Last weekend we went backpacking from Berwick-Upon-Tweed (the northernmost town in England) to St. Abs, a cute fishing village in Scotland. It turned out to be quite an adventure since the hostel we were planing on staying at the first night was closed by the time we arrived and I left our sleeping mats on the train. Now, before you think that a lack-o-mats just means a little less comfort, let me explain that a key part of mats is keeping you insulated and dry. And since we were in the land of the cold & wet they weren’t just a luxury. Anyhow, we decided to just go ahead and start hiking the coastal path and then once we were out of the town to camp and do the best we could without mats. But instead, our lack of a good map left us wandering around in the dark until we got fed up and just decided to camp on some grass in the city. The next morning we headed into the town to splurge on coffee & hot chocolate when, lo and behold, I spied a true treasure! In a dumpster outside a furniture store there were loads of old carpets, including that foam-like stuff you put under carpet. Free sleeping mats! So Dan & I rummaged through to find a suitable piece & then strapped it to his pack. We were so excited by our discovery we were tempted to take a peak in the rubbish bins outside some nearby houses, but we refrained. So off we went and it was really beautiful, as the photos attest. Our carpet foam served us well, especially since it poured down the whole next night, but we were warm and dry thanks to our dumpster-diving!
We had the best time in Scotland! We had a pizza picnic on Arthur’s Seat (not too far from “Proposal Point”), made Nigella Lawson’s Torta all Gianduia (basically Nutella cake!), saw a powerful exhibition called Hard Rain at the Botanical gardens in Edinburgh, enjoyed battered haggis & Snickers bars at the beach, sang for our shadows on the ruins of the castle in St. Andrews, ran on the beach from the opening scene of Chariots of Fire and much, much more.