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]

Saturday 12 July 2008

Home Again, Home Again...

Having slowly wended our way home (even more slowly than intended due to a ‘failed freight train’ ahead of us yesterday), via friends in Elgin for a few days, I finally hit my own sofa in the middle of today.

I am now sitting on my own sofa with a rather nice glass of red wine in my hand. I drank some very nice beer indeed during our walking adventure. I drank some truly dreadful red wine. It’s been nice this last week to discover that nice wine does still exist. But I digress.

Tonight I will sleep in my own bed for the first time in two months. Tomorrow I will sleep in it for a second consecutive night. I’m still hankering after sleeping in the same bed for three consecutive nights, but I’m going to have to wait a while - our house became occupied by Eldest Stepson, girlfriend and child in our absence so we’re off to stay elsewhere as of Monday. That will leave me without an internet connection (or at least without a reliable and legal one) for a while longer.

In the last few hours of sofa-bliss, the photos have been downloaded and I’ve been through them a few times. I am a dreadful photographer. Quite why I am in charge of the camera when I have not a single artistic bone in my body, I know not. I really have taken a lot of very poor photos.

However, there are some that do reflect well the intended view. I was particularly pleased with this one, which Mick and I both voted the best view of the trip.

This one of our best pitch isn’t bad either.

I will start working on the photos to post some soon.

What else has happened in the last week?

Well this beard which was untrimmed during the 3 month jaunt was promptly removed upon arrival in Elgin: (It was a self-photo taken by me, which explains why it's from a funny angle and the forced expression!)

Mick now looks about 12 rather than 62.

We weighed ourselves. At the time of finishing Mick was 1 stone lighter than when we started. I was the same weight (a good thing, but I’m definitely thinner – I’ve never been so muscular; I even have muscles in my arms, which have always been a particularly pathetic part of my physique). We reckon that had we been able to weigh ourselves a week earlier we would both have been lighter; we really did put a lot of dedication into eating massive amounts in that last week, mainly thanks to some B&Bs and eating establishments.

We’ve also been rejoicing the joys of a change of clothes and clean underwear. The very first thing we did on arriving in Elgin was to pop to Asda for a new outfit (a shopping trip that due to a lack of long sleeved attire in the store saw me buying an Age 11-12 school jumper; I refused Mick’s request to buy the short skirt to go with it!).

As if being clean shaven and having clean clothes on isn’t exciting enough, tonight I cooked fresh vegetables. It involved a knife and a chopping board. From the depths of my mind I recalled how to use both. It was a joy.

All of that is great. But I’ve not been for a walk for five days now. I’m ready for the next outing. Not a long one, just a short trip out …

…but I am looking at that weather map and focussing on the south-east corner and the north-west corner. Mick’s not biting…



  1. Glad to hear that you have now arrived home safely after your epic trip.Really enjoyed reading about your adventures and can't wait to read about your Coast to Coast Walk which I think you are planning on doing around Sept time.My rucksack is packed once again and ready to go-Just time to get one more outing in before the family holiday-Hopefully I will get away next week for a few days.Congrats on completing your walk and all the best for the future.

  2. So the second photo is looking back to Bealach Dubh and the third, well that's obvious (Doh!) but where is the first one of?
    It does indeed look smashing!

    Coming to Dartmoor?


  3. That first photo was a real 'oooh' moment. We'd just walked through a forest in the pissing rain. It was an impressive passing shower and it cleared to leave a nice blue sky with fluffy clouds. Another shower was not far behind it, but as we broke out of the forest we not only had the blue sky, but we had this tremendous view suddenly appear. It's Loch Ericht, from its south west corner.

    Plan to be at Dartmoor. Depends on the car. MOT is tomorrow. Fingers are crossed.

  4. Congratulations Gayle and Mick and thanks for such an entertaining blog these last few weeks. It really felt we were sharing the exercise with you all the way! Sadly we are not any thinner or fitter for doing so ;-( Perhaps we can have a chat one evening and record it for posterity? All the best Bob and Rose

  5. Dangerously adictive stuff - long distance walking! Coule be a while before you are out of rehab, alternatively you could be "stuck" with it for life!

    Thanks again for providing this blog, one of the best I read - loooking forward to the C2C, I've done it by bike, but not on foot.