A few years ago, whilst having a year off from the TGO planning (I’d just finished my tenth crossing) – I took a Karrimor “lightweight” tent up to Corrour and plonked it on a popular TGO trade route, dishing out tea and jelly babies to anybody who cared to wake me up. This was a good idea from my point of view in that I got to stay in one place for a few days and bag a small bunch of Corrour/Ben Alder Munros. (A little album appears below)
I had a great time, if a bit damp, and went on to haunt Braemar for the boozing and Montrose and, on my travels, came across straggling lines of limping humanity – it being bad weather and, at Tarfside, I broke the big tent they gave me whilst trying to put it up in a hurricane, but alsoi managed to get in the way in a fairly significant manner, supporting the various ladies running St Drostans Hostel. The weather that year was notorious and many people will remember without any fondness at all, the hurricane which struck in the second week of the Challenge.
So it was all (or at least, mainly), quite good.
This year, I’m taking an actual Hilleberg Akto to Glen Mazeran from 12 to 14 May, followed by a day or so at the Cairngorm Club footbridge on 14/15 May and I ought to be able to supply a more sophisticated choice of refreshments than last time, including bacon roll’s, tea’s, coffee’s cak’e and, possibly even a mug of lovely Black Paw beer – unless I’ve drunk it all myself. I will be expecting, or ,at least, hoping for generous donations to Mind through the magic of a collection box or a raffle ticket. (the prize would be a mugful of Black paw beer, I expect) (The apostrophe’s are there for catering purposes by the way) (Commercial catering establishments like their apostrophes – e.g. Fish and Chip’s, Pizza’s and Gents Toilet’s Customer’s Only)
And so, today, I went far, far up Weardale, further than the furthest limits of civilisation where the snow lasts till July and they laugh in the face of any suggestion that a service bus might turn up on a Sunday, or, indeed, after dark, and put up the akto with an extra porch, in the form of a basha wot I bought at Kitt Pongo and the Hoggman’s superb army surplus store in Bishop Auckland.
The results of this experiment were that it’s a really nice and cosy setup and fairly wind-resistant but that I need another four bungees to get it tight and properly fastened down.
Advice and assistance, and the loan of extra bungees was accepted from the son-in-law who knows about things like this, whereas the Pieman is more of an artiste than a bungee engineer and needs help.
It does tend to disappear into the landscape a little bit, so, to make the thing more visible, and to signify that The Pieman Is In – there’s be a large and flappy Union flag flying at times when dead pig butties are available. I only hope that somebody actually turns up, otherwise I’ll have to drink all that beer myself.
Pics show some basha and akto/basha experiments and Mollie, my first customer.
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