TGO Challenge 2018: Day 2 – Loch Etive to Glen Etive

A lovely fine and warm day greets me, accompanied by the sound of water gently lapping close by. Six feet away there’s a bit of loch that wasn’t there last night. I soon see, though, that it’s retreating, although this does beg the question how close it actually got to me during the night! Continue reading “TGO Challenge 2018: Day 2 – Loch Etive to Glen Etive”

TGO Challenge 2018: Day 1 – Oban to Loch Etive

This year, not having been bullied into signing out early, I’m downstairs in Oban youth hostel just a few minutes before 9am, and sign out for that time. I then linger a few minutes and find myself talking to David from Dartmoor. About Dartmoor, of course.

Traditional Dutch customs…

The pair of us cross the road to the “beach” and head to the water’s edge for the feet dipping ceremony, where we are joined by Willem and Leendert. Continue reading “TGO Challenge 2018: Day 1 – Oban to Loch Etive”

TGO Challenge 2018: Getting to the Start

It’s two weeks before the Challenge, and I’m at work when a ping on my phone heralds a message from Paul. It’s a message I expected, just a bit sooner than anticipated: he’s pulling out of the Challenge. He was going to give it until the weekend, but clearly he could see the writing on the wall – the illness which has prevented him training, has now returned and prevented him from even making the attempt. It’s now a solo trip.

Challenge Control are told, and in the process I simplify a couple of sections of the route, promoting Foul Weather Alternatives (FWAs) to now be the main route on certain days. This gives me more flexibility with timings, which I feel I’ll need if it’s just me to do all the motivating. Ultimately, this proves to be A Very Good Decision (but more about that later on in this series).

Paul arranges for the accommodation bookings he’s made in Braemar and Montrose to be transferred over to my name, and the deed is done. The new route card is submitted, sans Paul.

Continue reading “TGO Challenge 2018: Getting to the Start”