I turned 60 this year and was looking for something different to do, then I saw the ad….
Walk across Scotland, Eat as much as you like, only £55! I was hooked…
My planning was simple. I drew a line through Newtonmore and Braemar to Montrose and kept it as straight as I could. Shiel Bridge has some fine hills around it and I wanted to pass through Glen Affric.
I travelled across from France by flying to Edinburgh from Geneva then taking the new tram and train to Newtonmore, where we have a small house. In the morning after a final pack I walked along the main street to get some cash from the money mouth and walking back saw a couple of lads outside the hostel that looked like they might be on the Challenge. I said hello to them and to Sue that runs the hostel.
The weather was fine, fresh and clear and the train journey up to Inverness was a pleasure, sipping tea and watching the world go by.
At Inverness I had time to shop for gas and food and have a wander round the town and coffee before catching the bus to Shiel Bridge with a change at Invergarry. At Shiel Bridge most people headed towards the hotel but I walked along to have a look at the campsite and bought a tea and ate a sandwich sitting on a verge in the sun.
Later, along by the Kintail Lodge hotel I found a perfect, grassy spot for my tent on the loch side. I knew it would probably get busy in the bar so I headed there early in the evening to have a beer and get something to eat. I booked a table table for myself but quickly ended up chatting to other people on the Challenge and shared a table to eat.