Well then. “Well then, what?” I hear you ask.
You see, once you have applied for the Challenge you do actually stand a fair old chance of being accepted to join Uncle Roger’s Ranks. Once accepted, your name is published on the List of Participants. There is no hiding place now. Everybody now knows about it. You have set out your stall, Very Publically. All of a sudden all that theoretical routelet scribbling has a real purpose. So now, you have to try to create a golden thread across Scotland that will hold your interest every step of the way. You want your Challenge to be utterly memorable.
Yes. The Fat Envelope arrived in the midday post and so: I Am In !!!!
So, it’s just not good enough to bimble eastwards along a nice little yellow road anymore.
Some choose the great hills and tops of the Highlands. Some pick out a vast plateau; others the wide open skies of the massive shaking bog. For some, greed dictates that every step will be on airy ridges or bounding downhill along mossy trods with the sunshine on their shoulders, distant vistas pulling them onwards.
However, my ‘thing’ is the lonely little bealachs in the middle of… well, you are not quite sure as the map doesn’t have much of a description of anything hereabouts. These are the places to visit. These are the places to discover. These are the old ways though the hills, when the weather was kinder, when the glens had families living and working the grazing, that now is the home of the wild deer.
I try to pick out the probable line through the hills, the break of slope, the large boulder – all identifiers in the mist and cloud. And sure enough, very often I do find the old path through the hills. A path that is no longer on any of the maps. A path long forgotten but now rediscovered for a hundred yards or so.
This is my sort of walk. So, it’s back to the maps.