Two weeks today myself and my partner will be embarking on our greatest adventure yet- The Great Outdoors Challenge.
Starting from the Kintail Lodge Hotel at Sheil Bridge, we will be backpacking across some of Scotland’s finest Glens and passes, finishing almost two weeks later at the east coast town of Montrose.
We will be wild camping in Glens, spending a few nights at campsites in villages giving us a chance to restock on supplies and of course maybe a few pints in the local pubs along the way, not to mention the odd pub meal to make a change to the dehydrated meals we will be eating when we are wild camping.
This past few weeks I’ve not been too active due to a bout of man flu/bad cold, but thats all cleared up now and this weekend I’m ready for one more overnight trip before the challenge.
I’m planning to drive across to Loch Laggan and do a circulair roundtheback Loch and camp somwhere near the shores of Lochan na h-earba.
I’ve recently had custom insoles made after paying a visit to the podiatrist. I’ve been a big fan of superfeet which have helped my problem to a degree with my ankle, but was worried that a two week trek might be too much giving me problems and pain!
On my consultation, it was discovered that I have one leg 10mm shorter than the other one and that my left foor is very flat which is one lead cause to the pain I get.
The custom insoles that I had made take a while to bed in, and the process is still on-going but Im getting there. I had to buy another pair of boots a half size larger to accomodate these insoles and now all is good, but I havent tried them out whilst load bearing with a big pack, so this weekend shall be a good test for them and my ankle!
Preperation for the challenge is still ongoing, but everything is almost in place, just final preperation of the food parcels which will be dropped off for us at villages along the way and of course the all important clothing choice selection which will finally dictated my the long range forecast for the coming weeks.
There are 13 different starting points on the challenge and 300 challengers taking part- Sheil Bridge is the busiest starting point with 70 people setting off from here on the 12th of May, plenty of like minded folk to meet and chat to on the first day as our walk gets under way. I can imagine the previous evening in the Kintail Lodge will be a sociable one- I’d better not get carried away and drink too much as I dont want to start a 190 mile walk with a hangover!