afternoon, pointed it north and drove as far as we could before ending up in the sea.
That’s right, we’re in John O’Groats – the most northerly point in mainland Britain – where tomorrow we’ll embark on a whistlestop tour of the Nissan dealer network.
Our aim is not to break any records. Instead, we want to hear some of the many exciting LEAF stories unfolding across the country as customers take delivery of their new cars.
We’ll be making as many dealer visits as we can as we travel down he spine of the country to Land’s End in Cornwall, some 874 miles away.
We’ve not even started the tour proper yet but already we’ve clocked up more than 200 miles and encountered blizzard conditions, sub-zero temperatures and some fantastically steep Highland roads.
But our LEAF Tekna is more than living up to its ‘Simply Amazing’ billing and we can’t wait to get back behind the wheel.
Here are a few photos of the trip so far but remember to log back on for daily updates on our progress.