Saturday, 6 July 2013

Whither the next TGO?


Various people have chivied me about doing the next TGO*.  At the moment I don’t think  my knee could handle the rough stuff, but I have an idea.

In 1969 Donald Crowhurst entered The Sunday Times non-stop sailing race round the globe. For complex psychological reasons Crowhurst holed up on a remote part of the South American coast and wrote a log indicating his progress in the race with the intention of rejoining when the fleet returned to the Atlantic and then going for victory. Unfortunately Crowhurst went off the rails literally and mentally before the finish of the race, and as far as we know walked off his boat in mid Atlantic, and was presumed missing. His boat was found drifting with Crowhurst’s logs on board. It was only after careful scrutiny by Sir Francis Chichester that the deception was discovered. Crowhurst’s logs and transmissions had been a masterpiece of fabrication.  A well researched and authoritative book** which I read many years ago tells the story in minute detail, and it has always stayed powerfully in my mind.

Well, why not do a Crowhurst on the TGO? One could flit from place to place by car, take a few photos, and even meet others as you pretended to head off for a multi Munro epic in a different direction, and then mysteriously appear at the finishing post with all your tales of derring do.

Of course I jest. There is nothing further from my nature. When I say I am going to do something I am almost paranoid about carrying it out, and if I have a problem I will desperately want to admit to it and tell the world, even if this is self deprecating.

I recommend the book as a fascinating read, even though it is harrowing, and may, as with me, leave you with a lasting and haunting impression. 

* For the few who don’t know the TGO is an annual walk across Scotland, taking about two weeks. Entrants specify their own route between a number of starting and finishing points on each coast. Entries are limited to about 300. This is a tough undertaking, but it is not a race, more a strenuous social event as you bump into other entrants along the way.

** The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst: Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall


4 comments:

bowlandclimber said...

You've twigged how I've been 'doing' all these walks! If only.
When are you setting off - its going to be HOT.

Sir Hugh said...

Bc - hi John. I' m off on the 8:07 train from Arnside on Monday morning. I have bought a new rucksack, goodness knows how many i have owned now. It is Low Alpine Air Zone 28 litre with an incredibly efficient looking back ventilation system, so that may help a bit if it is hot.

welshpaddler said...

We used to cheat at school cross country. Start and then hide until they came back!

Sir Hugh said...

welshpaddler - It's strange. I used to hate cross-country at school and in later life took to running on the hills (non-competitive) like a drug. I think that is what has done for my knees.