I have arrived at my departure, redux.

Oban, Thursday, May 11

Once again, I have traveled from Gotham on the Prairie, via London to the start of a new crossing of Scotland. 

Up at 8Am with breakfast in the hotel. While I complained about it earlier, all-in-all the Z Hotel worked out very well. Highly recommended to future TGOC crossings. 

I needed to pick up something from a Boots and while walking down the street I heard someone shout “Thom!” I turned and there was Russ, a crossing friend from last year, looking as regal as always. 

We paid our respects and found out we will be staying at the same hostel on Sunday. Something to look forward to, he can spin a story out of a paper clip.

The Oban train left on time at 11:37AM and it traveled through the most beautiful country. At one point I saw what I thought was a particularly high hill and asked the old guy (old being a relative term) sitting next to me if it was a Munro. He said no it wasn’t but around the next corner is Bin Lomond, the southern most Munro. That is it in the distance.

A Munro is a hill over 3,000 feet (914m). Bin Lomond is 964m. There are 282 (and people argue) Munros in Scotland. There are dozens of people on TGOC who have climbed all of them. 

Arrived in Oban on time at 13:45 (military time is what they use here and I’m going to comply).

After checking in to the hotel, i walked into town for perishable food and gas for cooking. Next off to lunch and what better lunch than fish and chips in the center of the fish and chips universe. 

I opted for the sit in. 

Back to the hotel to repackage, rest up and figure out dinner. I looked at the specials menu and it looked like they got together and said “Thom Sandberg is coming here, let’s prepare something specifically for him.” And they did:

This was the best sea food combo I have ever had. But think about it, here I am in the center of the best seafood on earth. It was splendid.

I know, i know, it’s hard to see, but trust me (remember my recommendation of the toilet wine cooler) this was over the top great. I started talking to the couple sitting next to me and as it turns out they were TGOC’rs on their 4th crossing, Doug (short for Douglas i was told) and Dorothy (like in the Wizard of Oz i was told).

Delightful people who are traveling to the same next stop as me and hopefully another dinner together. 

After dinner i walked up and down the quay looking for TGOC’rs. You can tell who they are, they don’t wear cotton. And they have like maybe 30 or 40 pockets on their pants, shirts, jackets, underwear–you get it–we are a well prepared bunch.

Sunset in one of God’s great countries. 

I wondered around a bit more looking for more fellow travelers but alas, they were not the be found. Back to the hotel to write this up in the bar when a guy at another table leans over and asked if I am Thom Sandberg. He recognized me from my blog. John, a Brit,  (my new best friend) is on his 4th crossing. And the horse he is, he is climbing 11 Munros in four days.

Take that Paris Hilton. Fuck you Kim Kardashian. Hey, Beckham, let’s have lunch (bring your wife). Yep, I got my peeps. 

Well for now, that’s it. Up to repack one more time, watch the news, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

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