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.
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.
Arrived in Oban on time at 13:45 (military time is what they use here and I’m going to comply).
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:
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.
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.
Well for now, that’s it. Up to repack one more time, watch the news, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.