Archive for lost luggage

A beautiful if hellish trip

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2010 by xi'an

My trip to Scotland had an inauspicious start: when I went through security, I was first “randomly” frisked, then, after watching me putting back all my X-rayed stuff in my bag-pack, the lady in charge asked for a “random” search of my bag… This did not make me very happy and I stuffed everything back in the bag and rushed to the gate. Then, in the bus ride to the plane (which lasted for ever, as often in Charles de Gaulle), I got the impression I had left my computer at the security counter! Getting ready to ask the bus driver to get me back to security, I ran a last check of my (large) bag-pack and found the computer! Phew!

Alas, this was not yet over as, upon arrival in Edinburgh, my larger bag with all my mountaineering stuff (the kind of cutting and spiky things you definitely cannot take as carry-on luggage!) did not show up! It has been left in Paris (with a bunch of other bags)… Faced with the dilemma of waiting for the next plane, possibly still not carrying my bag, or driving right away to Fort William, to take advantage of the possibility of renting equipment there if my bag was not there, I decided for the later, preferring to avoid a ride at night on possibly icy roads. When the luggage service told me my bag was in the 5pm plane, I felt relieved and trusted for the bag to arrive late at night. Alas, the delivery service called later to let me know they could not find a courier to Fort William (a mere 2 hours and a half away) before the next day, which was about as useful as delivering the bag on the 14th of July…! In retrospect, I should have of course waited for the next plane to pick my bag… The “only” reward of this choice was to cross Rannoch Moor and the Pap of Glencoe in full sunlight, with the spectacle of the mountains and of the plateau plastered with ice and snow under a clear blue sky. (Crossing Rannoch on the way back was another blessed moment as dusk was setting in. The snow then turned a definitive blue in the minus ten temperatures and with hardly any other car on the road it felt even more outworldy. There were also many deers trying to get some grass from under the snow, but I was not sufficiently unlucky to hit one!)  The drawback was to be forced to wait for one hour the next morning to rent the basic equipment (first and foremost the shoes to go climbing!). Fortunately, my guide had spare clothes to share for the day so this did not end up as a total rip-off! (The bag eventually showed up this morning, meaning it took 63 hours for the delivery service to ride the 13 kilometers. with a sloth speed of 250 meters per hour!)