|PHIL, AKA LORD ELPUS: CLICK TO ENLARGE
So with the comfort of Phil looking over my shoulder this year, here's a peek at our route:
|ACHARACLE TO ST CYRUS - ROUTE OVERVIEW: CLICK TO ENLARGE
And here it is at a Road Atlas scale, in three chunks with overlaps. The days alternate in red and black.
|DAYS 1 - 5: CLICK TO ENLARGE
The observant amongst the congregation will notice that on Day One there's gap - that's a ferry crossing of Loch Shiel, which reminds me, that's another job for tomorrow's list. There's also another ferry to be taken, at the start of the third day, across the Corran Narrows. From there it's terra firma all the way to St Cyrus on the east coast. From Lundavra through to Glen Nevis with a little piece of route magic from Phil, then a good walk through to Corrour and onwards to Loch Rannoch.
|DAYS 5 - 10: CLICK TO ENLARGE
A nice twist after the loch and then onwards to Blair Atholl. I'm really looking forward to the next two day section to Braemar. I doubt I'll be bumping into too many here. I've booked a table at a good restaurant in Braemar to celebrate.
|DAYS 9 - 14: CLICK TO ENLARGE
I'll be visiting Bill and Michael at Lochcallater Lodge for the first time in a number of years. Visiting the lodge always feels like going home, sitting in front of the fire with the very best of like-minded people. It's been too long. Then it's a nice walk over the tops to Glen Clova and up and over to Tarfside to join the Challenge trade route to the coast.
This is one of Phil's masterpieces - a sensible first couple of days through some new territory for us, followed by some longer walks through spectacular mountain landscapes and then wild walking amongst Cairngorm giants.
Yes I'll be walking solo but Phil will be with me every step of the way.
And still, in the Spirit of Old Mortality, still sadly missed, are two of my favourites: