Day 18 - Monday 9th June: Wick - Edinburgh - Oslo

The alarm woke me and I had a tea and toast in the hotel, before cycling the short distance over the bridge to the station. The train had been there the night before and I was instructed where to store my bicycle. With 3 carriages I think there were only 6 bike spots and I had one for the sector to Inverness.

The bicycle logistics for the return trip were hard to fully understand from the Internet and I was glad when I collected my tickets in Glasgow that the bicycle had at least a reserved spot to get me out of Wick. I was told a number of time of LEJOG cyclists who had been kicked off due to no bicycle reservations.

The train to Inverness covered a lot of yesterday's cycle route and went via Thurso. The depart from Thurso would have worked just as well as overnighting in Wick and boarding the train.

I had a triathlete vet from Thurso going to a course and she gave me a good description of the triathlons and also some surfing spots around Thurso. Thurso sounded like it had a strong outdoors culture and a lot of young people to participate. For such a remote location it seemed to offer a lot, and from my brief look it seemed big enough with facilities. I think a spring suit would never get used as I was told by some divers the water was 9 degrees on Sunday, and this couple had been in wearing dry suits.

I made the change at Inverness to Edinburgh train and got a bike box in from the second bike shop I asked. With 40 mins between connections, I made it with minutes to spare.

With no reserved bike spot I negotiated with conductor to be allowed to disassemble my bike on train, packed my bike in box and store it in the large luggage rack. As the train was quite full I was fortunate.

Getting the bike box was a comedy. Cycling back to ("the" is dropped in Scotland) train station thru round abouts must have looked strange and it was difficult to manage in the wind.

Fortunately after packing, I could wash my black hands on the train and had an OK train sandwich for lunch.

Getting the bike boxed ready for the flight was the last obstacle, and it was good to have it sorted. The only hurdle was getting the peddles off, as I forgot to oil the thread and after all the kms and hills they were screwed tight.

I bought some packing tape at Edinburgh station, took the bus to the airport and spent the spare hour till check-in opened taping up the box edges and corners. Having seen my box come thru Frankfurt oversize luggage with the bottom burst, I believe extra tape (even over the staples) and a strap all the way around are good insurance.

There were patches of snow on the hills out of Inverness.

The Norwegian airlines got me and the bicycle to Oslo airport, about 30km north of the city. Arriving at midnight, I collected the bicycle box and a trolley and found one of the few spare seats in departures for my night's shelter.

It never gets really dark over night, with only about 3 hours of official darkness.

The end of a long transit day and first non-cycling in a while.

 Departing Wick on the small train. Fortunately I could get a bicycle reservation for this sector to Inverness.

Departing Wick on the small train. Fortunately I could get a bicycle reservation for this sector to Inverness.

 The train route from Wick to Edinburgh 

The train route from Wick to Edinburgh 

 Arrived at Edinburgh. The bicycle was packed into the box between Inverness and Edinburgh. 

Arrived at Edinburgh. The bicycle was packed into the box between Inverness and Edinburgh. 

 The only photo of Edinburgh I took. At the back of the train station.

The only photo of Edinburgh I took. At the back of the train station.

 Flying Edinburgh to Oslo on the excellent Norwegian airlines.

Flying Edinburgh to Oslo on the excellent Norwegian airlines.