The Power of Nostalgia

We trudged through hop field after hop field, along shady lanes and even a bit along the road. Barely noticing our surroundings and wrapped up in our conversation - a conversation that had been going for several hours now. Frequent breaks, hidden stashes of sweets, Special Brew and Benson & Hedges. A burning hot day … Continue reading The Power of Nostalgia

TGO Challenge 2017

I’ve already told the story of the actual walk, but also wanted to wrap up some comments on the planning for the trip, route and general experience of the whole thing. So here's an index to the individual blog posts and some general thoughts on this year's Challenge...     Day What Happened Distance (km) … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017

Never invite someone called Dale to somewhere all the places have “Dale” in them

Cath's (@wellycath) been wanting to get a group together for a camp around her birthday for a couple of years now, and finally managed to seize her chance last year when Team Social Hiking decided not to contest the 5-in-5/10-in-10 this year, and instead to try to get together socially sometime in June. This also … Continue reading Never invite someone called Dale to somewhere all the places have “Dale” in them

TGO Challenge 2017: Aftermath

The relative bustle of Challenge Control in the Park Hotel is left behind while I take to the streets. First I try to check-in to my accommodation early - they're not having it, but do agree to keep hold of my pack while I roam about. The quest for some acceptable fried food isn't terribly … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017: Aftermath

TGO Challenge 2017: Day 13-14 – The End

Ian is gone around 7am, and the site is mine alone. I've been having a lie-in since waking at 4am. There's limited signs of life elsewhere. I pack up in my own time and am still away by 9am. It's about 15 miles to the coast and a further 6 to Montrose. That makes it … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017: Day 13-14 – The End

TGO Challenge 2017: Day 12 – Tarmac Tuesday and the Stench of Leporicide

My feet are screaming. And I've not put any weight on them yet - I'm still in bed. This does not bode well. Luckily the forecast is good for the rest of the trip and I can just amble at whatever pace is comfortable rather than be lured into pushing harder to get through nasty … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017: Day 12 – Tarmac Tuesday and the Stench of Leporicide

TGO Challenge 2017: Day 11 – Indecision

It's always "special" when the first job of the day is to remove slugs from your clothing, in order to put it on. The lubricative effect of crushed slug just isn't for me. The clothing still isn't quite dry and a few minutes of abject horror and disgust are experienced as my carcass adjusts to … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017: Day 11 – Indecision

TGO Challenge 2017: Day 10 – Soggy Sunday and The Pants-gate Scandal

Light penetrates the tent and I leap joyously out of bed. Well, ok, maybe not. But I certainly don't linger and am up and about quite early. I'm keen to make the most of the weather while I can. After consulting the forecast last night, thoughts of having a rest day using my day in … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017: Day 10 – Soggy Sunday and The Pants-gate Scandal

TGO Challenge 2017: Day 9 – Debauchery

It rains on and off all night which suits me as I'd rather it does it then, than when I'm stood out in it. Monica is sopping, so there's nothing for it but to detach her innards and pack them separately. We set off just before 9am, and you'd think we had a big day … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017: Day 9 – Debauchery

TGO Challenge 2017: Day 8 – The Shortcut

I last saw fellow Dornie starter Dave in the shooting hut on the way up the Monadhliath, but now he is sat there at breakfast. I join him and we discuss routes for the day. We're both headed for Braemar - via the Lairig Ghru in his case and via Glen Feshie in mine. Having … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017: Day 8 – The Shortcut

TGO Challenge 2017: Day 7 – Everything Looks Better After a Big Glass of Whisky and a Poo

Renewed hope surges through me, thanks to the liberal application of whisky last night and some ibuprofen this morning. To cement the deal, a big cup of tea for breakfast and then I seek out the "facilities" - it's my belief that this quartet can cure pretty much anything on the trail. Or indeed, in … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017: Day 7 – Everything Looks Better After a Big Glass of Whisky and a Poo

TGO Challenge 2017: Day 6 – Solitude and Sole-itude

I wake, refreshed by a decent night's sleep, to the knowledge that yesterday's big day has given me options. This is a nice feeling and I resolve to buy similar opportunities throughout this walk. I've only got about 23 miles to Aviemore, meaning I can do 2 nice comfortable days or work it so that … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017: Day 6 – Solitude and Sole-itude

TGO Challenge 2017: Day 5 – Chocolate Brownie Land

I wake from a terrible night's sleep, courtesy of some late night banging next door and lots of raised voices. It's lucky I'm awake early as it's a very early start. I have to catch the ferry at 8am and it's a couple of miles walk to it. Somehow I'm at the pier in good … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017: Day 5 – Chocolate Brownie Land

TGO Challenge 2017: Day 4 – Leapfrogs

The campsite stirs early, sounds of birdsong mixing with the roar of gas stoves for early morning brews. I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself as I'm all but packed for 7:30 when the cafe opens for breakfast. Even so the Belgians have already scarpered. Mike, Darren and Scott join me, reprising our meal in Dornie … Continue reading TGO Challenge 2017: Day 4 – Leapfrogs