Apparently, there’s about thirteen of your Earth weeks before the start of the TGO Challenge and it’s about that time when it comes to starting to prepare things for the Big Event. (Its a bit like another Christmas, but without John Lennon and Slade) (or twinkly lights) (or a tree).
So, what, I hear you ask, am I intending to do to prepare this aching and ever-so under-thin body of mine for this jaunt across Scotland and, indeed, will I have some shiny new kit and will I be psychologically, emotionally and financially ready in time for the Glasgow-Mallaig train on that fateful Thursday lunchtime in the merry month of May (the finest month in all the year, I think you’ll find)
First of all, I need a new tent. I have resolved to get another akto. I can get one for £320 using my Durham Countryside Volunteers discount at Cotswolds. I don’t care. I like aktos,and I’m going to get one very soon indeed. Everything else will just have to do. I might buy some gas and some more of those Fuzion scoffbags – although I should have the opportunity to test out more of these over the coming months.
Wottabout fitness?, I hear you exclaim, loudly. What I normally do, is build up some distance walking, so in February, I’ll do a fifteen mile walk, in March a seventeen miler and in April a twenty miler. This is enough. If, on a TGO challenge, I find myself walking more than nineteen miles, then I consider that I’ve cocked it up somewhere. Sometimes it happens, usually it doesn’t. I’ve done this eleven times now, so I know that I don’t need to have big, long days. I’ll be doing other walking, too – I’ve got six guided walks to lead, which means twelve walks including the reccies, plus at least one other walk per week as well. And superdawg needs his little trundles in between….
Then there’s backpacking. There are three planned trips:
In March, it’s South Wales with Dawn – a four or five day wander aimed at bagging Cefn yr Ystrad from Abergavenny plus some general wandering about. We shouldn’t be working too hard on this one and distances should be modest.
In April, there’s the Backpackers Club AGM in Ulverston. Again, me and Dawn plan to be wandering the Lake District hills – probably between Eskdale and Millom just prior to the AGM. Black Combe is on the list plus other Wainwright outliers.
And then, a bit earlier in April, there’s the “TGO Training walk” which this year will be from Lauder to Dunbar, mainly using the Northern scarp of the Lammermuir Hills. Finishing at the North sea following a short road walk and with the possibility of Fish and Chips and beer is very realistic as far as TGO training is concerned. We have seven people attending this expedition including several bloggers and TGO challenge-types. (And me and Dawn) We’ll start off gently and build up to a crescendo of burning boot soles and searing calf muscles after a few days. There are no pubs in the middle of this, although there’s three at the start and half a dozen at the end.
Financially – Anybody want to buy a Big Issue?
That orta do it, I should expect. If it doesn’t, well , nobody can say we didn’t try.
2013 TGO Challenge will be my twelfth and a half (2001 half challenge) – should I turn up at Montrose.