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]

Monday, 13 May 2019

TGO Challenge Day 0 - to Dornie

Thursday 9 May

Bertie-the-Motorhome was abandoned at a caravan storage site, a Star of the First Order (as I referred to him when we first met back in 2008, and I've subsequently been proved right in that assessment many times over) gave us a lift to the nearest train station. Going above and beyond he then kept us company for the best part of an hour, in the chill morning air, standing in his short sleeves whilst I shivered in multiple layers.

Three trains, with connections long enough to not feel rushed but short enough not to get bored, got us to Inverness by mid-afternoon. With two hours then to wait until our final transport, more than enough time was available after an early tea and the purchase of our lunches for the next few days. The bus to Portree was full. Most Challengers got off at Shiel Bridge. To my surprise, only three of us alighted at Dornie.

It was gone 7.30pm by then so we wasted no time in getting checked into the hotel and getting the kettle on.

We did finally make it down to the bar and stayed until after last orders was called, whereupon we all (Gary, Malcolm, Martha, Mick and me*) declared that sleep was required.

Kit news of the day: during a search through Mick's pack to check the first aid kit was there before we left Bertie, he finally located his waterproof phone cover that had been missing since before we left home. Similarly I located my mini-gaiters that I thought had gone AWOL. We also discovered a stowaway in the form of a non-slip coaster out of Bertie. Having no possible need for it, that got discarded at the hotel.

(*Jim has been with us initially but left when he realised his initial didn't fit ;-) )

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