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14 May 2021

TGO Challenge 2021. A mapping experiment

 

As some may already know I've had a second kidney transplant - I'll write about this in a separate post.

Back at the beginning of January, Phil and I had a chat about the probability of us being fit enough for the Challenge this year. I was due a kidney transplant that, due to Covid had already been cancelled once and was likely to be cancelled again. Phil was also due an operation to keep his innards where they should be - inside, rather than making a bid for freedom. His operation was due in May, but again, with the Covid situation it was likely to be put back again.

We decided, rather glumly, to defer our entry to next year and so pulled out of the Challenge.

As it transpired, this was a very wise move for Phil, as at the moment the earliest date they are hoping for is September, so Lord only knows how he's keeping it all together. We went for a leak test the other week to the Bull, where we sat outside in the cold, under a plastic tent drinking lager as it poured down with rain. This is what passes for fun these days.

The very dapper Lord Elpus


Call that a smile? Look happy, you bastard!

After three cancellations I finally had my kidney transplant (donated by my littlest sister, Megan - more on her in another post) on 15th March, after my kidneys finally packed up and having to endure two months of dialysis three times a week.

A week or so ago I was well enough to resume working and had started to take walks of up to six or seven miles in reasonable comfort. That meant there was seven weeks to the TGO Challenge - now held at the back end of June rather than the customary first two weeks in May - and I realised that I had a really good chance of being well enough and fit enough for the Challenge. 

Ali and Sue - the Challenge Coordinators - are absolute darlings and allowed this Cinderella to go to the Ball! This entailed a new frock, obviously and some dainty glass slippers. I substituted a lightweight coat for the dress but I'm struggling to find *any* glass slippers suitable for the Monadh Liath and Cairngorms.

A quick check on the accommodation Phil had booked for us and subsequently cancelled when we withdrew from the event, found that quite a few establishments were now booked up. This meant that the first week's route wasn't feasible now as the available resupply points became too far apart for a comfortable carry. I went back to the drawing board and re-jigged the route for the first week, ensuring that I would never be carrying more than three days worth of food. This meant changing my start point from Dornie to Sheil Bridge.

Whilst re-jigging, I've been playing around with the gpx route files (for the oldies amongst the congregation, I have computer mapping) and realised that I can export them into Google Maps. This means that viewers can zoom in and out to their hearts' desire and take a look at where I'm going in some detail. I wonder how long it will be before Google mapping will become a serious contender to the monopolistic Ordnance Survey for walkers?

Anyway, for what it's worth here's the link that will take you to the Google Map that I've created with the route and all the FWA's plastered all over it. If you hover your mouse over each day's route, it is highlighted and shows the distance travelled that day. 

Click on the link below for hours of mindless fun.

ALAN'S SOLO TGO CHALLENGE 2021 FROM SHIEL BRIDGE TO LUNAN BAY 


And finally, in the spirit of Old Mortality:



17 comments:

  1. Wowser. Splendid news on your comeback good sir.

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    1. Hi Martin.
      The comeback's been slightly delayed as I found myself in A&E early on Saturday morning with chest pains. Turns out it's only pneumonia in the left lung, which is a huge relief... So currently on Co-amoxiclav and Co-Codamol to sort that out! 🀣

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  2. Replies
    1. It's lovely to hear from you, Sir!
      I most certainly will, as I'm feeling loads better now, and the mojo's back!

      Delete
  3. That sounds like good news after all the faffing about with hospitals and the like, not that I am knocking them but it's good when you can wind down from that. I wish you well on your TGO adventures and look forward to hearing more.

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    1. You're absolutely spot on, Conrad.
      Hospitals are excellent at sorting out a problem, but pretty lousy if you have to stay there any length of time.
      Brother Dave gave me one life giving extension and now Little Sister Meg has given me another. I will certainly not waste their selfless donations and aim to make the most of life.
      ❤πŸ‘Œ

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  4. Alan - I'm glad that you are out chasing windmills again across the countryside (I meant that in the Don Quixote sense not the political/environmental one although maybe that was a freudian slip). I hope to see you next year if we're ever allowed to leave our borders again and Scotland's are open.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Philip
      πŸ™‹
      It will be great to see you again, Sir.
      I doubt that it'll be the USA putting the kibosh on your trip over. It's far more likely to be our terrified governments in the UK and the would be breakaway Scotlandshire.
      All the early scientific reasoning with how to deal with the pandemic seems to have fled the incompetent fools.
      Good luck with life and happiness, Sir!

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  5. Alan good luck the challenge I look forward to the write up afterwards in the mean time look after yourself .

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    Replies
    1. Hi Chris
      😊
      Nice to hear from you, Sir.
      I am wrapping myself in cotton wool as I type this, and spoiling myself rotten.
      There will be a post Challenge write-up.
      πŸ‘

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  6. River Croe, then river Doe, then Moriston! All new to me. Have to admit I'm a bit anxious about my crossing. Reading about your trials are inspiration to us all .. but I'm still a bit anxious ...

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    1. The River Doe will be new to me but I fear the downstream section will be a disappointment because of the recently installed 'Small Hydro' scheme's access road.
      Paul - there's no need for anxiety! You're a Challenge Hard Man! I look at your routes with a sense of awe.
      😊

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    2. Christ on a bike! Everyone should take a look at Paul's route. My knees are aching just looking at it! You can find it by clicking

      HERE

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  7. All the best Alan. Looking forward to reading how you get on.

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    1. Wow! You were up and about early, Chris!
      😊
      Cheers fella.

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  8. Alan,

    Well done Sir! I spent the morning tracking your route and up to Braemar it is just about the same route I took on my first crossing in 2016. I'd love to do TGOC this summer but I am in Lisbon this July in school five days a week learning Portuguese. You sound fit as a fiddle. best, thom

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    Replies
    1. All the very best with your studies, Thom! The food, wine, weather and people of Portugal are lovely, so if the language course is difficult you can enjoy your time out of the lecture theatres!

      Now then - should we put learning another country's language down as 'cultural appropriation?' Careful now, we don't want to be cancelled!

      🀣

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