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Friday, 17 February 2012

TGO Challenge 2012: Travelling up.

This afternoon I have had two wonderful bits of news to share. I am allowed to talk about one of them; there is an embargo on the other…

After weeks of battling with Scotrail’s woeful Bargain Berths website (go on, try it: It really is a complete shocker) I finally managed to nab two berths from London to Glasgow for £68. For the mathematically challenged, that’s just £34 each. (I knew you would be grateful for that assistance.) For that price, Andy & I travel up overnight, sitting in a comfortable bar, usually with a few other Challengers who have also had the incredibly good idea of letting the train take the strain to Scotland, until it generally runs out of beer. That’s the time to toddle off to our sleeping compartment to bed.

Cally Sleeper Bar 2100: Challenge crew

In the morning the carriage steward brings tea or coffee and orange juice and we arrive in the centre of Glasgow all bight-eyed and bushy tailed. Refreshed from the party the night before we’ll amble over to Queen Street Station and meet up with a hundred or so other Challengers who are all on their way to west coast start points, for the party to start all over again in earnest.

I have also managed to snaffle the train fares from Glasgow to our start point, Morar, for the princely sum of £24 each (including postage). This involved low cunning and understanding the dark arts of booking train tickets on-line.

So if you add in the bus fare to London at the expected £5.00, the whole journey from Berkshire to quite a long way up the north west coast of Scotland comes out at £63.00. Not bad at all for a journey of over 550 miles! That’s about 11 pence per mile, including overnight accommodation… Happiness.

For the other bit of wonderful happy news, here’s a clue: A picture of Lyra, my first wonderful Grandchild…

Lyra Sloman: Grandchild Number One...

30 comments:

  1. LMAO!!! :)

    Brilliant!!! Bargain prices. I'd be tempted to head south to London and join ya on the train back north and beyond ;)

    Do they do full English at dawn? ;)

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  2. The sleeper does pick up passengers in the Midlands, Terry - But be quick about it and get on the website becasue last time I looked there were only two "Bargain Berths" left @ £49 each.
    BARGAIN BERTHS

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  3. I also booked our tickets today. Thanks to the bizarreness of train ticket pricing (and thanks to the bargain prices not applying from Crewe) we concluded that our best bet was to catch at train from Lichfield to London (£6 each), followed by the sleeper to Inverness (£19 each). A ridiculous route, but what a bargain! (Oh, and we have had to travel a day earlier than we'd really wanted, but worth it for that bargain - and I do like the sleeper.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Colleen le Vetter would say; "What a stonkingly good wheeze!"

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  4. Replies
    1. Just spoken to the world's best daughter: The emabrgo is now lifted as she has spoken to her brothers: Young Mr & Mrs Simeone (that's my daughter Rachael & her Husband, Rod, are expecting in August! A cousin for Oli & Nik's daughter, Lyra.
      :-)
      It made my week!

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  5. Hearty congratulations on your secret news!

    ;0)

    Oh, and well done on the tickets too, obviously.

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  6. It's sooo much easier to start from up here! And I think I might take a guess... ;-)

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    Replies
    1. It would be bl**dy splendid to live where you do, Louise. All those hills. All that scenery. But then, I *do* live in the land of milk & hunny...

      The baby is expected on August 20th.
      :-)

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  7. Congratulations on the not so secret now news! You sound fair chuffed at the prospect!

    Do you know I've never been on the sleeper? Everytime I try booking train tickets for a long haul I give in and just fly.

    Have fun :-)

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    Replies
    1. I've been using the sleeper for fifteen years now - using Bargain Berths you can have three days waking in the Highlands for £58 - which includes two nights accommodation and travel. Travel up Thursday night and home on Monday before work.
      And just the one day off work, the Friday.

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  8. The best kind of news, Alan. Nothing like it, is there? And the trip north is good, too.

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    Replies
    1. Rachael will be a splendid Mum. Kind, loving, selfless and good fun.

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  9. Nice one Grandad.
    You cannot move North.
    You are required to run. A babysitting service. :)

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    Replies
    1. I live suitably far away so that babysitting might not be possible...

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  10. You must be well chuffed, Alan.

    Good prices on those tickets, too.
    See you at FW on 10 May

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  11. Hi Gordon
    Indeed, indeed> Ft Bill for a party then!
    :-)

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  12. Congratulations Granda!

    At least you're travelling North - getting ACROSS Scotland by public transport is interesting - makes walking it seem easy!
    I'll have to travel East then North to go West....

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura. I am still feeling pretty grinny about the whole thing.
      Route in then, Miss? Where are you going to and from?
      :-)

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    2. Route's in (on new year's eve) and vetted (favourable comments) - going Glenelg to Lunan Bay.

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  13. Congratulations Alan - kids are great! Look forward to meeting them on TGO Challenge 2028?

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    Replies
    1. I have been incredibly lucky with my kids - they all turned out jolly well. And so far, the Grandaughter is looking to be a little smasher as well.
      We'll juts have to see what Rachael produces. Will it be train sets or dolls?. In fact, whatever she produces, it should be train sets really...
      :-)

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  14. Will that train be allowed through once Scotland has gained Independence. What with the rebuilt wall and all that. Passport control, border guards making sure no Scots are escaping for English beer and Curry! Ha

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    Replies
    1. I was under the apprehension that there are more Scots living outwith Scotland than in their mother country... Perhaps you can't blame them? The climate in England is so much kinder, to start with... then there's the daylight hours... *to fade*

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  15. It should part of the deal that given independence that all Scots have to go home. Especially the political ones.
    That means i will have to buy a Mile Post on the wall and have one foot on each side. Lol

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    Replies
    1. I take it that you are half Scots, then Alan? I have the occasional rant about the Welsh (but that's because I am 100% Welsh)

      :-)

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  16. Aye Laddy.
    I love it when i am up there and some idyut has a go at me because i’m English. Then after a load of abuse i try and let them down hard.
    My mums family are from Dingwall. And a great name too “Munro”.

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    Replies
    1. Not wishing to stir this too much, but I have found a marked anti-English sentiment never far below the surface in certain quarters in Scotland. I have had a number of encounters with Scots (usually when they are past their best through drink) when they start spouting a surprising torrent of abuse, just because they hear an English accent.

      They bang on about history from hundreds of years ago, that in their minds seems to justify their appalling behaviour.

      Independence for Scotland? When faced with this sort of racist tosh, it makes you think perhaps it would be best to tow it out to the Atlantic and sink it, well, perhaps just the racist bigots.

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  17. I have had loads of it Alan, it's never come to blows fortunately.
    It's usually drink inspired bravery. But i don't take to kindly to it when Sheila is with me.
    I can honestly say even in the idiots company, it's not the majority and more often than not the remainder apologise for the behavour.
    I think in some instances the English can be there own worst enemies. Complaining about everything, especially the weather and it can be annoying even to me. I find joining in with the locals removes 99% of any heat.
    Not that i want to make anything of either. Alan.

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