The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 14 December 2012

TGOC 2013–Route Planning Agonies (with Random TGOC 2012 Photos)

Ordinarily, I would have our route for next year’s TGO Challenge submitted by now, but this year I’ve not even started on writing it up. Why? Because we have been agonising, and agonising some more, over which way to go.


Random TGOC 2012 Photo #1

The first stumbling block was the very beginning. I seem to have spent four weeks pondering the first three days, swinging over and again between a route that covers some ground we’ve trodden before and a route I really fancy, but that would see us arriving at a ferry (which doesn’t run on a Sunday) on a Sunday.

Once a decision had finally been reached on that point (a compromise was made to avoid both the re-treading and the ferry, albeit at the cost of adding in a bit of tarmac), I thought it would be an easy job to finalise the rest.


Random TGOC Photo #2

Then I got to the bit in the middle where my final decision makes me fear that our vetter will either laugh at or berate us. What I’ve plotted there certainly looks like a very arduous route and I’m unsure of its wisdom. However, I’m leaving it as our primary route unless a vetter advises otherwise, but acknowledging that the reality is that we will only go that way if the weather is absolutely superb.

Surely, once we got to Braemar the plotting would become easier? Well, for me it did, because Mick kindly volunteered to plot the bit from there to the coast. There were still difficult decisions to be made, with desires to go very near to where we’ve been before but without much repetition.


Random TGOC Photo #3

Finally, this evening, we have a full route that we’re both happy to submit. Somehow I don’t think it will pass through vetting quite as well as our previous routes…

Now all I need to do is to write it up. As I’ve observed before, that’s my very least favourite thing about the whole of the TGO Challenge, but I’m determined to do it this side of Christmas.

(If anyone can explain what’s going on in those photos (particularly with Andy Howell in #3), I’d be most grateful!)


  1. Easy!

    Andy has just put up his tent and has decided that the shower can wait until the morning, as he's heading off to the pub Right Now.

    That's Andy's patented Challenge Armpit Airing, so they'll be fresh as daisies and he'll get served.

  2. The top one looks like Andy too.

    It is his patented disguise for getting a drink if he doesn't succeed with the Challenge Armpit Airing.

  3. Andy shows the origin of PSY's Gangnam Style dance