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Winter Toubkal Trek: Day One

Monday 11th November 2019

The trip doesn't officially start until Tuesday 12th November according to the Charity Challenge website, but for me, living up the back of beyond, it has to start today! We're flying from Gatwick airport at around 9 o'clock Tuesday morning. There are no direct flights to the airport and I refuse to drive that far, so a 5 and a half hour train journey it is!


My train leaves at just after 3 o'clock from Maryport train station. My mam and dad have come with me to see me off; they're both quite quiet ... I think they're possibly more nervous than me!


With my mam and dad whom at this point were probably wishing their daughter didn't have a desire for adventure.

At the minute, while I'm anxious about the trip as a whole, my mind is solely focusing on the upcoming train journey ahead of me. When I reach Carlisle I'm due to change to go to London Euston ... this is fine ... it's a long journey where I can switch off and relax for a few hours. It's when I get to London Euston where things are going to get a little interesting ... navigating the Underground is going to play a part, but I'll think about it later.


My train arrives and my mam and dad give me a hug goodbye. I board the train and I'm off to Carlisle. Once I get there there's about an hour's wait until my next train. My place of work is only a 5 minute walk away from the station so I decide to go there and talk to my friends for a wee while before coming back to catch the London Euston train.


This is where I can spend the next few hours fretting about the Underground! I've worked out that when I get there, I just need to concentrate on getting to the Victoria Line ... and I need to get on the south bound one!


Our train got delayed for about half an hour as apparently someone further down the line had been hit by a train so all rail traffic in and out of Euston was at a standstill. The time soon passed though, and we were off again.


I arrived in Euston, and managed to get on the right tube to Victoria (I felt immense pride in myself). My first mistake however, was coming out of the Underground at Victoria to get to the train station. I'm guessing there's a very, very simple route to this, but evidently I didn't go that route and wandered lost for 10 minutes. The Google Map app found me at the train station eventually though, and then I was on the penultimate last leg of the journey from Victoria to Gatwick. This was only a half hour ride, and I got to sit behind a Michael Caine accented guy talking about business the entire way.


Once at Gatwick all I had to do was navigate to the bus stops so that I could get the hotel transfer bus to my Travelodge... thankfully it was easy enough as I was going to have to make the return journey in the morning to catch my flight!


It was around 11:30pm when I got to my room; I called home to let my parents know I'd got there safely then got tucked into bed, ready for an early start in the morning ... when the real journey was to begin!