Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Up at 04:15 leaving Hilary asleep and made myself a cuppa. Checked on-line for the weather forecast in Edinburgh and for tomorrow in Wick. Both quite good, thankfully. Also checked emails and forums.

Woke Hilary at 04:45 and made us both a cuppa.

Breakfast of bacon and egg, and then final packing, wash and shave, then Hilary drove me up to Gunnislake station for the 06:57 for Plymouth. We parted with me eager for the off. We waved as she drove away. On the train there seemed to be no ticket collector! The train filled up with commuters, and I sat there waiting to pay - but no-one wanted any money! That saved £5.00 or so ....

At Plymouth, I entered the concourse area and queued up for the Fast Ticket machine. Fast? When there’s a queue? Ha Ha.

Ticket in my hand, I phoned Hilary to let her know all was well, and made my way over to Platform 7 for the 07:25 to Edinburgh and went to the waiting room with a cuppa from the kiosk. It was only 06:50, so I had a half-hour wait for the train. I turned on my little radio and caught the weather forecast and then the news.

I boarded the Cross Country train, found my seat at D24 and made myself comfortable. As we left, the carriage was quite empty, but filled up by the time we made it to Exeter. By Cheltenham, it was packed but emptied out again at Brum and rather quiet thereon.

Not quiet with people on their phones! Especially a chap right behind me on his phone constantly and in a loud voice too all the way from Newcastle. The un-ashamed and un-embarrassed way these folk do this on their phones completely mystifies me.

I dipped in and out of my Danny Wallace book, and stared out at the passing scenery, working up an appetite for my lunch. Hilary had assembled a pile of stuff to see me through all the way to Wick and picked away at it through the afternoon. I bought a cuppa from the buffet trolley a couple of times.

For the record, the train seemed to call at all the stations on the rail network:-
Newton Abbot
Exeter St Davids
Tiverton Parkway
Bristol Temple Meads
Cheltenham Spa
Birmingham New Street
Wakefield Westgate

We arrived at Edinburgh a good ten minutes early, and I wended my way out onto Princess Street, and turned right down to Leith Walk. 20 minutes after leaving the station, I was checked in, I’d paid a quid for an hours WiFi, and dumped my stuff on a bottom bunk in room 217.
........... then it was straight over the road to the Windsor Buffet for three pints of Deuchars IPA and back to the hostel to phone Hilary, shower, and on-line with you lot!

More to come tomorrow evening when I make it to Wick.

TTFN from Bonnie Scotland,


  1. Good to hear the alternative travel plan is working out okay Mick, despite putting up with other peoples mobile phone conversations! (IPod?)

    I bet you can't wait to be reunited with your steed in Wick - good luck with getting the ride underway asap :>)

  2. Glad you had an uneventful trip and everything went smoothly :-)

  3. Hello Mick,
    I finally found your blog.
    We shared a room in Inverness, but not the toasts... I see that you are going very strong. Very impressive.
    The Frenchy has now completed his first cycling tour in north of scotland (700 miles in 8 days) and really enjoyed it (on a traditional bike that was though...).
    All the best for the rest of the journey. You are a true inspiration. I hope that somehow you have got used to that weird saddle...)
    Best Regards
    Christophe Vaissiere