Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Thursday, 7 May 2009

TGO Challenge 2009 - 2nd Prologue - Dreiched in Mallaig

The warm waiting room at Montrose station saw us released into backpacking mode, with all other encumbrances left outside Jim and Eileen's house nearby. Such occasions mark the start of 'simple living' for a while, and are always happy.

The 9.18 train, with a chatty 13 year old telling us jokes, gave us a good hour in Glasgow before we sped off at 12.21 to Mallaig, reaching there on time at 17.43.

Blue skies had clouded over, but as the weather deteriorated the day was taken up with meeting new friends and renewing old friendships. Far too many to mention them all by name, but it was good to see Markus (the only Austrian eccentric), as well as a number of the Outdoor Bloggers.

See if you can spot a few 'ole regulars':

The 8 hour journey passed all to quickly, and by the end of it just a handful of us found ourselves staring at the white horses being whipped up by the wind in Mallaig's harbour.

We soon installed ourselves in friendly Springbank B+B, a sort of upmarket version of Cougie, with tortoises in the living room rather than an iguana in the airing cupboard. Alison and Deborah joined us whilst we searched for a weather forecast.

By the time we set off for the Cornerhouse - a de luxe purveyor of haddock and chips - the rain was lashing down. Following our delicious meal, I found the mountain weather forecast, and Nightbird's helpful comments.

Tomorrow: 'gusting to 90 mph' ... 'wind chill up to -17C'. This sort of tied in with Nightbird's interpretation, but as she points out, our presence usually has a favourable effect.

We start tomorrow with a ferry to Inverie. The 'gusts' may put paid to that. Wow - a day off before we even start?!

Adjourning to the West Highland Hotel, we enjoyed some beers with John and Sue, and Geoff and Chris, under a conservatory that seemed to amplify the crashing of the rain on the roof. J + S adjourned smugly to their room in the hotel, whilst the rest of us splashed our way home along the dreich (drenched) streets.

It's extremely wet and windy here, but we are now warm and happy and safely tucked up.

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