Friday, 19 April 2013

Counting down the days

So, there's just 11 days to go. Whoa.

First of, my local newspaper wrote a very nice article about my upcoming round. Have a look!

A few days ago, I played my last gig before the walk. Last weekend, my band played an afternoon show to coincide with Marillion's gig. We played a solid 2 and a half hour set, then went to see Marillion in the evening. I was absolutely knackered by the end of it all. But I had the incredible pleasure of playing with one of my huge musical influences, Steve Rothery himself, who joined us on stage for a couple of old school Marillion songs.

Here's one song from that gig:

So I'm now concentrating fully on finishing university and finalising preparations for the Munro Round.

One of the last things I have to do is deliver a whole batch of food parcels all across the Highlands. I've made these boxes up full of non-perishable food, each made to sustain me for a certain section of the walk. I'll be away tomorrow morning for the weekend to deliver them to all sorts of corners of the Highlands; first up to Aviemore and then through Inverness to Kinlochewe. From there I'll head south toward Fort William leaving behind six parcels in the north-west. With a couple diversions, I'll head down the A82 and home. It's exciting, but it's also a task I'll be quite happy to have finished and got out the way.

Lots of food - packed up and ready to go.

One of the most noticeable things right now, is I'm beginning to get that sense of every day things I'm going to miss. But I'll be going to an alternative existence I've spent 6 years (and more) building; that of the Highland mountains. It's just as good, so I can't complain!

One of the fun aspects of the forthcoming trip is the many you're-crazy looks I get from people when they hear what I plan to get up to with my holidays. It's good fun, but it made me think: I suppose if climbing mountains doesn't do it for you, then it's going to be a mental idea. I've always thought there was something to be gained from climbing mountains, even before I've started actually climbing them. This trip, I hope, will be an overload on all that is good about them. They seem to offer so much that is inspiring, and I feel that every time I head out for a weekend. There's no doubt there will be challenges, but nothing risked is nothing gained, as the cliche goes. I'm sure part of the pleasure will be in breaking down those unknowns.

I've had the idea in the back of my mind for nearly two years and very soon it's going to become a reality. In eleven days time, I'll be on my way, and that's a good thought.

At the moment, life is a little surreal. I'm getting that refreshing, almost-but-not-quite butterflies-in-stomach feeling, when you arrive at the cusp of a change. Last weekend I played a pretty immense gig and one of my musical inspirations joined us on stage. Next week I'll finish university. I'll then go on a rather long walk, and come back three months later with some great experiences to remember.

For now, I've just got university work to do, a couple last items to buy, maps to prepare, gear for Skye to get together. Then I'm ready to go!

Countdown: 1 week, 4 days to Mull.

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