As a kid, I moved from the country to the “big city” of Dundee, where my classmates jokingly considered me a yokel. They gave me my nickname after a history lesson on the inventor of the seed drill.

This is indeed a bittersweet adventure for me. As an expat Scot, walking the West Highland Way is undoubtedly a bucket list item. I believe Rannoch Moor is one of the most scenic places in the world. Having been away from “home” for 41 years, to have the pleasure to walk it will be a great joy.

I am looking forward to reminiscing with long-standing (as opposed to old) friends, and reacquainting myself with haggis and bagpipes. The time of year may not be right for haggis, but I will keep an eye out for the beasties. (Perhaps only on the local menus).

The downside of this great adventure is that the walk is now in honour of Stuart. He was a great friend, bringing laughter and support wherever he went. He was always quick with a quip but also possessed good common sense, keeping us all grounded. Thinking of support, here is one little anecdote. I was playing in a semi-final of a ‘major’ football cup on Acton Common. The crowd was considerable, with possibly six supporters for the opposition and one for my team. Yes, Stuart was there and it certainly was not for the quality of the football. But I have always appreciated his attendance and support. We lost!

He will be with us in spirit on the walk. We can expect a few thunderstorms along the way as he will no doubt introduce a few challenges for us. I can just imagine the wry smile on his face!

As for me, apart from hacking out my own trails around golf courses, I have undertaken little in the way of hiking since I was a member of the 10th Broughty Ferry Scout Group some 50 years ago. I anticipate my own personal challenge!

Listen to Gordon’s interview with Surrey Hills Radio.

Gordon’s Walks

Mount Faber

Gordon sets off on his second training walk around Singapore. After the flat terrain around the Singapore River, this is in the treetops.
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Singapore River

Living in Singapore, it’s difficult for Gordon to find suitable places to train for the Hike, but the stunning surroundings make up for it.
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