Scotland - Day 1 : The way out
We would fly from Eindhoven, the Netherlands, to Edinburgh in Scotland. We had agreed to take the 10:30 train to Amsterdam. Around 10 o'clock both me and Bart were already at the station, but Nic and José were nowhere to be found. I knew from experience they always arrived just barely in time. When the train arrived they still weren't there so we just got in, hoping they would take the next one.
At the airport we checked-in and inspected all the restaurants hoping to find the Nic and José. An hour later José finally responded to my texts and said they were at the airport. When checking-in, the custom officer had taken him to a seperate room because he looked suspicious. He is half-Italian half-Latino, but apparently the custom people thought he looked like a homeless person or terrorist.
Our flight was supposed to leave at 13:00, but last week it had been moved to 12:45. Now we got a message saying the plane was delayed. Nic made use of the situation by buying a lot of fast food, which he would have to do without for a while. Suddenly our flight disappeared from the screens. We headed over to the gate, where we were told the plane would arrive within half an hour. That was just below a two hour delay, which meant we wouldn't get reimbursed for the delay. While we were waiting Nic leant against a fence and managed to set an alarm off, making everyone look suspiciously at us. He managed to repeat that twice during the next 30 minutes. Although the plane landed within 2 hours of our supposed departure time, it took nearly 3 hours until we finally set off to Edinburgh.
After arrival, we took a bus to the center of Edinburgh, where Nic insisted on buying a SIM card. As he is a US citizen but living in the Netherlands it took 3 trips to the post office and back before all the administrative work was done. During the entire vacation he would make only one phone call. Now we just needed to buy a propane tank for our stoves and we would be ready to go. I had found a nearby camping store on the internet, but we quickly discovered it didn't exist anymore.We also couldn't find any gas canisters at the nearby mall. After asking several people we were told about a military store that sold them.
It was a few kilometers away. We arrived at 17:45, but the store had closed at 17:30. Frustratingly, we could see the cannisters through the window but couldn't buy them. Instead we went back to the train station to take a train to Aviemore. The train was also delayed, so Nic had a chance to buy his last hamburger for the week. Meanwhile it had gotten dark so we didn't see much of the landscape during the journey.
Around 22:00, four hours later than planned, we arrived in Aviemore. Close to the train station was a petrol station, our last hope of buying a propane tank. The man there politely told us they had stopped selling them half a year ago. He also told us we would be able to buy one at the now closed camping store in the same street. We had no choice but to camp nearby and return in the morning. We walked about a kilometer before climbing over a fence into a swampy area. In the rear we found a nice place to spend the night.