Volcanos and vinyards

South Island trip 1In December 2020 David rings me up and asks me "How do you fancy walking the Cape Wrath Trail?" I had never heard of it although it sounded like Scotland and I was starting to be getting bored of being locked up at home. He explained that some mates were planning to walk the toughest long distance walk in Britain at the end of April and we were welcome to join. In fact we didn't start our trip until 20 May, his friends were unable to join us but friend John could come along for 8 of our planned 17 days.

Over the coming months we bought maps and guidebooks and studied the route, booking accomodation along the way where possible. We also prepared for quite a bit of wild camping and researched expedition meals. We also sought out lightweight gear - we had quite a bit already from running mountain marathons - aiming to get our packs as close to 12kg as we could. With over 400km of walking and 12,000m of climbing we didn't want big packs. We then did a test hike over a couple of days on Dartmoor.

The trail runs from Fort William to Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point of Scotland. There are a number of route options and we largely followed the route described on the Walk Highlands website. I've split the blog into three sections covering the hike itself and a final section explaining some of our planning considerations. It was a magnificient experience taking us through some of the wildest places in the country. We were also lucky with the weather (and midges) and survived without any serious aches and pains - not bad for a bunch of 63 year olds!

One reason we walked the trail was to raise money for United World Schools who do a fantastic job building and running schools for children in some of the most remote parts of the world and making a great difference to their chances in life. You can still sponsor us by clicking here