After Climbing Tinto Hill on Monday, Vicky, the girls and I stayed over at Brinsley’s house in Carmichael. It is a beautiful house, laid out to maximise the views of Tinto which looms large to the south. It is a raw and powerful landscape. And on Monday night it turned wild. We lay in bed listening to the chattering of roof tiles lifting and dropping in the wind. Each trying to dominate the conversation. On Tuesday we got up to a scene reminiscent of “The Night The Wind Blew And Scattered Some Tiles Over The Garden And Took A Lump Out Of My Car”. I was mildly devastated.
This minor carnage was nothing compared to the difficulties of the journey home. The M74 was shut. We had to take the old road. The old road is a rather sad affair. It is a full blown, four lane carriageway, magnificent in its day, now potholed and empty. Usurped by the new kid on the block. The M74. The old road passed through towns with names which were familiar only from motorway signs; Lesmahagow, Larkhall and onto Motherwell. Places which probably cried out for a bypass but are now completely passed by.
The journey took twice the length of time it should. The road was in poor condition. I could see our destination in the distance but had no idea they path we would take to get there. Good training for Kilimanjaro.
It’s now Saturday morning. I haven’t slept a full night or even more than four hours all week. I’m stressed out of my box. But the excitement is there. In three days time I will embark on my first trip to Africa. I will smell, see and touch Africa for the first time. I have read more Wilbur Smith books than he has written. I want to visit the places he describes. I want to find a hidden valley full of diamonds. Or even dartboards. I am truly excited. The team will gather on Monday evening for a meal and some chat.
My kit is all ready. The merino wool undercrackers arrived and I am good to go. Today I pack and repack.