I thought I’d give a quick update on my preparations for the 2014 TGO Challenge.
Fitness and health
My fitness training for February has been to do two 5-6 mile walks a week in the forest. This is in addition to the 2-3 miles of dog walks that I do each day. The dog walks tend to be a leisurely amble, while my forest walks are done at a brisk pace.
For March, I’m going to go to the swimming pool once a week, as a bit of swimming should improve my lung function. On my forest walks, I’ll start to carry a loaded day pack.
The weather has been so bad that I’ve not been able to organise a trip. However, at the beginning of April, I’m going up to the Cairngorms for a three day trip with Messrs Sloman and Walker. I’m hoping that I’ll do another weekend trip near the end of April as well.
I’m pleased to report that my back and shoulder are responding well to physiotherapy. My back is virtually back to normal, thanks to some savage manipulation and some simple Pilates exercises. My shoulder is also improving rapidly. Neither of these conditions imperilled my participation in the Challenge, but being properly mobile means I’ll be able to enjoy it more.
Travel and accommodation
I booked all my accommodation almost as soon as I had my route vetted. However, my B&B at Drumnadrochit had to cancel my booking, so I rearranged to stay in a hotel instead. The only slight hassle was the Park Hotel in Montrose was fully booked so I’m in a nearby hotel.
Train tickets can’t be booked more than three months in advance. This week, sleeper tickets were released, so I’ve booked a sleeper from London to Inverness. A special offer of one-third off tipped me into going first class, costing a very reasonable £112. I find sleepers are a great way to travel to the Highlands.
For the return journey, tickets are not yet available. I’ve outsourced the booking to my travel agent, Mr Sloman, so I can gatecrash his merry band for the return journey to London. I’ve still got to reserve a place on the ferry across Loch Ness, but I’ll do that nearer the time.
That’s all for now 🙂