I’ve got two big walking dates in my diary for this year (so far) and I’m just beginning to fact-find about the first of them – a trip to Rum (Rùm) and a traverse of the Rum Cuillin. This will be in early May and I can’t wait. I’m excited for a few reasons, one is the obvious thing of getting out in to the wilds (including some camping and staying in a bothy) and of walking somewhere new - but I’m also intrigued by this part of the world. Despite being conceived (as a person, not as an abstract construct) on nearby Lewis and despite having a Scottish mother, I haven’t ever been to the Scottish islands. Shame on me. Hopefully this will be the first of a few excursions.
The other reason I’m excited is that one of my sons has been to Rum and his description of the island (despite the ticks) was captivating.. names like Trollaval are fantastic : Mountain Of The Trolls. In my head that’s a mashing together of the spirit of some of the isolated parts of Iceland we both saw and my childhood (and recent film-based) Tolkien recollections. And I saw Troll Hunter recently too, to add to my (probably inaccurate) imaginings of the strangeness of the place. Not sure if one will visit the bothy that I think we’re staying in .. but I’ll have my camera with me just in case. And not just Trolls but ghosts frequent the bothy too apparently .. even better
And judging by the photos I’ve seen from son Joe, on Flickr and on the blogs below, it looks to be a dramatic and beautiful place.
The second trip I’m planning and need to definitely, definitely get in shape for is the National 3 Peaks challenge which I’m sure everyone knows is 3 mountains in 24 hours. I’ll be doing that with and for a rough sleepers charity that I support called Simon on The Streets. More of that another time. I checked with my GP and I got the all-clear on the 3 peaks. I’ve climbed some big hills (that’s not a metaphor, well, it is a bit) in the last 18 months so I should be okay but it’s always good to check in with the doc. My blood pressure has regulated to a good level in the last few months – thanks to the medication no doubt but also by really cutting out salt, reducing the ridiculous amounts of coffee I used to drink and watching the processed food intake. Salt – don’t do it kids, it’s a killer.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to both trips!
More on Rum from a couple of great blogs I follow: