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Friday, 1 January 2010

Two Routes Across Scotland in 2000

My entry for the 2000 Challenge fared better than my entry for the 1999 Challenge and, having been accepted, I sat down with my maps and began planning a route.

I thought I would start at Oban, and the route I planned was as follows:

Glencruitten - Rare Breeds Park - Glen Lonan - Taynuilt - Inverawe House - Track up south shore of Loch Etive - turn right into Glen Kinglass - Loch Dochard - Victoria Bridge - WHW through Bridge of Orchy and turn off up Allt Kinglass and Allt a' Chuirn - skirt the end of Loch Lyon and ascend Abhainn Ghlas and Allt Mhic Bhaidean - descend Allt Lairig Mhic Bhaidein and follow track / road down Glen Lochay to Killin - track to Ardeonaig - road to Ardtalnaig - track down Glen Almond to Amulree - A822 north east then track down Glen Shee to Little Glenshee - path past Loch Tullybelton and road into Bankfoot - roads to Murthly and cross the Tay at Boatlands - roads to Caputh and Culthill - track to Craigie - roads to Blairgowrie and Rattray - road to Courthill - track to Glandams and skirt the lochans - cross country to Mains of Creuchies - road to Gauldswell - path N then cross country to Nether Drumhead - roads to Middleton and path from Fornethy Residential School to Loch of Lintrathen - roads to Foldend and over Brankam Hill and Mile Hill to Aucharroch - road to Kirkton of Kingoldrum and over Kirkton Hill and Culhawk Hill to Castle Hill - road into Kirriemuir - roads skirting north of Forfar to Wemyss - follow the old railway line to Heugh-head & all the way to the River South Esk - roads to Bridge of Dun and into Montrose.

In due course (isn't that a lovely expression? It can mean just about anything - or nothing at all!) I received back my route vetter's comments. I wish I had kept them! But I can still quote them more or less word for word from memory. "A fine, Southerly route, well away from the bulk of other challengers. I do feel, however, that you could have done better for the last couple of days"

So I looked at those last couple of days, and I began projecting alternative routes backwards from Montrose, and you know what? There WERE much better ways of getting into Montrose. The only problem was, I could never find a way to connect them up with my first few days, and I ended up projecting an alternative route all the way back to Mallaig. So I submitted that route, which was the route I ended up walking (subject to a few minor variations along the way; of which more anon) and so I became, to Roger Smith's mind at least, Jeremy "Two Routes" Burrows.

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