It’s official. The holidays from work are booked, the accommodation is booked – on the first week in April, 2012, Janie and I will be walking the Speyside Way!
Now, I suspect all the backpacking followers I have for this blog will be aghast right now – accommodation booked?! You’re not camping?!
Well, you’d be both right and wrong. I will certainly be backpacking the way, and camping most nights. Looking at the route, it looks as though I’ll be in campsites for 2 nights, semi-wild camping for 1 night (the site has running water and toilets, but no showering facilities – and no charges!), and spending 1 night at the self-catering accommodation, with Janie, as it’s only half a mile off the path.
Janie, on the other hand, will be sleeping in self-catering accommodation throughout the walk. Due to her condition (she’s now on Dialysis – see her own blog about her condition HERE), she currently has to effectively plug herself into a machine for 8 hours a night, every night. Now, I’m sure everyone will understand that effectively rules out backpacking. Her mother will be staying with her at the self-catering accommodation (free holiday for mum!), dropping her off with me each morning and picking her up at the end of each day’s walking. She’ll also be there in case of emergencies, and Janie finds that she’s unable to continue (walking can be a bit of a struggle at times, when a combination of stomach cramps or sciatica could kick in at any time)
After the West Highland Way, Janie really got the walking bug, and she’s been really quite disappointed that she’s not been able to get out and enjoy the outdoors as much anymore. That’s why we’ve come up with this particular plan. It’s gonna let Janie walk the route with me, yet still be able to dialyse every night in a clean environment. As the place we’ll be staying at has a sauna, I suspect she’ll be having nice relaxing therapeutic evenings, while I’m reading my Kindle in my tent! (although secretly, I suspect I get the better deal there!)
I’m actually really looking forward to it! After the West Highland Way, Janie is definitely my preferred walking partner.
The only real downside may be that she’ll not be quite as keen as I am on visiting the distilleries on the way. That’s my next big decision for the walk – how many hip flasks is too many to bring?!