A brave new step here in Bongoland as I have finally decided to enter the TGO challenge next year. The form was posted today. I have a very bad track record with the Challenge. Firstly in the late 90’s I kept failing the draw for some reason, at the time I blamed it purely on the fact that I was still at the fag-end of my twenties and you have to be an old beardy to do the challenge eh? I finally got accepted in 2001 when foot and mouth struck, the challenge was initially cancelled and then brought back at the last minute in a mini form. That year I walked from Aviemore to St Cyrus and had a blast. The area we could walk in that year was severely restricted which meant it was a very sociable crossing as we were all bunched up together. Even though my route was only 92 miles I still managed to get the biggest blister of my life (my blister was matched by the worlds heaviest boots I chose to wear).
I got accepted again in 2003 but ended up retiring after only four days, this I put down to horrible weather which led to very low morale for this solo backpacker. I crossed some exceptionally wild country between Lochailort and Invergarry, memorable mostly for the wrong reasons. I spent a whole day struggling all of 5 miles between Oban Bothy and Glen Pean, with everything being so awash with water I walked barefoot for a good mile of it. I still don’t think I have emotionally dried out from that day!
Anyway next year I will be up for it again and if I get on it I have a much easier start planned, no heading off into really tough pathless terrain on my first day this time. I aim to keep my main route as low-level and easy as possible for the first couple of days until body and soul have got into the swing of things.
Now I just need to join a gym and get rid of that belly.
Enough of this wistful dreaming, I need to make the draw first!