Wet and windy; that just about sums it up. Every day I looked at the sky and thought “This will soon clear up”. It never did. Most of the time, the rain was showery rather than torrential but there were a few days when I was wearing my waterproofs all day. And to think that I’d been concerned about sunburn!
The best bits? The Lairig Ghru was special. It was so windy, but it didn’t rain until the afternoon and the landscape really is spectacular.
The worst bits? Later that same day, walking the last few miles to Mar Lodge. I was tired, my feet were wet, I was fed up. What a difference a few extra miles can make.
My gear generally performed well, although I made some errors of judgement. I walked in Inov-8 Terrocs, which were great, but I left the Sealskinz socks at home because I’ve never been entirely satisfied with them. This meant I had wet feet most of the time for the first ten days. Not nice. However, the Gewol Extra footcream was excellent and I was so glad I’d taken this with me for the first time.
I’m now on better terms with my Terra Nova Laser Competition. It’s not a bad tent once you get to know it (and make a few modifications). However, I’m still thinking of hanging a sign on the outside – “My other tent is an Akto”.
I had a good mix of solo walking and the company of some very pleasant fellow Challengers. It’s funny how I always seemed to bump into them in pubs and cafes.
If this had been my first Challenge, I think I may now be in need of therapy as the weather made it quite a tough crossing. There were times when the walking just had to be endured, rather than enjoyed, but I still had a good time overall. I shall be posting a few photos and my experiences in the near future…….