Wednesday, 29 November 2006


Reading one of the new blogs on the TGO Challenge, I see that Weird Darren in his entertaining blog has been taking quite a tough look at all his kit for the Challenge. (See 'Great Places to Visit' on my links list) It seems that Darren is really going for it and is looking to get his pack weight down to a pretty impressive 10kg.

He has been looking at packs and he went along to Bob Cartwright’s emporium (See Gear Links) ‘Backpackinglight’ to help him choose. He has come away with a whole shopping list for Christmas!

Well, my pack arrived today, all the way from Durango, Colorado. It has come in a plethora of grey and dark grey – it is a sleek beauty! (Just like my frame will be, come the beginning of March, honest!) On that note I see that Darren has started his diet – all power to you Darren! I will start my efforts on 1st January…

I have still been struggling on with plotting my route on my new Anquet Maps, albeit very slowly and with considerable problems along the way. It seems like I am in constant contact with Anquet by email and phone to try to get to the bottom of the problems. I just cannot seem to get it to work consistently without something else going wrong at every turn.

This is very strange, as I have been a user of the old version of Anquet for about five years or so, with no apparent problems. This new version has got me totally stumped! As soon as I bought it I needed to upgrade it to a newer version (strange in itself) to get the thing to print. The next problem was in editing a route in any way at all – I won’t bore you all with the details, but Anquet have been trying to help but I seem to be taking two steps forward & then three back.

I suppose a lot of it must be my own technological lack of prowess, but what really does amaze me is the virtually complete lack of instructions that come with the product. It is a bit like buying a car without ever having seen one before and being expected to know how to drive the thing.

If anyone out there has the latest version of Anquet and lives within a reasonable distance, is there any chance I can come along with the laptop so you can teach me how to drive the thing? It is really getting me down as my route planning is appallingly slow as I am using Anquet to sort it out.

I find it amazing that I am in the position of asking for help like this, but if I don’t I am sure that this state of affairs will continue ad-infinitum.

Thank you!


  1. Hi Alan, I have enjoyed reading your site and particularly your sense of humour. The photos are great, so will continue monitoring your progress. Myself and wife Marilyn travelled from Australia to walk lejog. We have a web site that you may wish to explore.The free e-book from our site (now downloaded by over 150 people) has recieved some great feedback from other lejoggers and aspirants, lots of info re training, equipement and preparation.

    best wishes and keep up the good work
    regards Phil Slater

  2. Hi Phil & Marilyn

    Many thanks fo the site details - it looks very nicely put together.

    I have downloaded the ebook and am thoroughly enjoying the diary! (Am currently in Truro with you) I am really enjoying your sideways look at life - a great read.

    I will reply more when I have spent more time there!

    Thank you

  3. Alan, thanks for the very kind mention. Blown away with how kind you have been.

    Thank you very much again.

    Oh and while I remember which part of Cambridgeshire are you from? Although I am now living deep in enemy territory or the South East as it is known. I was born and breed in Wisbech, and go back there to visit family.

  4. Wisbech? Wisbech!!!

    That's Dave Boy Green territory! There's a chap on the challenge - a TRUE Legend - His Holiness, the Very Reverend David Towers - who was a vicar at Wisbech many moons ago! (he knew DBG)

    Not far at all from Wisbech - a mere spit in the Moscow wind. Hemingford Abbots, Darren.

    Keep going with the blog - The TGO Challenge only keeps going with new blood every year (we are all getting older and need some fresh stuff!) and so its great to see someone embracing the event and truly taking part.

    Inspirational stuff. Say 'hello' on the TGO Message board (the Challenge thing) and don't worry about some of the cantankerous old so & so's who have a go from time to time. Get what you can from it - you will find loads of support for you.

    Everyone loves a trier - I thoroughly enjoyed your Welsh podcast with 'Lightweight' (sorry, 'Podcast') Bob - a great story.

    Cheers fella!

  5. thanks for the words of encouragment. I think you mean the Lakes podcast btw. I've not met up with Bob in Wales yet!
    I'm up to visit family in a couple of weeks. If you are around we can meet for a drink if you want?

  6. Sorry - I've got Wales on the brain at the moment - (plotting the Offa's Dyke section of the walk)

    Any offer of meeting up for a drink is a great idea! I'll get Phil along too (he has done loads of Challenges and is the true drinker!)

    Contact me by email -

    Cheers Darren


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