ROUGH STUFF: ANDY WALKER'S PICTURE OF PHIL LAMBERT & ME – CLICK TO ENLARGE
Our route came back from vetting yesterday, and we were given the thumbs up; No revisions were required. Phil has been busy and all our accommodation is booked. So now all we have to do is plunge our flabby bodies into the wintry countryside to regain a modicum of fitness. Tricky.
For what it’s worth, here’s our route. It’s an interesting mix of landscapes.
OVERVIEW MAP – CLICK TO ENLARGE
We’re passing through the southern Balmacaan before it disappears beneath the Bhlaraidh wind farm. In the past Phil and I have walked through this wonderful landscape in forbidding weather. Dark low clouds and cold drizzling rain suited the place wonderfully, adding to its wild, primordial delights. We have two and a half days of trackless bog hopping here that we expect to be the highlight of our crossing.
DAYS 1-3: CLICK TO ENLARGE
After crossing Loch Ness we’ll be passing beneath the Dunmaglass wind farm as the last turbines are being erected. We’re keeping away from them and heading to the delights of Glen Mazeran and then a yomp over more trackless stuff as a goodbye to the Monadh Liath as it will shortly be subsumed by more wind farms.
DAYS 4-6: CLICK TO ENLARGE
We then have a delightful stroll through the Abernethy Forest before climbing up and over some more rough stuff to our Cheese & Wine Party on the Water of Caiplich. We spend the next day and a half making our way to Ballater, taking a few hills in enroute.
DAYS 7-9: CLICK TO ENLARGE
An afternoon and morning off in Ballater to write postcards to loved ones is followed by a leisurely day and a half to the Mason’s Arms at Tarfside.
DAYS 10-12: CLICK TO ENLARGE
Then it’s a simple couple of days to the coast at Johnshaven for crab soup. We’ve decided to clamber up the last hill, so we can have a last lingering look back at Scotland.
DAYS 12-14: CLICK TO ENLARGE
You can poke about our planned route on our route sheet below;
YOU CAN CLICK ON THE SHEETS TO ENLARGE THEM
There you go. This will be my twentieth and last TGO Challenge, and Phil’s twelfth. I will return to Scotland in the future, but only to areas free of wind farms. The way it’s going right now, there’s going to be less and less of Scotland to choose from.