The day before we leave

I’d planned on writing a couple of blog posts between finsihing the Mini Cateran Trail and now. I’d had all sorts of gear reviews planned off the back of the previous hike, but I’ve simply not had time. I’ve not even had the chance for another training hike in the wonderful weather we’ve been having.

That’s just one of those things, though.

I’ve spent most of the day packing my gear for the Speyside Way, and it’s all pretty much done. I leave for work in an hour or so, so I’ll have the usual evening at work, then I’ll be home, off to bed, then ready for the off tomorrow.

There is a slight change of plans, though. One of the main reasons I’ve been so busy of late is because Janie has been a little under the weather. She had an operation a week ago, and I’ve been helping her with her recovery. As a result, it’s unlikely she’ll be able to walk the whole of the Speyside Way with me. The hope is that she’ll be able to manage the first and last days of the walk, but time will tell.

There’s also currently an issue on the way itself. The bridge over the river at Ballindalloch has been closed, and an official diversion hasn’t been put in place. Moray Council are offering a free pick up/drop off service at specific points at either side of the bridge to help out walkers, though. In my case, as I’m staying in Ballindalloch overnight that night, I’ll simply be getting Janie or her mum to pick me up before the obstacle, then take me back to the lodge for the night. I can then set off from our lodge the following morning, as I’ll be on the other side of the bridge.

The weather forecast is also looking quite interesting. There’s a risk of snow showers on higher ground, and a couple of the days look as though they could be a bit wet. Unlike the past couple of weeks, we’ll be returning to cold nights again, with a couple of nights currently forecast in the -3°C region. I’m glad I’d made the decision to pack the Alpkit Skyehigh 800 sleeping bag now! It’s not the lightest bag in the world, but I’m confident it’ll keep me warm throughout the whole trip. It’s also one of the few that comes in a long length, suitable for my 6’4″ frame (otherwise I’d have had a PipeDream)

Anyway, that’s about it. We’re both packed and ready to go. By staying in the lodge, with her mother for support, Janie has the flexibility to join and leave the trail as health permits, while I’m assuming that I’m out there by myself, so I’ve packed food, etc for the first 3 days (at the end of day 3, I can resupply from the lodge for the final 2 days)

I’m really looking forward to it! 🙂

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