It was bound to happen eventually – there comes a time when yer prospective TGO Challenger and Leg End Extraordinaire has to finally get around to doing a bit of proper planning. I did the route and ordered me TGO Challenge fleece, attended the English gathering at the Snake (very nice, all thanks to Alan Hardy for organising this) and I’m about to have a little trundle around various bumpy bits of Wales as a kind of shake-down - (pause for breath) – which might sound a fair bit of preparation, but, in reality, a lot more needs to be done. (Oh yes, I got the train tickets a s well…)
So, wot I done today was a Food Plan. I like to do a food plan as this often prevents me from running out of food, a circumstance fraught with fraughtivity and noisy bubbling noises from the belly area – so I did the plan and this is it:
It starts with Strathcarron. Shall I stay in the hotel, or will it already be fully booked by more enthusiastic and better organised challengers? Or, i found two B&Bs. Camping at the hotel seems to be a no-no, although some people say I could camp, whilst others point out that the hotel stopped letting people camp. There seems to be a fair number of wild campsites nearby, though. The reason for this, as yet, unresolved quandry (which I may sort out in the next day or two) is that if I stay in a proper bed, I get breakfast and if I don’t , I probably won’t, so I’ll have to carry it from home. I’ll sort that one out soon. To be honest, I want to save the money and camp…
The first part of my route goes from Strathcarron over a couple of Corbetts and a Munro (this is a fine-weather alternative) – to Loch Monar and to Struy and from thence to Drumnadrochit. Drumnadrochit provides the first opportunity for retail therapy and the purchase of noodles, or pasta, or whatever. I should be able to eat and drink at Struy, and all of this means that I have to carry 2 or 3 breakfasts (prolly porridge) – 4 days trail snacks and 2 evening meals. I’ve enquired on a B&B in Drumnadrochit and had an email exchange with Mr Menzies, the skipper of the boat that will take me across Loch Ness.
The next bit is across the Monadhliath Mountains to Aviemore and then to Glen More. I’m not staying overnight in Aviemore, but pressing on after lunch. So, at Drumnadrochit, I need to buy 2 breakfasts, 2 days trail snacks and 2 evening meals. I will eat lunch at Aviemore , dinner at Glen More and breakfast at the cafe with the squirrelarium at Glen More. I will shop at Aviemore and buy 1 breakfast, 3 days trail snacks and one evening meal. This will see me to Cockbridge where there’s a pub with a bunkhouse. I’ll probably try to book a bed in the bunkhouse. I should be able to get an evening meal and a breakfast there.
The next day is to Tarland, where I’ve booked a bed at the Commercial Hotel. Dinner and breakfast sorted.
I have one more wild camp – somewhere on Hill of Fare and then my route goes through Peterculter to Aberdeen, a civilised section well provided with opportunities to eat and drink.
And thats it. There’s a few I’s to underline and t’s to dot and apostrophies to misplace and, provided the old ticker stands up to it all, and I don’t set fire to myself or anything, I should be able to spend a couple of nights carousing in Montrose before time for home.
This is the plan. There is a strong possibility that it will only make sense to me.
Incidentally, I also carry 50cl of scotch which is classed as in-tent entertainment and not food. This can be topped up at Drumnadrochit, Aviemore and Tarland.