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]

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Random Thoughts With One Week To Go

It’s one week until we set out for the start of the TGO Challenge. For those of you familiar with the event, you needn’t go and check your calendars in a panic, or get in touch to tell us we’ve got the wrong month. This year we’re starting from Torridon, and with public transport into Torridon being in short supply, we thought we’d answer the ‘how to get there’ question by simply walking the whole way (accordingly, I’m dubbing this the ‘Sledgehammer to Crack a Nut Walk’).

Hence, our journey to our start point will start next Tuesday, so that we can cover the 625 miles in time for Friday 9 May.

As you might expect, preparations have been in progress for some time and Postie has been delivering various parcels (today we went to the Post Office to pick up Mick’s new shoes; whilst we were there we missed delivery of some insoles. Always annoying when that happens). I finally sent my delaminating Thermarest NeoAir back to Cascade Designs, and they sent me a X-Therm in return. I’ve thought about getting all of my other kit out, in a move towards packing, but haven’t yet got that far down the to-do list.

Otherwise, there’s been a bit of this:


Some of this:


Resulting in one of these:


Which is a two-man quilt, complete with draft-stopper and Gorget, made (more or less) to the Ray Jardine pattern. The YouTube ‘video’ of the original Ray Jardine quilt I made (for Weird Darren) has proved to be remarkably popular, so we took photos of the whole process of making this quilt too, which I will try to make into a similar YouTube snippet later in the year. In the meantime, I still need to sew the foot-box.

There’s also been much cooking and dehydrating. This morning our living room carpet looked like this, as seventy-six meals were laid out in neat lines of eleven varieties:


Then, armed with a copy of the detailed plan, they became organised into individual food-drops, like this:


(Yes, those are all Roses tins. No, we haven’t been eating a lot of chocolates. I would recommend that if you’re in need of Roses tins, then a care home around Christmas time is a good place to ask.)

There’s also been much playing with the itinerarararary over the last couple of weeks. I came up with the route last year, and tweaked it to my satisfaction in February, but somehow omitted to complete my research and the detail of the spreadsheet until this week.

And, of course, there’s been a bit of walking going on, but I’ll reserve comment on the numbers until the end of the month.


  1. Incredible. See you there.

    1. We will indeed. What are your plans for getting there?

    2. Sheila is taking JJ,Viv and moi to Oban>Ferry to Mull>Bus to Tobermory>Ferry to Ardnamurchan>Walk around the coast to Acharacle>Bus to Lochailort>Bus or train to Morar>Walk to Mallaig>Ferry to Skye>Bus to Broadford>Walk to Kyle of Lochalsh>Bus or train to Strathcarron>Walk to Torridon. No dehydrated food, plenty of fish and chips and gallons of Guinness.

  2. Not to mention the scale of your pre-Challenge warm-up, that's industrial-class dehydration! I'm about to launch into mine for this year's TGOC. 11 varieties is impressive: do tell, what meals do you make? I've got 5 reliable recipes (pasta bolognese, chilli, daal, root vegetable stew and beef stew) and can tolerate some repetition, but I'd be keen to hear about more ideas, if you can spare the time still. Thanks.

    1. Your wish is my command - I've put up a separate post answering your question.

  3. Torridon start is great and walking to it......well its not how I would get there. Impressed.