Weird Daren's declaration over on his http://www.whitespider1066.com/ blog that he has booked some accommodation for the TGO Challenge next May has prompted me to start thinking about my own TGO challenge route.
I already had a finish point - which may seem, at first sight to be the wrong way around - but last May, whilst on the bus from the Stonehaven International Transport Interchange and Phone Box to the Montrose Metropolitan Passenger Terminus and Bus Shelter that Johnshaven has three things that a finishing Challenger might want.
Thing 1 is a beach. There's not much point in doing a coast to coast walk that doesn't finish at the coast,, and I find that a beach is a very satisfying ending to this venture. Its the salty, wet feet and the tin of celebratory McEwans Export.
Thing 2 is a pub. The one at Johnshaven appears to do food. probably seafood, I shouldn't wonder. This is a good thing, or , rather, these are good things...
Thing 3 Is an International transport Interchange in Johnshaven - just opposite the pub where the buses to Montrose stop. And, as they have to turn around in the narrow streets of Johnshaven, this provides sufficient warning for the walker to finish his pint before leaping out of the pub and being knocked flying by a fish wagon... or, more likely, catching the bus. I did note that last year the bus driver abandoned the bus at Johnshaven and went to check on whether or not his girlfriend was, in fact, having an affair with the Rington's Tea man, as reported by that Sharon who works in Wooollies in Montrose. I don;t know what the result was, but he didn't look too happy when he got back and he drove very very fast into Montrose and didn't pick up any more passengers....**
Thing 4 (Did I say three things....?) Is the fact that the other three things (see above) are all within Challenger hobbling distance of each other - a matter, in fact, of a few yards. Global warming may well soon be affecting the siting of the bus stop, but in the meantime , it's perilously close. Little excuse for missing the bus.
And I have a starting point. I thought (about September) that as this is a coast to coast walk, merely having a finishing point would be insufficient for the organisers to justify awarding me the certificate and badge, so having never been to Glenelg, I thought I'd start there.
Well, as Captain Scott once said to his girlfriend "Why not?"
The I thought, wouldn't it be a good idea to extend the walk at the start by a day or two, just to get a bit more walking in and also avoiding any awkwardness about the fact that Glenelg isn't on a bus route - and I thought what a jolly jape it would be to start at Sligachan and walk to the start...that's the other start, not the first start.
I will draw a veil over the bit in between the start start and the other start and the end - principally because I've no idea what to do at the moment.
I'll probably get an idea at 2:00 am next Wednesday morning and forget what it was by 8:30 due to feeling smug about not being in one of the traffic jams on the radio.
But you'll surely be the second to know about it. (After me....)
** This is not strictly true, but I thought it would make the blog a bit more racy...