Sonia, who is still slaving at the chalkface of education – a bit of an anachronism there – ran me down at lunchtime to the bus station in Inverness and I’m now waiting for my delayed flight to Gatwick.
Bus stations are rarely architecturally inspiring and Inverness’s is no better than most, though I can’t help feeling it could be a lot better. The improved atmosphere due to electric local buses is to be greatly welcomed but nevertheless the place has a run down air, which is a shame. I stood in an ineffective shelter waiting for my – delayed – bus and was faced with what could be a lovely old building with corbie gables, now in an unappealing state of disrepair with its phalanx of peeling window panes. To my right was the attractive building housing the library, but elsewhere had a neglected brutalist air to it.
I woke this morning to a beep from my phone’s Easyjet app telling me that my 2:55 departure was running 20 minutes late: the check-in desk staff member – I nearly called her the ‘check-in chick’ in my casual sexism – has just told me it’s now 30 minutes late. Not really a problem as I’m spending the night at Gatwick’s Yotel for a morning flight to Barcelona.
Once in Barcelona, I’m catching a train to Ripoll (other spellings are available) where I should be whisked away to Camprodon to spend Thursday night. If you’re not up to date with my plans – you’ve probably got better things to do with your time – I’m spending a week in the Pyrenees. I’m going with Mac’s Advetures as a solo self-guided walker and will have a mixture of A to B walks and some ‘loops’. That’s the company Brian and I used for the Tour de Mont Blanc last year and with whom Jo and Ben did their honeymoon / TMB just a few weeks ago: my expectations are high!
I was in a Yotel at the very start of this year and had got it into my head that it was in Gatwick’s North Terminal, where I both arrive and depart. After some fruitless searching, I was directed to the S terminal. The Yotel – though very, very similar to my recollection – was not exactly how I remembered it: it eventually dawned on me that last time it was Heathrow I stayed. So I’ve a brief transfer back tomorrow morning for my 7:30 take-off.
I’m fairly sure this blog is going to be filled with me whingeing about my shoulder, so let’s get the FAQs out of the way now. I’ve done something to my right shoulder and I’m getting quite a bit of discomfort from it: I think it’s just muscular and probably only needs a good physio / masseur or torturer to sort out, something for which time was to short between onset and departure. I wonder whether it’s a result of sitting hunched up over a computer – if so, the next week will sort it out!
Anyway, time to go and suss out the delights of S terminal dining. I had expected a Wetherspoons, but was thinking of the wrong airport! No doubt there’ll be somewhere keen to relieve a wee Scots loon of his bawbees.