This afternoon, Mad’n’Bad Andy Walker booked our B&B for our start point. This is a Good Thing. This means that all my dithering over routes has at last had to cease. We now know where we are starting. We had been flitting between a few start points and were going no-where very quickly until the chap decided enough was enough.
He has also booked our accommodation at Braemar for Saturday night, nine days later, This is also a Good Thing: Mind you, not being at Braemar for Saturday night would be a pretty Piss-Poor Thing! (There are the Fife Arms and ‘Bingo Wings’ parties to attend. To miss them would surely be a crime.)
Perhaps you can see a thread developing here? This chap is a Man of Action. He has forced my hand so to speak. He has made me pull the metaphorical digit out of the slightly less than metaphorical derriere and so forcibly encouraged my planning of the route.
Now, you would have thought that planning the the first day’s route would have been a straightforward operation. But it wasn’t to be so.
Its length has been determined, to a degree, by the fifth, sixth and seventh days’ route plans. They were each panning out to be monsters, and so our first day is now a little longer than I would customarily prepare, to ease the burden later on; Not that strolling through sun-drenched mountain-scapes could ever remotely be described as burdensome. Incorporated into this Fine Weather Route, is an ice-cream stop mid afternoon on the fourth day to soothe our sweat-furrowed brows and to allow my fellow stravaigers to ease their bones, relaxing for that blissful, all too brief, moment.
The first section of the second day looks like this, so perhaps they will need the ice-creams.
The plan is for 194 miles with 32,000 feet or so of “Up”. That’s quite enough, thank you very much, as we have a First-Timer aboard this time around: Dave “Wee Willy” Wilkinson. Dave had applied with me for the 1995 Challenge but had to withdraw before starting as he contracted
dreadful wimpishness a sudden attack of ill health. Time has moved on and so this will be Andy’s seventh and my seventeenth Challenge.
So, now it’s just a question of working out the Foul Weather Alternatives and putting it all onto paper. And then of course sending it all off to the Vetters.