It was in 2003 that I completed the Southern Upland Way – way before there were any handy dandy websites telling you where to go and how. It was more about photocopying a page out of a book and buying a map and figuring it all out.
The challenge of doing all this without support was part of the appeal. To think that I could now just buy a guide and follow the instructions takes away some of the appeal. I’d still get the vertically upward flying rain and the blisters I suppose.
I’m thinking of the Southern Upland Way for two reasons:
1. I felt like I was going to die of hypothermia again today – a feeling I haven’t had since my coat proved not to be waterproof on the cross Scotland walk and I was wet, cold and exposed with no heat source, save for a few matches I found in a shelter along with some discarded trousers which became mine. The coat that failed today was the red coat I bought eleven years ago to replace the leaking one. It has finally and catastrophically failed, leaving me wet on a bicycle in Nottinghamshire.
2. I went to the funeral of Hans Wolfgang Eisenhardt this week – a man who it was my true pleasure to meet when I did the walk all those years ago.
So, in summary, my advice about the Southern Upland Way is to complain a great deal and protest non-stop. Here are my posts from the walk:
- Reflections from a bothy
- Rambo – and being defeated temporarily by heat-seaking rain
- Things I learned from the long wide Scottish walk
- Losing consciousness and drying out on the way to Cockburnspath
- Finding lead coins in the hills of Scotland
- Blisters, dogs and bothys in Scotland
- More rain in Scotland. And blisters
- On cold Pot Noodles