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]

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

TGO Challenge - the journey begins

Why, oh why, do I so often find myself trying to make a footwear decision right at the last minute?

It was at bed-time last night when I finally came to sort myself out with a pair of shoes. A rummage in the bottom of the wardrobe turned up two pairs of Inov8 Terrocs, but one was quite worn, and the other had a potential issue with the heel cup (hmmm, I meant to send those back a year ago!). After a bit of dithering, I decided to break out my last brand-new pair and trotted off to the kit cupboard to retrieve the box.

I didn't come to open that box until this morning and when I did it was with great surprise that I found that it didn't contain a pair of Terrocs, but a pair of Saloman XA Pros.

Oh, decisions! With an hour and a half until we were due to start our journey north I had to decide whether to go with the brand new XA Pros (the right foot of which didn't feel as spacious as it should), the dodgy-heel-cup pair of Terrocs or the quite-worn pair of Terrocs, all of the time wondering why I hadn't sorted my shoes out weeks ago.

Being an Imelda Marcos of the outdoor world, I rummaged some more and managed to locate three more pairs of Terrocs: one very old, one too big for the cold weather of the Challenge (good for California, though), and one pair that had good tread and an intact heel cup.

Phew! Shoe quandary solved. The same pair of shoes that I wore for the Challenge last year are on my feet for this year.

Our journey north has now begun. Journey times and timings dictated that to set out from Acharacle on Friday morning we needed to leave home on Wednesday morning, so I type this from the Glasgow train which forms the third part of our five-part journey.

As for the pack, it's awfully heavy, but that's one of the costs of choosing a route that only passes one shop and one other place that we can pick up a parcel. As a result we're setting out with six days' food. At least the pack weight will decrease by the day.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


  1. Not quite packed, but baking is cooling. So, cakes to cut and package, two parcels to complete, tape and post (one is a Challenge Control Treat 'cos I'm nuce like that!) and that's about it. I think...
    Damn those hobnailed butterflies :-D
    Good walking and see you soon!

  2. That's some journey, Gayle. I'm still relaxing at home. My journey to Plockton starts tomorrow morning and I should be there for afternoon tea. Gear decisions are now 'out of the window', as my Sherpa left last week!
    Have a good one!