Thursday Evening (night before the epic drive)
It doesn't matter where I'm going, but I find packing to be the suckiest part of a trip. I'm the kind of lady who doesn't know what to wear until I'm already wearing it and out the door with toast on my face, so planning clothing for anything becomes an unnecessary stress. So let's throw a biking trip on that. Full face? Trail lid? light or heavy knee pads? Will it be warm? Urgh, I'm no good at this so the only way to assimilate all the information is to lay it out in front of me.
I'll be camping for two nights, supported by the lovely Alpkit folks who've supplied me with the warmest, cosiest camping apparel. I've mentioned before that I'm a creature of comfort, I like to be comfy so this kit had me feeling reassured for the cold Scottish nights.
I had my mode of transport all figured out way in advance, simply driving up and back from south Wales. A lonely 18hr round trip, but for the most exciting reward ever. Which car to take.. the Nissan "gas guzzling" Navara with no front lights and sketchy breaks, or the soon-to-be resurrected Renault "Lazarus" Clio. I figured the Clio would be better for fuel consumption, and because I knew I could get my bike and bits in the back.
Now for the drama, and consequent meltdown... Rory "Renault" Dupois (yes, I named my car), sadly didn't come back to life. I found this out by the mechanic merely 12hrs before departure that he needed at least another week with him. Damn.
I looked online for a rental car alternative and happily found a decent one for £60 for the whole weekend which worked out cheaper than taking the Navara. Ace, sign me up. As I was filling out the online rental agreement I discovered that my license was due to expire imminently. Double Damn. I'm in my 20's and I've had my licence for years... since when do they expire? I thought they lasted until you hit the OAP limit. So I apply for a new one online, meanwhile left unable to rent a car.
So looks like the Nissan "Taye" Navara was in the game. Now, I love driving the truck, but not for long drives. It costs a fortune, it's got no radio, no front lights, dodgy brakes, no USB charger and smells like sweaty mud and moth breath. They say that beggars can't be choosers. The truck cab is quite small and it was an effort to get my bike in the back, it's all folded and crumpled, but it's in there... just. At this point, my gut is telling me to not go. That some cosmic owl is trying to stop me. I will sleep on it tonight.