7th August 2010 - We had finished Lands End to John O'Groats, but still had to get home. It was too much to get home in one day, so we had decided to get the train from Thurso to Aberdeen (5 hours), and then the following day taking the fast train (fewer stops) from Aberdeen to Kings Cross, taking 9 hours. As it was the weekend there wasn't the option to take the Abeerdeen sleeper train. We also had a 1 hour cycle to Thurso. So in all it was a good decision. It also gave us the chance to go out in Aberdeen and finally have more than one or two beers with some spicy Thai food. We had a great night out watching a live (and slightly anti-English) band.
Frustrations had finally boiled over during the Thurso to Aberdeen train journey, a combination of being in each others pockets for 14 days, tiredness, and simply wanting for our normal routines. A few things were said that shouldn't have been, so the night out and drinks helped release some of the tension and soften emotions.
The next morning was quite straight forward, although I got us up 1 1/2 hours too early for our train. Oops. This meant sitting in the cold Aberdeen train station playing cards. That and the Glen Coe booking were the only major screw-ups so it was largely well organised. Once we could get on our train we realised the train company had got it all wrong in allowing 9 bikes to be booked when there are only 3 spaces.
We had booked our tickets way in advance (around 3 months), which could be seen on our tickets. 3 of the 9 though claimed they had reservations, but didn't have them with them (surprise, surprise). I was annoyed by this, and the way it was handled. As we were getting off at London they put us in the storage carriage and wouldn't let us lock the bikes. There was no strapping or way to tie the bikes down so we had to wedge them in as best as possible. Thankfully once we arrived in London all was ok, but in future I'll probably kick up more of a fuss. Big thumbs down at ScotRail there (and thumbs up for Great Western). We were all home by 5pm, glad initially, but I've since really grown to miss the trip. It's also taken me 3-4 months to write all the blog entries!