Leaving after the Challenge, is never a good day.
And today was not a good day in several aspects.
I had woken in the night with a bit of an upset stomach,
and I had only been on Shandy last night, so it was not alcohol poisoning.
But something was not right with my stomach, in a big way.
It was feeling a bit volatile in a way that did not bode well.
Not like in Turkey or Tunisia
(that will be in a blog one day called romance is dead)
but in a potential dangerous way none the less.
It could have been something eaten,
or it could have been the bug thingy that had hit one or two Challengers,
or it could have been Heatstroke,
or it could have been a combination of any of these.
Whatever the case I woke feeling like SHIT.
And feeling like a shit.
And indeed shit did feature quite highly in the early morning program.
I jammed a couple of Imodium in fast, and later jammed another one in before we set off.
Now when I say jammed, I swallowed them.
I did not attempt to use them like some bizarre suppository.
Nuff said, but I had a headache.
Really upset stomach
And, felt pretty damned nauseous.
All the wrong things for going home on a train a long way.
I packed my stuff away very early considering the train was not until 10.32.
In fact, under instruction from Lynsey, I had to make sure I had all my stuff packed before Al.
Which I did.
Rucksack all done, and ready to go, before he got his tent down.
I should have taken a picture
All was feeling ok (ish), but soon after we left the campsite, he was looking a bit white faced and not feeling great either.
We said goodbye to those that had not already left to get the earlier trains.
Then took our keys back
And trundled over towards the general direction of the station.
Then Al decided that we had loads of time, which we did, and we went to the Park to say goodbye to Mr Manning, and anyone else who was there.
We did not even feel like a drink, so we just chatted with Louise and JJ, and then John, and Chris, and I also chatted to Dennis.
There were a few folk there, who were a bit concerned over Al's general condition.
He had toughed it out this year, but he was not his normal self, and I am sure he will admit it.
I promised to keep them informed as much as I knew.
Eventually, it was time to leave and we set off on our way to the station.
On route, I popped into the Coop, to buy a load of fluid.
We said many a goodbye from the station, and then eventually our train came in, and we got on to head to London.
We had at a ridiculously slow price (I say we, AL), procured 1st Class tickets all the way to Kings Cross.
So putting our sacks into a nice empty luggage rack, we settled into our fine adjustable seats, and awaited the continuous service as befitted our status.
We were not feeling great though, because we turned down everything more or less other than fluids.
In fact, for the best part of the first 4 hours I think intermittently, we both slept.
I had drunk loads and loads of water, to try and re-hydrate.
And not just from the heat of the last few days.
Later on after a good sleep, and a heck of a lot of fluid, I was feeling a bit better.
We decided, that maybe a biot of food would not go amiss.
Sadly, the service trollies had run out of hot food.
In fact they ran out of most stuff.
We did eventually get teas, but it was company policy to always start at a certain point, so on most occassions, since we were almost at the front of the train,
The next carriage, was the bloke driving it,
they had run out of food by the time they got to us.
Add to that the forever coughing fraulein opposite,
and the fact that the air conditioning was buggered,
and I will mention the lack of food again.
So AL was not a happy bunny, what with feeling grotty and tired, he was now pissed off as well.
And thus that is how we spent our day.
Lounging, and sleeping, and making visits to the toilet.
I had a wander up and down the train after Newcastle, but there were very few folk left on it.
I did stop for a chat with Richard and his wife for a while.
And after a long long hot journey, we arrived at Kings Cross.
I got my stuff off, and waited for Al.
He eventually appeared after grumping about some idiot standing in the way chatting.
We bumped into Mick on the platform, and I talked to him as we headed off.
AND THEN, I LOST AL
I looked round, and he was nowhere to be seen.
I walked round to the ticket office to get my ticket for Cambridge.
I assumed he may turn up there.
I got the ticket, and then went back round to see if I could find him.
NOTHING, NO SIGN.
After a few minutes they were doing last boarding for the Cambridge train.
I hoped Al had enough cash for the ticket.
But I still could not find him, and needed to get the train.
So I did.
I tried to call him.
Left 2 messages.
Left 2 text messages
Sent an email.
But, that was the last I heard from Al for about 3 days, when he eventually resurfaced in the blogsphere.
For a short while there, I was a bit worried.
I had not said goodbye.
Ok, he wasn't going to get a kiss, but maybe a MAN HUG!
Never mind, next time mate.
And I was home..................................................
OR WAS I?
I texted Lucy on route, and told her that my train would be in at 6.05 (ish).
No sign of her when I left the station.
I rang, assuming she was ion the Car Park.
"You said 6.45" she said
"I haven't left home yet" (It was 6.05, I have the text message to prove it!)
Now I was well chilled out, and still on a Challenge Cloud.
"I think you will find that was 6.05" says I
"But no worries, I will walk round to your parents house and meet you there".
"That will be a lot easier than coming to the station"
And I stuck my pack back on my back and did the 20 min walk to there house.
Had a nice chat, and a cup of coffee.
Lucy arrived about 15 min after I got there.
We stayed for more chat.
And then we went home.
IT WAS OVER!
BUT, Lucy, Olly and Harriet were there, and that was a good thing.
And the dog was pretty pleased to see me as well.
SO, UNTIL NEXT TIME!
Just the kit report to come, sometime in the next week.
I need to remember what I took and how it did.
Dave Meniketti - Until The Next Time (From on the Blue Slide)