Picture an Austrian family singing and holding hands as they sing and dance across the Tyrolean mountains as they laugh and smile at one another and you have totally misjudged what the last few days of the Long Straight Walk has been like.
The Highland Perthshire legs have had their moments of frivolity, for instance when we walked into a force 6 gale for three hours. Oh how we chuckled. Or when we walked across the third 2000ft ridge of the weekend, laugh? I nearly burst. Or when we had to trudge half a mile along a loch side with no path but plenty of boggy bits then you too, like the long straight walking team would have been falling off your seats laughing.
Adjectives are a great addition to the English language and allow you to express and add colour to many a sentence. Here are some I have used to tell people about the last few days; strenuous, challenging, rugged, windswept, testing, infuriating, rewarding, tiring, energy sapping, exciting, taxing, unrelenting but ultimately satisfying. (By the way if you happen to spot a non adjective in the list I would keep it to yourself)
Crieff to Aberfeldy was a long walk and true to the spirit of the walk. We set off from The Famous Grouse Experience at The Hosh near Crieff and about 4 hours later we were still walking upwards towards the top of Auchnafree, a fairly remote Corbett, ( a Corbett, not even a Munro for goodness sake) we still had a big down to go into the Sma’ Glen and the up and over the Rob Roy Way to Loch Freuchie. If only old Rob had had a better idea of path building and way marking, all would be well.
I complain for no good reason. as I still had to meet up with the cameraman from The Adventure Show. I must have walked an extra mile with the shout of ‘can you just walk up that bit again please?’
The next day was from Loch Freuchie to Aberfeldy, the section missed from the day before that had to added onto the days walk. Then joined by a highly charged set of new team walkers for the second walk of the day we set off for a jaunty twelve miles along the yellow brick road to the wonderful loch of Tummel. If jaunty describes the weary trek across hills, up hills and up more hills then jaunty it was. When we arrived at the roadside we had to turn on our torches as the beautiful sunset had turned into the gloaming and our roaming was done just in the nick of time. We looked at the place where Queens View should be and marvelled at what we couldn’t see!
More stories to come from that day I am sure. The Queens view to Blair Castle was somewhat of a let down as it proved to be a really enjoyable Saturday morning walk without incident, accident or tragedy, finishing at lunchtime and actually having a few hours to spare. The company and banter made it a pleasure!
Tomorrow however is another day and if I had to explain the logistics to you it would take a page or two I promise.
That’s it for now and more details to follow.