Saturday, 2 May 2009


So! With the troubles of the last few days now in the past, sealed in concrete and buried far out at sea, there is a new found spring in my step; I have been busy. Having crossed Scotland on the TGO Challenge some 14 times (13 'official' ones) it should really be quite routine to get myself ready. If only it was so! But anyhow:
  • The Velez has been washed and re-proofed
  • The sleeping bag has been re-proofed
  • The boots have been scrubbed and re-waxed
  • My Glo-Worms have arrived
  • I have a nice new thin fleecy thing
  • The First Aid kit has been fettled.
  • The Inverness food parcel has been posted to my hotel
  • The food has been bought for my Dinnet parcel and 'setting off' bag
  • I have new pole-tip protectors for the flight to Inverness
  • The grass has been cut
At the moment, spread throughout the world, there are about a hundred 'first-timers' all checking though their gear, writing out lists of 'things to do.' Maps will be checked and re-checked. Possible accommodation lists consulted. Train and flight schedules checked. The keener devils will be packing and repacking their shiny new rucksacks, scratching their heads; wondering why it doesn't all fit in. Wondering why the all-up weight is far more than they had planned. 

Being a keen planner (it's sort of what I do for a living) I am finding myself far more relaxed now. To be honest, the last seven months have been so appallingly stressful that now I am easing back into the real world of doing things for myself.

I am not good at living alone, yet. But I am damn sure that now it will get easier.


  1. Hi there fella. I was down in your neck of the woods today. Nice lunch in the Dons. The boys in Open Air mentioned you. Anyway have a good time Challenging and encouraging those first timers :).

  2. Indeed Martin! The lads in Open Air told me of your visit. So have you laid her out and tested her yet? (That will get imaginations started!)

  3. Life is so much simpler on the trail.
    Looking forward to it myself.
    Must print route tomorrow I think.

    Catch you at Montrose

  4. I really hope you have a fantastic Challenge, you deserve a good one. I'm looking forward to reading your adventures and hope this time next year I might just be one of those first timers!

    All the very best

  5. The NeoAir works a charm. Used it in the Lakes walk last week. Nice photo of it in the tent. I got some nice new trousers today under the careful scrutiny of the wife. The lady likes me to dress smart.

  6. hello big Al...Little Dave here

    Have a great challenge..Call me when you return and we'll arrange a night out in 'mucky Leeds' (the nations No. 1 City!!)..

    All the breast
    You little Bruv

  7. Heading North in the next 10 minutes - a mite early some may say.

    See you.....somewhere!

    Have a good 'un!


  8. Enjoy yourself, I'm sure you know how to now!

  9. Have a good one, Alan. You deserve it. I might see you in Braemar. If there's anything you need brought through, just drop me the word.

  10. You have always been a shiny star Duncan - thank you.

    Unfortunately I am missing out Braemar this year and will be going through Ballater on Sunday evening (camp site) and then a wee day to Dinnet (Loch Kinnord Hotel) for Monday night.

    Cheers fella

  11. Have a good trip up, the hardest part is always getting to the start. May see you somewhere around Orrin Res or maybe Inverness (pizza for dinner Tuesday night).
    BTW who's carrying your sack now that LE is not with you?

  12. I noticed Dinnet was on your resupply route, but didn't twig that you were missing out Braemar. Both Ballater and Dinnet are on the way to/from Braemar, so offer still stands, sir ;-)


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