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He walked on his bloody stumps...

Back in FebruaryI blogged about The Domino Danderers and a planned walk across Scotland in aid of the Children's Hospice Association Scotland.  Originally I was to be performing that walk in May with the others, but due to some health issues I was unable to take part, except in a supporting role.  I had raised quite a bit of money back them, so I couldn't even bale, so I scheduled my attempt for weekend, as I would already be in the UK for ICON UK and a friends wedding.

Members of my family took pity on me, and so I wouldn't have to walk alone a couple of them agreed to walk it with me, over the next couple of months this became 6 of us.  My 71 year old Dad, my older brother, younger brother, my eldest Niece and eldest Nephew, with my Uncle and Aunt acting as support vehicle.  We called ourselves The Three Generations team.

Our goal was the same as The Domino Danderers, to walk theGreat Glen Way from Fort William to Inverness in 4 days.  Having witnessed the other folks walking it in May, I decided to break up our distances a little different, primarily to split the hilliest section over two days. So our planned breakdown for each day was as follows:

Day 1: Fort William to Laggan Locks
Day 2: Laggan Locks to Invermoriston
Day 3: Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit
Day 4: Drumnadrochit to Inverness

So last Thursday night, we arrived on a beautiful evening at out B&B on the outskirts of Fort William, lying in the shadow of Ben Nevis.  After a nervous sleep (I was sharing a room with my two brothers, and I had no idea how they would try and stop me snoring), we awoke to a light fog weaving it's way through the valleys with clear view of Ben Nevis backed by a beautiful blue sky.


When I first announced, that I would be doing this work, I tried to increase the fund raising amount by agreeing to do certain things if targets were met, the first one, was I would do the hike in a Kilt and Pith helmet if $2,000 was raised.  It turns out, that a lot of people wanted to see my look ridiculous in a kilt, so the and donations started coming in pretty quickly, to prove I fulfilled that promise here is a photo of our team at the start, all of us decked out in Kilts, but I'm the one in a pith helmet.


Left to right, Peter King (Nephew 18), Bethany King (Niece 23), Charles Tyler (Father 71), David Tyler (brother 44), Carl Tyler, Richard Tyler (brother 38)

We started the hike from the Great Glen Ways start/end marker in Fort William just after 9am.  The wind was in our faces, which wasn't expected as usually the prevailing wind is West to East, for us it decided to make our hike a little more difficult by being East to West.  As the first day was fairly flat terrain, I had decided to walk on some fairly new, lighter weight walking shoes, versus my well worn in walking boots.  This decision would prove to haunt me for the rest of the trip, as by lunch time on the first day I would get blisters that would never heal, even with my Niece Bethany doing her best impressions of a nurse to try and tape them up.


Day 1 ended just as the rain started to come down, and the sun was about to set, but we had all completed it, 22.5 miles with some having faired better than others.


Day 2 we awoke to what I call Welsh weather, wet, grey, foggy and pretty miserable.  We picked up our hike where we left off the previous day, I was worred the kilt would become a huge weight as it became wet, but it turned out to not be an issue.  By mid day, we were very lucky, the skies had cleared and we had nothing but puffy Simpson clouds, and the weather would pretty much stay this way until the last mile on the last day.


We lunched at the top of the locks Fort Augustus, where I tried to decipher the Orange Gatorade ingredients in order to try and work out why it tastes so disgusting.  I never did work it out.  There was an Italian tourist bus in town, and a couple of women wanted to have their photo taken with me.  I don't know if this was because they thought I was an authentic Scottish person in a kilt, or if they wanted to start some Italian MeMe of pictures of yourself with a big man in a kilt, unless it gets huge over there, I'll probably never know, what we do know for sure is that they didn't want my brother in the photo just me.


On the evening of day 2 my older brothers military training kicked in, and he took over the care of my blisters, after soaking my feet in Potassium Permanganate for about an hour, which helped sterilise the blisters and gave me lovely dark tanned feet, and I kid you not, golden toe nails, very strange.  He drained the fluid from my blisters and then using compeed and zinc tape, taped up my feet, making me promise not to remove the tape until the end of the hike.  In no position to argue, I agreed.  My nephew Peter appeared to take great pleasure in watching my brother poke a syringe into my feet, and I'm sure he's still getting pleasure from watching the video he took of it.

Day 3 we got up, and whilst Bethany was making friends with the local turkey, we packed the car, and headed off back to Invermoriston.


Day 3 would be one of our hilliest days, and if we felt up to it, we had agreed to keep going at the end of the day for a few more miles past Drumnadrochit, so that we could get through the last major hill of the hike, and then leave us with a shorter hike on the last day, and a hike that was mainly downhill (I liked the sound of that).


Steady work was made on day 3, and we decided to continue up the final hill.  I think my Dad summed up the Drumnadrochit hill the best, when he called it the "Fuck Me Hill", whenever you thought you'd reach the top you'd say "fuck me" as you got to the peak, to find out you still had another one to go.  We finished day 3 at the bottom of Abriachan Forest, with the last major hill completed, and a much shorter hike planned for Day 4.


Day 4 picked up from where we left off at the Abriachan Forest

We arrived on the outskirts of Inverness to a slight downpour of rain that lasted about 15 minutes, and cleared up as we were about 1/2 a mile from the end of the hike.  Our legs were sore, some socks were soaked with blood, but we had made it, we had completed the hike!  More importantly we had just raised some money for a really good cause.

Although we're still waiting for a few more donations to come in, the Three Generations team raised approximately $10,129, when you combine this with the amount also raised by the Domino Danderers, it gets our combined total to a whopping $28,014.63

So there was also another part to trying to raise additional donations, apart from wearing a kilt and pith helmet, I had also agreed to do a Harlem shake video if we could get my fund raising amount up to $5k, and it appears that people were as eager to see that as they were to see me in a kilt (I have no idea why).  So if you have sponsored us, you may watch this, if you watch this, and even laugh a little bit and don't click here to sponsor us, then all I will say is Karma can be a bitch and may you sleep uncomfortably at night.

Harlem Shake Great Glen Way Fundraiser from Carl Tyler on Vimeo.

For fun, we also made this:

Three Generations - "I would Walk 500 Miles" for Iain Rennie Hospice from rich_A_tyler on Vimeo.


Three Generations
and support team
The entire team, plus support team of Ron and Sonya Tyler.


Gravatar Image1 - Woo hoo!Emoticon

Gravatar Image2 - Well done, and a great story!

Gravatar Image3 - Congrats to all of you.
Love the '500 miles' song.

Gravatar Image4 - Great job all of you. Love the videos!

Gravatar Image5 - A massive well done to all of you, great achievement! (And a great post too Emoticon )

Gravatar Image6 - Good job Carl and family. I enjoyed the video and am impressed by the amount of funds raised. Hope your feet are doing better.

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