Sunday, August 19, 2007

Logbook: Back To Edinburgh

I packed up yesterday morning and walked a block back to the car rental agency where I'd dropped off my last car less than a week ago. I chuckled to myself as I walked, partly because my week in Newcastle had turned out to be completely pointless due to the demise of my cruise on Polar Star, but also because I wondered if I might wind up renting the same car I'd brought down and if maybe I could get a discount for returning it to where I originally picked it up. Mostly, though, I was happy just to be heading back up to Scotland. The check-out process went smoothly until the clerk asked me where I was going to return the car and I said, "Well, I don't know." He gave me a wee smile and said, "Well, just make sure you drive it only in the UK and return it somewhere near one of our offices." I smiled back at his obvious good humor, grabbed the keys, loaded up my stuff and headed out of town.

Serious competition. Check out the judge on the left!
Because I had driven south from Edinburgh on a pretty straight, inland route, I decided to take the less direct, coastal route back north. It was a grand idea, except for the fact that the weather was pretty bad and it was all I could do to see where I was driving and had no chance to really enjoy the coastal scenery. I stopped for a bowl of soup in a little cafe, then stopped a little bit later on in a town where there happened to be an all-day pipe band competition in progress. I checked it out for a while, shot some video that is in the Dram below, then continued on my way.

By late afternoon I had worked my way back inland a bit and covered about half the distance to Edinburgh, so I started looking for a place to stay. A nice looking little inn was full, but the host called a local B&B and hooked me up with a room in a delightful place called "The Old Manse." The young couple and their baby greeted me, along with a fine Golden Retriever who was happy to get some attention (instead of it all going to the baby, I'm sure!) I had dinner back at the little inn then called it a really early night and was asleep by nine o'clock!

The weather on my drive up the coast was miserable.
This morning after breakfast I headed back to the coast with the intention of finding a nice seaside town somewhere along the way to spend the night, but the weather was still miserable so I found myself just continuing along the coast. Before I knew it, I was only about twenty miles from Edinburgh and decided to push on into town. Not wanting to deal with the crazy city traffic -- and wanting to be "in position" to meet my Mom when she arrives Tuesday morning -- I headed on out to the airport where I have found a Quality Inn literally right next to the airfield. Good enough.
I'm pretty tired, so I'm going to have dinner and call it a night. I think my fatigue is partly due to driving in lousy weather for two days, but also due to the cumulative uncertainty of the past week. All in all, though, I'm in pretty good shape and looking forward to what's next on The Voyage of Macgellan!

No comments: