Looking forward to the comfort of the train (pic by Paul Robertson)

The moment is almost upon me.  Scotland is beckoning me and I have been rifling through camping and hiking gear, making sure that I am prepared.

If you have read my previous posts about camping you will be aware that there is one thing that I am not and that is a camper.  Glamping is not even in my vocabulary…and certainly not part of my bucket list.

Everyone, and I mean everyone I have spoken to is telling how much I will love it, being in a tent.  They obviously don’t know how wrong they are.

I have a history of bad experiences in tents and that is the problem.  First, my tent was unpegged by some rather drunk cricketers many years ago, leaving me flailing under yards of sticky canvas as I tried to work my way out into the darkness.

Then there was the time at Le Mans 24 hour bike racing when I inadvertently (late night, a few beers….) left my white leather jacket outside my tent and it was no longer there in the morning.  Not so much the tent’s fault, but a by-product, all the same.

Then, of course, there was the time, whilst glamping, that a wild animal – talking a fox here, not a grizzly bear or anything – decided to get cozy on the other side of the canvas. Hunkering down in my sleeping bag, on my proper mattress, in some paranoid state that the animal would scratch its way through and eat me, meant I didn’t sleep until dawn broke.  I gave up camping after that experience.

Although it nearly got me again; once in a Safari Lodge in Kenya, the lovely man on reception gave me keys for the tent – “It’s glamorous.  People pay more for the tent than the lodge room!”  I was told by my companions who were actually envious of my accommodation!  And they did agree to swap.  What a close shave, that was.  And whilst I slept soundly to the distant grunts of rhino down by the river, the ‘swappers’ didn’t sleep at all as the baboons played  ‘chase the fruit that your brother’s found’ all night on their roof.  And they suffered a cold shower in the morning.  I merely thanked them, truly grateful for their sacrifice and didn’t mention the warm water in which I had started my morning.

So the idea of camping, now… after so long?

Looking forward to the sleeper train though, as that is a first and of course, the hiking and the hopefully (if all being well and my powers of persuasion are working) the luxury 5-star hotel that I will find myself in instead…..hmmmm, well I can dream!