Left Edinburgh 9.30am in the rain. Seen off by Mum and Dad, Rainneach, Malcolm, Geoff, Jockey, Mark and Jackie. Very good of them to come along. Arrived Victoria a bit after 6pm. Journey - bearable. Presently in a pub.
Jenny did us proud with Chicken Kiev, mackerel, crab and salmon paté and more wine than we could handle. Her flat is lovely with a spacious living room and floodlights in the garden. Charlie seems a nice sort - he does a very good Rowan Atkinson impersonation. They gave us the (squeaky) double bed. [PS It didn't squeak - too tired - Cathy]
Wednesday 2nd September
We're sitting by the Embankment enjoying steak pies and tea, having survived the INDIAN VISA experience. Arrived 10.15am, out at 12 noon. The queue to pay is the longest one, so have one member of the party stand in this queue from the beginning. We didn't. Get the permit for Darjeeling here (no extra cost and less hassle than in Delhi). Costs: Cathy (Australian national) £2.60; Mary (Irish national) £3.10; me (UK national) £20!
Next step - air tickets. No problem - except that Elaine's Kathmandu-Delhi flight on the 28th October had been transmogrified into a Delhi-Kathmandu flight on 6th November.
Wednesday evening - met Eileen and Dave, Snash and Phil Marshall at the "Crusting Pipe" in Covent Garden, and drank many bottles of wine, then went for a pizza at "Grunts". An excellent evening. Dave is keen to do a placement in Australia so we may see them there.
Thursday 3rd September
Stayed at Sue's, a friend of Elaine's, in the East End. A startling contrast to the West End. Sorted out Elaine's ticket at Dabin Travel - only Mary's return to take care of. Sent Cathy's box and sleeping bag home - £31.20! (surface). Cathy's off to Vidal Sassoon to have her hair massacred. We're at Mary's.
Later - 9.50pm. Cathy's speaking to George on the phone (They've never met).
12.15. Elaine's just sewn her clothes to the inside of her rucksack.