A treat for the Hebrides

I’ve decided to give the inhabitants of the western isles a treat.

All the way from Southern Spain – a sassenech who isn’t too smelly from not having enough clothes.

Yes, the prognostics have proven correct, and the rucksack, upon investigation, proved incapable of holding more than two pairs of trousers, two t-shirts, three pairs of pants and 10 pairs of socks. I shudder to think of the condition of those clothes by day six of the adventure.

It’s all very well advertising your wares as “capable of containing 55l”, but I’m not sure how it could hold 55 litres.

The trouble with the (by now infamous) rucksack is that it’s triangular. This means that whilst roomy enough at its base, and high enough, it slopes off into a peak leaving the top half incapable of accommodating more than a single pair of trousers.

I hummed and I hawed for a couple of hours, whilst the GF chuckled in the background.

“Let’s start afresh” she suggested. “Instead of you just jamming anything you want into that rucksack, lay it all out on the bed first and then we work out how to pack it”.

So I did. The result, of me sorting out “the bare necessities” for 10 days in the isles, covered most of the bed, and would have needed a 19th century Bertie Wooster style butler and travelling trunk to transport. Or a small lorry, capable of carrying a number of wellpacked tea crates.

I tried to repack the rucksack. The things it accomodated barely made a dent in the pile on the bed.

“What’s your next step?” asked the GF with interest. She was against that damned rucksack from the start. I admitted I didn’t know.

“Pity it’s not Mongolia” she said knowledgeably. “You could have hired a couple of locals to carry it all for you”. The GF is all knowing about the perils of Asian Interior after a relative of hers froze to death attempting to scale K2. The interest caused by the death caused the family to become the local experts on mountaineering, exposure and Asia. Scotland, she admits, is virgin territory, but, “can hardly be worse, except in cuisine”.

At this point I cracked. It occurred to me that even if I did manage to stuff that damn rucksack full of enough clothes for 10 days away, I wouldn’t be able to carry it very far. And then it probably wouldn’t be allowed on as hand luggage. Plus I wouldn’t be able to carry any sort of deodorant, washing equipment or razors.

So out came the executive carry on case. (70 quid at House of Fraser, discounted 50% you’ll remember). The trusty case has managed to pack almost all of the nonsense I insisted upon bringing. Its large wheels allow me to glide effortlessly over the worst of terrain. A padlock is included to prevent inquisitive Scots from checking over the contents whilst in the bowels of the airport. And, if I’m honest, it’s a tad sturdier than the rucksack.

Into the Easyjet hold it goes. The rucksack, with a waterproof, jumper, Kindle and notepad pc inside, goes on my shoulders, making me feel like a true adventurer as I wander through the airports. And it will carry my sandwiches when I go backpacking through the seas of Scotland. With luck, it won’t split.

And when I get back to my (hopefully comfy) hotel, the quiet little carry on will be, a la Mary Poppins, presenting me with an infinite combinations of clothes.

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