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Sunday, 26 May 2013

TGO Challenge 2013: Home

In the bar at Montrose, Judith summed up the spirit of this year’s Challenge rather well:

“I found myself in the middle of a huge trackless bog and the rain was hammering down  and I thought to myself – Well this isn’t the very worst bog I have been in – and so got on with it.”

There’s a lesson there for all Challengers.

Here’s a few pictures (that can be enlarged if you click on them) plucked from those that were taken when the rain wasn’t hammering down and I wasn’t splodging my way through yet another trackless bog.

VIEW FROM OBAN YOUTH HOSTEL

VIEW FROM OUR OBAN START POINT

DAY 2, LOCH LEVEN

DAY 2: LOCH LEVEN

DAY 4, MAMORES

DAY 4: MAMORES

DAY 5: BOG

DAY 5: BOG

DAY 8: LOOKING DOWN ONTO UPPER FESHIE

DAY 8: LOOKING DOWN ONTO UPPER FESHIE

DAY 11: LOCHNAGAR

DAY 11: LOCHNAGAR

TEMPERANCE TRIO, ST CYRUS

DAY 14: TEMPERANCE TRIO, ST CYRUS

Many thanks must go to Andrew (Accommodation) and Phil (Route) for a lovely walk. Amazingly, we finished quite tidily and in good spirits after quite a tough walk.

I’ll type up the report on this trusty old Remington in the next week or so.

46 comments:

  1. Well done! I look forward to the report.

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    1. Thanks, Chris
      I've now got over two weeks of blogs to catch up with and I'll be scratching my head trying to remember what happened on this trip.

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  2. Day 6 Found myself in a huge and trackless public bar, surrounded by members of a strangely peeling and oddly fragrant race of tired-looking people discussing their recent "feshie" (whatever that is) Then I thought to myself, "this isn't the worst gang of idiots I've ever been in a pub with and just got on with drinking my extra-cold guiness"

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    1. That's the attitude that built the British Empire. That, and Sturmey Archer Gears and Frodsham Sheet Piles of course.

      I think that nice Mr Bass and his IPA might have had something to do with it as well.

      We met up with a particularly fine gang of idiots this year. They should be encouraged, you know. There will be more on nice chaps in a later post.

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  3. Sounds like you had a good crossing! I look forward to reading more :-)

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    1. Our Challenge was rescued by a fine sturdy chap who brought in wood, wine, cheese, biscuits and port.

      He should get a special mention.
      :-)

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    2. You forgot about the newspaper for drying your boots out ;)

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    3. Indeed.
      So much more effective than an Osbert Sitwell number...
      :-)

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  4. Well played guys! I'm well chuffed at being a Finisher for 2013.....despite the sore feet! I expect we'll all be back for more.........

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    1. Hi Missy.

      In my book, anyone who finishes this walk with blistered feet deserves a medal. I had just one small blister last year, but it seemed to be connected to every piece of my body.

      It was agony, Ivy.
      :-)

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  5. Ah, that Judith has a way with words.
    Well done on getting across Al, I know it was hard work for you but you came through with flying colours!
    When you're ready we must go for a beer. Or more. When you're up for it.
    V best wishes,
    JJ

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    1. I shall look forward to that beer, young man!

      I have been mostly sleeping since I've been back - sleeping and washing stinky clothes.

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  6. Replies
    1. It would look a darn sight better if there were beautiful wimmin draped over the pages - but as it is you'll have to put up with the gruff manly charms of Mad'n'Bad and Lord Elpus used as foreground interest.

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  7. Good stuff Alan.I'm sure the weather lived up to its usual standard!

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    1. Hi Mark

      The least said about the weather the better this report will be. I shall concentrate on the positive stuff, not the days and days of blisteringly cold winds and rain and drizzle and snowstorms.

      It looks like there will be a couple of days to write about then...

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  8. Welcome back Alan. Missed you. Now where we...wind farms, pretty nurses, TGO magazine....

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    1. Hi James
      :-)
      Ah, yes. I'm seeing the pretty nurses this coming Wednesday for an 'all-dayer' with my brother. As for the wind farms, Lord E's route was carefully designed to avoid the bastard things all the way across. It was only in the last (off-route) couple of miles that a set of the useless things hove into view above the beautiful nature reserve of St Cyrus.
      I met Daniel (the acting Editor of TGO) at the final dinner in Montrose - he's a splendid chap and apparently TGO have plans to substantially improve its online presence.
      We shall have to see what happens.
      :-)

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  9. Nice pictures Alan and well done for completing your nth trip! I look to forward to reading the full works later.

    Unfortunately I failed to get my application in this time - but I know now that this year the October magazine comes out in September and the deadline for entry is not 'by the end of' October.

    I consoled myself with a bit of gorge walking in Crete - which was 'unseasonably hot' for the time of year. But... I actually like a bit of rain and wind, and challenge of bypassing bog.

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    1. Hi Paul

      This was my 18th official TGO Challenge.

      I'm frankly quite surprised that I have so many half-reasonable pictures, as the weather was pants for quite some time. There are a few days when the camera didn't make it out of its dry-bag, but I'm hoping that Phil & Andy will be able to fill in for those days, as we are planning to share our pictures (and some of Andy's excellent videos too with a bit of luck)

      Now then - get yourself organised, fella and mark the date in your diary when the October mag comes out (early September!)

      I would have thought that a bit of gorge walking in Crete would trump a sodden Challenge - what with the cafes and little market squares and dappled shade and red wine and cold beers...

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  10. Well done Alan. Eighteen TGOs! How many have there been? I bet there are not many with that tally.

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    1. Thank you, Conrad
      There are a fair few with many more crossings than I have managed - I think the highest number is currently 30 - and he is over 80 years old. There are also a couple of 90 year old Challengers - so I have a fair old way to go yet!
      :-)

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  11. Congratulations Alan, looking forward to the report

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    1. Thanks, Shewie
      I'll have to put a new ribbon in the Remington and dig out the reams of Quarto and get to it.
      :-)

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  12. Well done Alan. Looking forward to further write ups and photos

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    1. Thanks Dawn
      I'll have to press Andy & Phil for their pictures, as they will be far better than my own efforts. I'll get on to that straight away.

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  13. Well, that was fun.

    Started in the Bree Louise and finished there too!

    I look forward to the write-ups.

    BTW - Bye! (I had to go to the little boy's room before leaving the train!)

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    1. That makes for a well-rounded Challenge, Gordon.
      You'll have needed the rehydration and calories, I expect?

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  14. Conratulations Alan on yet another successful crossing. It was a fine two weeks and a pleasure to bump into the three amigos at various fleshpots. I await the full write-up sir.

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    1. Ta, James - It was good to bump into you, too. It can be a lonely affair, doing a solo Challenge - and successfully crossing with an injury makes it even more challenging.

      Well done, Sir! Get writing. (Once you have finished hoovering and making cakes, that is)

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  15. Get Remington bashing then, i need a read!
    Mind you its been so darn quiet whilst the Challenge has been on, when everyone starts bashing the keys we shall be inundated. Apart from Judith who likes to be last! Ha.

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    1. Greetings, fellow Cheese & Winer. Please give my best wishes to Sheila (who I seem to have steadfastly ignored that evening) as I wasn't really myself as I was a bit knackered. It was a heroic effort to make your way all the way up there and then have to trog all the way back down again.
      Greatly appreciated, Sir!
      :-)

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  16. well done to the three of you for what sounds like a hellish first week and i look forward to your full and often hilarious report

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    1. Hi Chris
      The hell was mainly my choice of walking companions. Both pretty fit fellows with an good eye for a bog or three. These skills, coupled with lashings of rain & snow made for an interesting time!
      :-)

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  17. Can't do better than echo what everyone else has said. Very well done to you all - Phil's 10th too. Very impressed that you sound so chipper and fingers crossed all goes well for the next few weeks. We look forward to following the write up of all the excitements ...... love from us both. John & Mary

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    1. Ah, Mary
      We may all sound chipper, but inside we are but empty husks of our former selves!
      Of course this is especially true of Phil, who has had most of his innards removed in a desperate attempt at going lightweight. Andy, on the other hand, has had extra bits inserted to keep his innards in place.
      Love to you & John
      Alan
      x

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  18. Well done good sir. It was ok weather I felt. We all missed the storm last week as we made it to Control and the rest was mixed May weather. A fine time and get writing it up.

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    1. The combination of sluicing rain & saturated bogs can be a little wearing in the first week but then, thankfully, it all started to get a little better.

      Hills were bagged, views were seen and even the occasional Challenge nap in the afternoon sunshine was taken.

      All will be revealed!
      :-)

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  19. Hi Alan - Well done on notching up your 18th and all the very best for your forthcoming operation. We'll be thinking of you. You'll run across Scotland next May!

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    1. Hi Gibson
      Thank you
      I'm off for an "all dayer" to the Churchill tomorrow with my brother to see all the pretty nurses. There's always an upside to everything.
      :-)

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  20. Well Done Alan, Sounds like it was an eventful (wet) crossing. looking forward to reading in more detail.

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    1. Thanks Phil.
      I'm currently staring at a blank piece of paper in the old Remington wondering where on earth to start...

      Delete
  21. Allow me to add to the congratulations to the chorus, and look forward to reading all about it in due course.

    I couldn't stand the thought of having nothing to read for a fortnight while all and sundry buggered off to Scotland, so I went to foreign climes and did a bit of walking myself.

    Hopefully I'll catch up with the write up in the next few days.

    All the best for yout forthcoming "pretty nurses" appointment.

    Jules

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    1. Thanks Jules
      I'm having a busy few days at the moment - just back from seeing the pretty nurses for the final flight checks and so I'll pop over to see what you've been up to tomorrow.
      All the best
      :-)

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  22. Well done Alan and Tweedle Dum/Tweedle Dee. I was somewhat relieved to hear that the crossing was a success what with you having the blood count of an anaemic vampire victim. I hope the cutting and splicing is an equal success.

    Awrabest

    Jim

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    1. Wotcha, Jim
      :-)
      I got along quite a bit better than last year's effort, helped along by EPO, intravenous iron and a whole heap of other drugs - but it was still a bit of a struggle. I don't know what they've been feeding Mad'n'Bad on this last year, but it seems to be working better than my prescription drugs! Like bloomin' Red Rum, he was!

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