Archive for May 25th, 2013

May 25, 2013

Suitably challenged

by backpackingbongos

My hope was that with the last two TGO Challenges being a wash out, this year would see a return of settled May weather.  This was not to be and Challengers were all battered by rain, gales, snow, hail and finally burnt by the sun.  I have to say that I was very happy to eventually dip my toes in the North Sea on Thursday.  I had been plagued by a problem with my foot and ankle since the fifth day when it swelled up and went a very unattractive shade of yellow.  I had to bail and seek medical advice which resulted in a day off and becoming a day behind my schedule.  Thankfully I returned to that spot and limped to the finish, eventually catching myself up.

Ankle aside I thoroughly enjoyed myself this year.  I engaged much more in the social side of the Challenge and spent a few days walking with other Challengers.  I also found myself frequenting more drinking establishments.  Discovering that there is more to the Challenge than just a long walk.

Anyway, it will take a while to sort through my photos (I took surprisingly few due to the weather) and do a write-up.  In the meantime a quick taster.

P1040973

Just before the climb up Mam Barrisdale I could feel the wild country of Knoydart envelop me.  Unfortunately mist and rain enveloped the hills instead leading to a very wet first day.

P1050018

The weather on the first Monday was rather tempestuous.  Strong winds and heavy snow saw me abandon my plans for a trackless wander across the Monadhliath mountains.  Instead I took to the Corrieyairack pass where the wind combined with the snow at the summit made walking difficult.

P1050064

My favourite camp of the whole trip was in upper Glen Feshie.  It’s a wild and magical place and a picture perfect image of the Highlands.  It was also mostly dry which is nice!

P1050153

Reaching the east coast at St Cyrus, the sea was a very welcome sight indeed.  The beach there is a lovely spot to end a coast to coast walk.