Today is the first leg of my journey to Peru. It’s hardly an epic first leg: all I have to do is get from Nottingham to Birmingham which is a train journey of an hour or so. I am staying in a hotel at the airport as my flight tomorrow is early enough in the morning to warrant it. I always feel a wave of relief once I get into the departure lounge and knowing all I have to do is cross a road to check my luggage in and enter the lounge is fantastic. The alternative was getting a cab or a lift and leaving the house at 4am and travelling for a couple of hours, etc. I think this holiday may prove stressful enough without me seeking to add to it.
I wasn’t leaving Nottingham until the afternoon, so I took the opportunity to go into the city and buy a rucksack. Yes, I really did leave it that late to get a suitable rucksack. Well, I had planned to take my 35litre rucksack as my day pack for the trip to Machu Picchu, only for me to finally read the documentation properly and see that there is supposedly a 20litre limit at the Machu Picchu site. No problem, I have a day pack from when I went to America – I overestimated the size of that (it was really small), so I ventured into Nottingham to hopefully find a 20litre rucksack. I was actually quite glad that I had something to do rather than watch the clock and Homes Under the Hammer, etc. After a couple of knock backs in proper camping shops where once you got below 30litres the rucksacks became school bags I found a great rucksack at a bargain price in Sports Direct – perfect! A celebratory coffee and croque monsieur and it was soon time to go home, finish my packing and get ready to go to the station.
The Nottingham to Birmingham train isn’t the most scenic route you can imagine, but I was happy to see some of our Great British countryside before I left it for a couple of weeks. Having said that, the highlight of my journey was seeing the guy who plays the teacher/killer in Coronation Street John Stape (actor Graeme Hawley) and I don’t even watch Corrie anymore – it certainly got a lot of replies when I tweeted I saw him.
Leaving my girlfriend (and our cats Otis and Isaac), my friends and family for 2 weeks had made me feel a bit emotional. I think it brought back memories of when I went to America. I got a lot of messages wishing me well and that really made me feel good. I think that I also had more nerves about this trip – I remember being very nervous going to America (that was more for visa reasons than anything else), but this felt more of an unknown and more of a challenge: I had no idea how I would cope with being at altitude or the physical exertion of the trek as well as whether I had all the right gear to trek comfortably, so I felt like I had a lot on my mind.
It’s now midnight and I’m on my 3rd glass of wine hoping it’ll help me sleep. I found when I got into the hotel that I had forgotten my alarm clock, so went into the airport terminal to buy one and get something to eat too. At least it’s more excitement that I feel now than anxiety – I am really looking forward to getting going tomorrow! I watched some of Idiot Abroad 2 earlier and I honestly thought if that dickhead can travel around the world doing stuff, I’m certain this dickhead can do just as well!