Posted: 16/02/2015 at 11:29
No, I didn't go to the pasta party as I am not a huge fan of a massive meal the day before, plus I was with my SO.
The bus-ride is good natured and the embarkation process is well-marshalled from the Common - much better organized since 2013. Public access is allowed but controlled and separated from the bus queues. The ride itself seems to take forever, but I suppose it is just an hour. The buses leave the Common in convoys of a dozen or so. It's amazing to see the cops and traffic stopped all the way along the route. It's like the whole district stops for us! But it's so long it puts the willies up me a bit, thinking we have to run all the way back.
The village is a couple of fields I think by a school. There are tents including first aid and some freebies like a new gel to try, but I don't recall coffee. Taking a beat-up old thermos could be an idea. I haven't used baggage drop but you get an approved transparent bag as standard, with a list of things that are not allowed. these are dropped in a very orderly manner as you leave the village through a bus or truck window correspnding to your number-range.
Pretty much as soon as I get there I get in a toilet queue. Otherwise it's just dossing around in the field until your time is up. Hence many people take a bit of cardboard, bin bag, etc. to make that more comfortable and in case it is chilly or raining.