Monday, 31 March 2008

This time last year

This time last year, 10 days into my Easter break, I was 10 days into my Southern Upland Way trek (vidclip). I bumped into Jo and Alan a couple of times on the journey, and they now have their trip journal completed at: They also have other trip journals, and scary photos of ticks on the West Highland Way.


Beehive Bothy

That was me arriving late.


Hmm - I plod along, but did the same journey in a day-and-a-half as they have done in 2 days. Not sure about the lack of motivation, as I have plenty of time to walk across Scotland. Later there was a day when I only walked 10 km, not miles. Hmm again - if I decide to do something, then I do it. I don't think that is motivation, but stubbornness.

morning Day 5

That's me. Moving slowly, though not spending lots of time to take amazing photographs and panoramas. I get up late, bimble along, and keep on going until I stop or until I reach a place that'll do for the night. On my Day 4, I did fail to get to St John's of Dalry and camped out on the hills.

Day 7

I'd spent the night in the Chalk Memorial Bothy, arriving before nightfall and deciding not to bother pushing on.

And the catch-up at Brattleburn Bothy - the comments about kit are right, as I have spare kit that I don't use much or at all. And I babble too much about kit. But I'm also carrying enough food for the journey as I don't want to be tied to heading in to towns for the shop opening hours. If I was a fastest (i.e. fitter) walker of better planner (i.e. smarter), then I would have taken less food. But I saw how few villages there were on the crossing, and knew what village shops are like for opening hours, so took the lazy option.

Day 10


Over Phawhope Bothy - they rest there the night. I had done a small amount of tidying up after lunching there.

My slowest day had been the one ending at the 'Airborne Bothy' (outside Traquair) - starting late and finishing early. I picked up the pace after that, my blisters were healing and pack weight more manageable. I think, psychologically, it was also nearing the end of the trek, which was now perfectly "do-able". If I timed it right, I'd even have a spare day before starting back at work.

As I read the last few days, I grow envious of the time Alan and Jo had to enjoy them. But then, when try pacing my trips to meet a schedule, I end up getting concerned and fretful. Just the sort of person I am. I lightened up my kit more when I got back, and had found out what was causing my blisters (heat and boots too tight) and had no new blisters for the second half of trip. I came back with less body-weight and an edge that I hadn't had in ages. Confidence in myself, I suppose, rather than the worry that some form or other hadn't been filled in correctly - the sort of knocks that day-to-day life throws up. I never got that out of going to the gym. Confidence that I can do something like walk across Scotland with just the kit on my back and get to my destination without major incident. It is, after all, just a walk, and not a major expedition in a dangerous country filled with weapons-toting insurgents and wild animals.

A year later, and I'm in need of another long distance trek.

And the motivation to walk to the post office.

Best wishes for the next adventure, and I look forward to reading the journal.


Phil W said...

Nicely spotted! Will have a read through. They can't spell Akto/ don't know what it refers to.

Yeah, would like to read about some more treks from you. Are you up to it yet?

Best wishes.

AktoMan said...

I might head out later in the week to the CGNP for a bimble and an overnight or two. Having seen the snow on the hills at the weekend, it'll be a low-level walk as I'm too wimpish for anything at higher.

Abcol@Altens said...

ahh wimp in Office 2007 the m(mmmm) has been replaced by the tab, I wonder what next maybe time to check the new oz search engine
G'Day mate