A van with a plan

I went walking this weekend.  This in itself is nothing special, nor is it something you need to take a year off work to do.  I met up with a couple of pals and we headed to Gairloch, for a weekend of walking, and very lovely it was too.

The forecast had been for more or less continuous rain on Saturday.  Imagine our surprise then, when the rain turned out not to be an unrelenting downpour, but a mere intermittent drizzle. You’d have thought a freak gust had moved the entire nation Caribbean-ward for the weekend, the way we congratulated ourselves on our luck with the weather.  We were merely damp, as opposed to wringing, which is always a minor victory in Scotland.  More often than not, I’ve found this to be the case when out and about in our lovely wee land.  I’m still waiting for the tourist board to get back to me on the strapline, “Scotland – never as bad as you think”.

Driving about Torridon I was inspired to concoct a cunning plan for this year, or for a bit of it at least.  Next Spring, around the end of April or beginning of May, when there’s the promise of good things in the air, as well as the usual moisture, here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to hire a van, into which I’m going to sling my bike, a tent and a wetsuit, and head off, on a grand tour of this lovely country, walking and biking and swimming my way around.  A kind of triathlon, if you like, just not all at once.  I may also introduce a new element – let’s call it ‘cake’ – which I believe will revolutionise the sport.

In this way, I want to spend a few weeks travelling around Scotland, with no particular destination in mind, just chasing the sun and going where the notion dictates. Chinese clever-clogs Lao Tzu said, “A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent upon on arriving”.  I’m not sure if this constitutes good travelling, and I think I want to arrive somewhere in due course, but I’m relaxed about the detail of that. For the time being I’m happy to give it laldy in Kirkcaldy and have a laugh in Minigaff.  Just let’s not get into what I’ll be doing on Muck.

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