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Sunday, 12 November 2017

TGO Challenge 2018: A cunning plan...

In 2013, for his tenth TGO Challenge Lord Elpus assumed full control of planning our route across Scotland. Mad'n'Bad and I had one or two issues with his plan; At the time, I wrote:

"Now tell me if you think I am a curmudgeon but it would seem logical, that given we’ll be starting on the west coast, if we want to finish on the opposite side of the country it would be a good idea if we were to head in an easterly direction. Well, of course it would. But in our case, we shall be heading west..."

This year I have had a cunning plan...



We are starting at the mainland's most westerly cafe and lighthouse: Ardnamurchan Point. According to good old Google, there is sod-all west of here for some two thousand miles, apart from seawater and fish, until you arrive at Newfoundland. 

CLICK TO ENLARGE

It follows that the only direction available to us is East. 

After enjoying a civilised cup of tea in the cafe at Ardnamurchan Point our plan is to then walk in an easterly direction for two weeks until we arrive at another wonderful cafe at the east coast. To add a spark, a frisson of excitement to our endeavour we have elected to walk within a tightly observed ten kilometre wide corridor, bounded by the OS Grid Northings 60 and 70. 

This voluntary constraint (Miss Whiplash tells me in confidence that Lord E enjoys a little constraint) at times requires very careful planning to ensure we don't inadvertently stumble over the thin blue lines to find ourselves horrifically out of bounds. This means that on occasion we will be found tumbling down and up steep valley sides instead of enjoying airy perambulations around the heads of glens. Public houses will be tantalisingly out of reach.

This is an expedition like no other we have attempted in the past. There will be suffering, howls of anguish. We are taking this challenge on for you, dear reader.  

Below, you'll find an overview of our route. It's three hundred kilometres long. 

NB: You can click on each of the maps to blow them up. However, if you right click on them you are given the option of seeing them at full size in a new tab. For those of you who enjoy RouteBuddy's full strength mapping, I should warn you; This is hardcore and should only be viewed in the company of consenting adults.

TGO CHALLENGE ROUTE OVERVIEW [CLICK TO ENLARGE]

The next four maps show our route in a little more detail.

DAY ZERO TO DAY THREE [CLICK TO ENLARGE]


DAY FOUR TO DAY SEVEN [CLICK TO ENLARGE]


DAY SIX TO DAY TEN [CLICK TO ENLARGE]


DAY TEN TO DAY FOURTEEN [CLICK TO ENLARGE]

Lord Elpus has been busy: Our transport up to the West Coast of Scotland is all arranged and Bed and Breakfasts are booked. All that remains is for me to finish the route sheet and persuade our Vetter that "it'll go."

Oh. There's also the small matter of walking three hundred kilometres of tick-infested bog next May.

What could possibly go wrong?

24 comments:

  1. Well, unless I suddenly divert to the tea room at the end, I won't see you until The Park then. Typical!
    Tsk.
    A girl could take it personally. But I can't be bothered.

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    Replies
    1. But surely, by now you'll have half a dozen routes plotted. Could you not select one that nestles nicely with ours?
      ;-)

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    2. I could...but I won't. Last time I did that I got blown off a peat hag, totally knackered my right ankle, threw myself in a pothole putting a hole in my best trousers and my right knee. I still have the scars, mental and physical! Much as I love you all, I'll see you at the bar...just about safer! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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    3. See? Our cheese and wine parties have left a lasting impression upon you. Battle-scarred and Beautiful. Like all wonderful Challengers. Well - the ladies that is. Not Phil. And certainly not Mad'n'Bad!

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  2. So, who is the 3rd weasel attempting this breeze of a plod.

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    Replies
    1. That sounds like a great title for a classic spy thriller - The Third Weasel. Grahame Greene? Pah!

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    2. Keep up at the back, Al!
      If you scroll back a few posts you will discover your answer.
      :-)

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  3. "Public houses will be tantalisingly out of reach"

    Ha!

    That'll learn him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miss W.
      I think we should have a little bit of a chat. Phil's doing his best to cope. He needs encouragement to save himself from that dirty, dirty habit. That dirty, demon drink has loosed its grip on the fine gentleman of late. Be careful you don't drive him back into that dark Mistress's Bosom!

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  4. That's the best idea I've heard of for the Challenge for a long time....I wish I'd thought of it!!
    Enjoy
    Alistair

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    Replies
    1. You're a very wonderful man, Al. Just you keep banging out those rufty-tufty routes you're so famous for. You know that total exhaustion purifies body and mind. You'll be the cleanest Challenger for years at this rate.
      :-)

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    2. Sadly there'll be no TGO Challenge for me next year :-( But as Arnie said....."I'll be back"
      I shall look forward to hearing of your exploits though!

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  5. I'm looking forward to your stories of how, in order to stay on course, you've had to knock on somebody's front door, walk down the hallway out through the back and climb over the garden fence.

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    Replies
    1. It wouldn't be the first time that Mad'n'Bad has devised ingenious routes, scarpering trouserless through a hallway and out of the back door, to clamber over a garden fence, Dave...

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  6. I notice on Wednesday just after Allt Gormag, your route very briefly violates your self imposed corridor ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately you're peering at the 1:250k mapping with a thick route-line Sir. The very accurate gpx file shows that we cut off twenty yards or so before we get to the path junction and bog-hop for about a hundred metres to regain the path to Lochan Sron Smeur.

      It's little delights like this that make the route a joy!
      :-)

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  7. I fear I may get cast as Baldrick in this πŸ€”πŸ˜±

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    Replies
    1. I've never seen your Baldrick.
      Mother Goose? Fagin?

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    2. I am working on a cunning plan though.

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  8. I'm not jealous. Not at all. I made my bed when I failed to apply so I must lie in it. Under the duvet. No. I'm not jealous. Certainly not.

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    Replies
    1. We'll be thinking of you, David, snug under your plumptious duvet as we have icy rain trickling down our necks in hurricane force winds up to our oxters in peat slurry...

      Decisions should be ephemeral things - open to review once the the ghastly flashbacks have faded away. I'm fortunate in that I have a very poor memory and so last year's walk is now only seen as a thing of warmth and delight, with long relaxing snoozes atop heathery hills, the mewing of buzzards and the thrilling call of curlew...

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  9. Oh yes. It’s like reading a book, putting it down, and then having to go back a few pages to remember the plot. The wonderful Walker.
    The sally should make good summer reading.

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  10. What an utterly splendiferous route, Sir. I would salute you, except I’m not a military sort. Instead I shall watch progress with envy/admiration/concern about your sanity . . . [delete as appropriate] !

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    Replies
    1. That sounds like a splendid plan, Jayne; watching our progress from the comfort of an armchair. I shall put this to Lord Elpus & Mad'm'Bad. We could get one of those new-fangled drones to fly the route, 1.5 m above ground level. It wouldn't need a backpack, food or rest stops.

      No training walks required, and none of that ghastly exhaustion either. I think we might be on to somethings here...

      Now, about this sanity thing...

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