Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Blink and you miss it

It was my birthday yesterday (as one 'friend' put it, I'm now pulling 40, not pushing it. Not a gentleman, I thought) and my treat was a quick childless dash from Coylumbridge, round Loch an Eilein and back before a bowl of soup and a cup of tea in the Mountain Cafe, Aviemore, all by the time the children came out of school. Handy, living this close to mountain gorgeousness.

The children got me two Cameron McNeish books, Scotland's 100 Best Walks and The Munro Almanac. An extremely youthful looking Mr McNeish on the front of the second! Excellent reading I'm sure, it was nice to see a few of the walks I've already done, so I must have good taste. Mum gave me a Millets gift card which was actually quite handy as my bladder has sprung a slow leak and now I've been able to replace it. The new one has a self-sealing valve so I can whip the hose off to refill the bladder more easily plus a lapel clip to keep the hose in an easy to reach position, excellent. Lets hope it doesn't leak.

Dear hubby was doing some real forward thinking, he's bought all the maps for my planned route, which makes it much easier to pore all over on the lounge floor rather than studying on the 'puter. Can't say I know any other women that would have been quite so chuffed with that one... He cooked me a fab meal too, but I won't bore you with that. Good job I've got eighteen miles planned on Sunday with the girls, that's all I can say!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Got gear!

Things have arrived from afar. David's Paramo jacket and smock have arrived along with new Trezeta boots. We both like Trezeta, my old ones were the most comfortable I'd ever had and never had a blister with them, but then I went right the way through the soles. I'd always wanted a good leather pair, hence the Brashers last year. I don't regret them, I will wear them in, but the odd blister can be frustrating. His are Peak, so we'll see how he gets on with them. I got new socks, see if that helps with the blisters and we got a new tent.

That brings the collection to four now, the palatial family tent, (ridiculous in wind, but necessary for a fortnight family holiday for six, even when you're not tall. It's nice to be able to stand upright), Aedan's tent, usually for garden use but quite functional, our Adrenaline, which may not be lightweight, but is dry and snug for two and we can split the weight between us and now the Falcon Deluxe tent for four, so for a short notice, good weather weekend trip, we can throw that (for the children) and the Adrenline in the boot with minimum 'stuff' and away for a couple of nights. Two bedrooms is necessary for them, now Rhiannon's a teenager and the 'lounge' space could be useful if caught out. Oh, my Montane Anti-freeze arrived too, yey! Shame it's not cold enough to try it out.

No, I didn't really think that, honest.

Yes, I am very excitable, sorry.

I have been thoroughly enjoying the updates on a few of the blogs I've been following about their TGOCs, it's all very inspiring. I just hope my name comes out of the hat and I can have a shot next year. Mind you, just keep applying if I don't I guess! Theirs will all be over by the end of the week and I'll re-read their accounts to see what tips and ideas I can pick up.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Saturday stroll

The girls (and honorary girl, Derek, aka Delilah) had another stroll yesterday. Derek supplied the route and as he is ex-mountain rescue, we trust him implicitly. Strangely, we were nowhere near the mountains. Think he might have got the measure of us girlies!

Any road up, we gathered in Lidl's car park, where Derek had arranged with the manager that we could leave cars in the corner, very kind manager. Walked to Culbin forest, then through to 'The Gut' and onto the beach. Round the corner, we had an unusual view of Findhorn from the other side of the estuary, along with the colony of grey seals. We carried on along the beach a bit before returning through the trees and meeting up with the river again further along, following and crossing it back to town.

14.6 miles
2.9 mph average
5 hours 54 secs walking
1 46 mins and 36 secs rest
84 ft climb!

A fine day out, was pleasantly tired last night, woke up with no aches at all, so that's fab. If it wasn't-for-the-blister. Wore my new boots. Only a year old and I'm still breaking them in and thought this would be a bit of a long walk for them. "Wear them, you'll be fine!" I do it every time, I listen to him because he's my husband and I trust him. Humph! You'd think I'd learn. Anyway, Alison, one of the experienced walkers in the group, swears by zinc oxide tape, which she tapes on her weak points before even setting off and never has blisters. So I'll give it a try. Oh, and new socks. Never had a problem with mine, but Angela made me swap into her spare pair during a first aid stop and it was like walking in slippers. I want some.

Onwards and upwards, as they say. We have two more walks planned now before the sponsored one. Sunday 31st May, we might be doing a longer walk, maybe even venturing down to the Cairngorms, if we can find a suitable route. I'm trying to avoid suggesting Meall a Bhuachaille. It's one of my favourite walks, we took the children up to get their first Corbert for my 40th last year. The views from the top on a clear day are wonderful, but I know I'd struggle amongst the rest of the group, most of whom appear to be descended from mountain goats. It was easy keeping up with the children who have short legs!

The second walk is the week before the big event, so I've persuaded them we just need a short, easy walk to boost everyones confidence and just have a jolly old time, so will probably be closer to home gathering at a friends house and strolling to another's for lunch and cups of tea before strolling round the back of the hill and home.

Angela has suggested that once we have done the sponsored walk, we should still meet and walk together on a regular basis, stipulating the last Saturday of the month or whatever, so everyone knows when it'll be and plan around it if they want to. I think it's a great idea, I've never walked in a group like this before and I'm having a thoroughly good time. I still enjoy walking alone and with David ofcourse, but this is a new experience and it's great getting to know such a varied group of like-minded people that I don't see all the time. Unusual for me, I don't generally like groups.

I'll limp off now and attend to this stupid, annoying, rather throbbing blister. Bah!