London To Edinburgh
Things only get worse. We have to take a rail replacement bus over much of the route. No one really knows where we're going. Half the group misses a connecting train; we watch some of them on the platform as we pull away.
But it's all part of the experience: Confusion. Overcrowding. Delays. Roast beef sandwiches with mustard. A flask of hot tea. General good spirits despite it all. If this isn't a proper British Rail journey, nothing is.
It's been months since we stayed in a dorm, but perhaps not as long as it's been for most of our fellow-travelers. When we arrive at Edinburgh Backpackers there was about a 50/50 mix of huge packs and rollerbags; very few people had light packs like ours (which were mostly full of alcohol). The procedure with the rollerbags appears to be that you wheel it in to your dorm, then push the handle down like a plunger, detonating the bag and spreading its contents all over the room. At least, that's how it looks.