Sunday, 13 June 2010

Home - for me at least.  Sandy should be in Dunfermline shortly.

One of Sandy's friends, Sid met us in Innerleithen most unexpectedly and we retired to the Whistle Stop Cafe for lunch.  We had made good time and got there shortly after 11.30 where we waited for Bill and Pete who were going to accompany us back over the hills towards Edinburgh.  Bill turned up shortly afterwards - Pete was still a bit away so we decided to meet him on the way up the road.  It was great to have the company.  The rain had pretty much stopped by this point as well.

This is the section of road where Pete and I met the naked rambler a few years ago.  He was on his way to John O'Groats - although it took him a bit longer than we are planning.  Partly because he spent so much time in the cells along the way.  I should think he got a bit cold if the wind were anything like we experienced coming over Shap.

A couple more steady climbs and descents and we were on the mostly downhill stretch into Bonnyrigg on route 1.  There we were met by Sandy's sister and family.  We chatted with them for a few minutes.  At this point Pete took his leave since he lives just up the road from here and the three of us continued on into Edinburgh, arriving at my house just after 3.30.  I dumped my paniers and guided Bill and Sandy the first section towards the cycle path and then came home to see the family and try and book the train back from the North of Scotland next Saturday.  We had delayed doing this because of not being certain what day we would make it.

This turned out to be a bit of a nightmare.  Finding phone numbers on websites was the first challenge - got through to a foreign sounding gentleman who was less than helpful - when I spelled Thurso he thought I meant Thirsk.  Hmmm....Tried a different train company and got through to the same guy.  Then tried booking directly on East Coast trains site where it seems you can book bike spaces on line.  Only availability appeared to be Thurso at 06:48 a.m.  Sandy is going to hate me for that - but needs must.  Confirmation email has no mention of any bike booking - so if there is any problem there is going to be some major aggravation at Thurso station early next Saturday morning.

Now it's bath, washing, food, bike fixing and maybe football watching time.

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