Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The beginning

I’d signed up for the Moffat to Peebles Pre-Challenge event, so Thursday night saw some last minute packing and re-packing so that I could catch the Inverness train at 9.07am. We were at the station in plenty of time, just as well as, when I tried to collect my ticket from the machine, I hadn’t got the collection reference number with me, doh! The nice little man in the ticket office was able to retrieve my tickets, so my journey began.

On arrival at Inverness, I trotted off to M & S for lunch provisions and a comfort stop before on to Blacks to find a suitable container for my sunglasses.

The queue for the Edinburgh train was truly ridiculous and by the time we were all aboard (quote marks?) the train was running late.

SDC11445 Leaving sunny Inverness behind

The journey was unremarkable, the elderly couple that shared my table were, different, so I gazed out of my window and was rewarded with views of the Cairngorms.

SDC11448 Passing through Aviemore station

I also saw a roe deer having a paddle in a flooded field near Loch Insh, a large flock of swans nearby, buzzards, a seal and eider ducks. All quite lovely.

I managed to get lost trying to get out of Edinburgh station, I don’t visit very often and there’s a lot of work going on with barriers and strange directions, but eventually I found myself on Princes Street and set off for the bus station. Funnily enough, I got lost again, (I don’t know Edinburgh well) but after asking a nice chap the way, found that I was actually going in the right direction, even though I’d taken a slightly circuitous route. Heaven help me on my own, on a hill, with a map and compass…

Laura’s bus was late, but we were soon climbing aboard the number 62 to Peebles. There was much chatting, comparing the contents of our packs and the prospects of the weekend. On arrival at Peebles, we made a quick visit to the sweetie shop and then went off to find the camp site.

SDC11450It was flatter than it looks

When we had all arrived (Mike, Alan, Laura, Judith and Me) we went off to find a pub (I think the location was already known and earmarked…) had beer, popped next door for pizza/pasta and back to the pub for more beer before going back to the tents to sleep it all off.

From this point onwards, someone else was in control, so things were going to run a lot more smoothly.

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