Day 18 has left me with sore legs but no blisters!! Not only 15 miles walked today but cracked it in exactly 4 hours over steeply undulating ground. Absolutely thrilled and will definitely sleep well tonight.

It started on the school bus with James who, amazingly, was quite chilled about me getting on the school bus with him; until I started talking to his friends on the bus!! I was amazed about how quiet the bus was, well behaved the children were, smart in their uniform and talkative. Not like the school buses I remember!!

The Clan MacGregor burial ground dating from 1699 on the lochside of Loch Katrine.
The Clan MacGregor burial ground dating from 1699 on the lochside of Loch Katrine.

Much to James’ relief I jumped off in Callander and after a flying visit to see my friends Julie and her team in the Deli Ecosse, jumped on the bus/taxi up to Loch Katrine to catch the steamship to the drop off point. All worked like a dream and even had time to pop into the Brenachoile restaurant at Loch Katrine and yep, you’ve guessed it, hand out more flyers. Here I had a great chat with Nancy and Tracy who have offered to look at ways to help me raise awareness of the challenge and future sponsorship in a number of ways. Thank you very much indeed for understanding my story and wanting to join me on the journey. It is very exciting!! Time to catch the ferry, enjoy the scenic cruise out to the start point at Stronachlachar chat to a really responsive German chemist on holiday and hand out some more flyers!!

As I jumped off the ferry I then bumped into some old friends from years ago and our time in Bridge of Allan. It was so lovely to see them after all this time as we had a very energetic and quick catch up before realising that we had already lost 30 minutes. That meant I now had only 4 hrs 30 mins to complete a challenging 15 miles before my bus/taxi was due to take me back to Callander. I thought that I would probably want an ice cream on arriving back at Trossachs pier so why not make it a proper challenge and try and do it in 4 hours therefore averaging 3.75 miles an hour.

The Steamship Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine.
The Steamship Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine.

I waved goodbye once more and went for it and still managed to find time to stop and take a couple of quick photos. I even managed to find time to hand out some more flyers albeit in a hasty on passing sort of way. To the delightful couple I handed a flyer to thank you so very much for not appearing too concerned by this weird bloke that stormed up from behind, thrust a piece of paper in to your hand, then proceeded to walk fast backwards for 20 metres or so in an effort to look at you while introducing the challenge before then shouting in excitement when he realised that what he had just done backwards would have until very recently almost certainly have ended in catastrophy and exclaiming it to be a miracle!! Thank you for appearing to enjoy our meeting and not appearing to be too concerned by my excitement. Walking backwards like that without mishap is after all a major step forward in my motor and balance capability!!

The obligatory mug shot on Day 18 of the Beat The Beast Challenge.
The obligatory mug shot on Day 18 of the Beat The Beast Challenge

The walk was completed in exactly 4 hours to the minute. I was so pleased I decided to celebrate with an ice cream and a mocha back in the Brenachoile restaurant. I did after all have a previous coffee to pay for. Nancy didn’t need to work particularly hard to convince me to try a bit of home baking too. What arrived was one enormous piece each of the most delicious banana and lemon drizzle cake. It was a perfect way to end the day especially when bowled over by the generosity of Nancy who covered the bill for me!! Thank you Nancy so very much. Hoping to have another chance to chat to Tracy again before I went it was then time to catch the bus/taxi for the bus home from Callander and feed the children in time for Scouts. All worked like a dream again. Another flyer handed out on the bus. Got home in time to cook for and feed the children after a hugely successful days walking and meeting great people. Mission achieved!! So…….

The challenge in numbers total since the start:
Days completed: 18
Total Miles Cycled: 84
Total Miles Walked: 66
Total Miles covered under own steam: 150
Total Height Gained under own steam: 4,361 feet
Mountains Climbed: 2
Days of Conservation Activity: 1 1/4
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
People Met and Hands Shaken: 65
Pots of tea shared: 3
Pills popped: 72

If you see me around do please give a cheery hello and shake my hand or toot your horn and give a cheery wave to show your support and encourage me on.
Thank you all for your incredible comments and support. Please continue to spread the word.

Thank you

Yours aye