Monday 29 May 2017

Pieman and Son’s TGO Challenge #1

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To quote Homer Simpson “Doh! This just gets worse and worse.” Wise words indeed.
It started with a few almost imperceptible negative omens. The first one, just after pitching the tents at the rather lovely little headland on which Glenelg’s war memorial stands, was not paying attention to the stove whilst the Very First Brew of the trip was heating up. It wasn’t till I noticed black rubbery-smelling smoke that it was clear that the tube connecting the stove to the cansiter was actually on fire. This did nothing at all for the efficiency of the stove and some rather weak attempts at mending it failed badly and on each subsequent tests, flames were seen to be emerging from places where flames should not be emerging. Had I been alone this would have caused a real problem for my 13th TGO Challenge, but The Lad had a similar stove wot I’d bought him for Christmas, so we shared that. My old stove went in the bin.
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Standby for omen #2. This concerned kippers. I had taken along a boil-in-the-bag kipper or two for my first day’s breakfast and the internal pressures of my stupidly crammed pack had made the bag-in-which-to-boil-the-fish develop a slight leak, allowing the buttery and fishy juice to leak only slightly into my “Big” foodbag. The kipper was very nice. The food bag now had a definite kippery whiff about it. Several seagulls also noticed it, in particular one very beefy-looking herring gull who I shall name Larry (Laridae)
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Thus, our fishy route from Glenelg up Gleann Beag began as a plough might – being accompanied by a small coterie of squealing  and hungry seabirds.
We progressed, noisily past the Gleann Beag tearooms where an antipodean lassie served heart-starting coffee and some cake and we heaved and groaned our way beside the pylons and over the bealach into Gleann Dubh-Lochain where it was announced that we had “done enough” and where we camped for the night. There were five tents in all at Gleann Dubh-Lochain, including two from the far South West (But not Cornwall, oh, no, heaven forbid anybody should suggest Cornwall) and a chap who kept having semi-accidental  and qquite impressive grass fires intended to keep down the potential for any ticks biting his legs or other parts. For additional security, a couple of seagulls wheeled and squawked overhead. Dinner that night was Chilli-Con-Kipper followed by Apple, Kipper and Custard and a brew of smoked-fish tea. Happily, the scotch tasted not of fish but of Bells.
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In the morning, I noticed that during the night I had accidentally rolled on to my supply of Cadbury’s Twirls and several of them appear to have suffered compound fractures. Despite this set-back, we decided to carry on. Being a Yorkshiremen born in Lancashire, all our family are resilient and spunky. In fact, when I was about fourteen I used to regularly…   .  Ah yes, the sixties, who can forget?. (Or even remember…?)Two of the gulls and also left and only Larry remained loyal to the quest.
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We pressed on to Kinloch Hourn where we found that the cafe had run out of everything except teabags and some cake, but the chap was unsure of the type of cake it was. It was fruit cake. We ate it all and marched on to Alltbeithe which had been ruined by mammon, and thence to the crossing of the River Loyne where not only did it begin raining, but a small deputation from Barnard Castle Ramblers turned up, probably stragglers from their “A” walk, I shouldn’t wonder. Dinner tasted of kippers. A solitary gull patrolled high above.
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This might take a while. More later… but before I press the blogpause button, I’d just like to say a big “Tar!” to Chrissie and Geoff for the lift from Glen Shiel to Glenelg in their palatial camper-van, without which we would have had to walk with the big bags and extra food over the twisty and steep road which would have made us tired, late and very grumpy, a condition which we saved up for later-on in the walk. And they didn’t mention the smell of fish. Chrissie, of course, also did her own TGO Chally from a bit further up the road.


John J said...

I quite like kippers. They're good on a butty. Or two.

Andrew W said...

And hence the term being well and truly kippered. A fishy tale indeed.
Reminds me I ought to start my blog before next February.
Surely your luck must have improved.
But then again...... ☺

Dawn said...

Something fishy going on here!! An auspicious start, flaming stoves, crushed chocolate and a guardian seagull. Oh my, the suspense of waiting for part two!!!

Mike Knipe said...

I couldn't do kippers in a butty, JJ - but I do enjoy the sense of danger with all the bones and wotnot. LTD usually gets the wotnot.
There's no rush to post, Andrew, unless you're trying to remember what actually happened instead of what you'd like to have happened, or, indeed, what could have happened on such a walk but is more interesting than what actually happened.. if you catch my

Quinn said...

It's nearly midnight here and suddenly I have an absolute craving for kippers.

Mike Knipe said...

Dawn - As Homer says, this just gets worse and worse...
Quinn - This once happened to Mrs K. About 8 months later, The Lad appeared, assisted by a couple of friendly midwives. Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Walking half an hour behind you I put the lingering scent down to my personal hygiene issues. Usual progression = kippers/salt cod/fermented puffin on day 10. Nice acct. Fred

Geoff Crowther said...

Kippers!' here's me thinking you were being political...ish. Are you safe with matches?