Paula’s photos

From snow topped Munro’s to low level runs, Abba to Avicii, homebaked delights to whisky porridge this was an enlightening and entertaining weekend.

After a frantic Friday and lots of re-organising (John H to rescue) we all got to Bridge of Orchy and had a meal and few drinks. A brief train journey to Corrour, then a short walk-in to the hostel. Some more drinks and discussions/preparations began for Saturdays’ capers. It was also a time to figure what vital piece of equipment that everyone had forgot to bring along.

On the Saturday the Westies headed out in all directions, covering every bearing on the compass. The four J’s – John, John, John and John (I was a honorary John for the day) – adventured up to Chno Dearg. The peaks were covered in a lovely thick blanket of snow and the track was nice and easy (mainly thanks to John and John etching a path and finding all the thigh deep holes so that myself and John had an easy time). The conditions meant we couldn’t do the second Munro (JD note I’m not blaming you for wussing out) and we descended West and headed for the landrover track back to Loch Ossian. Once back at the Hostel the captain showed true spirit by having a dip in the Loch – think I will need more than just a nip of whisky in my porridge if I’m going to do that next time.

The rest of Westies headed here, there and everywhere – my memory is a bit hazy today, so I’m hoping others will add their own adventures.

Once everyone returned safely so the feasting, fun and frolics began. A huge selection of homemade delights filled the table and was devoured almost instantly – it must have been the anticipation of wanting to show off their costumes for fancy dress party that made everyone eat quickly and not the adventures earlier in the day nor how tasty the food was.

The “Olympics” themed fancy dress party was soon under way. Everyone gave their all and put 100% effort into their costumes, well, I say everyone but I think JD forgot it was fancy dress – a Hawaiian shirt and pink furry whistle – come on JD that’s just your usual evening attire!

Once the laughter and shock of some outfits subsided, the quiz and physical challenges began. In essence, Team 3 (JD, Fiona H, JD, Gibby, myself) destroyed the other 2 teams in the quiz. Obviously this rattled the other teams so they thought they could win back some dignity in the physical challenges. Little did they know there was a quiet, unassuming virgin-Ossianer ready to unleash some unique “core” skills to take 2 gold medals in the Hula-Hoop (despite some underhand techniques for John H) and the Long Standing jump. This person is only known as Victor and his new “training dvd” will be available soon, 10% discount for Westies members. Pat took silver in the Hula Hoop and Steffan was silver in the long standing jump. Ghislaine, dressed all in gold, took Gold in the space hopper event.

The games then finished and the head-torch party commenced. The music, expertly mixed by DJ Paula C, got everybody grooving. Once all the lightweights went to bed, I went for a wee wonder to catch some shooting stars and gaze into the depths of time thanks to a crystal clear night sky.

On the Sunday the shenanigans didn’t stop (neither did the tea and coffee), to summarise; at least 4 people ran the Loch loop – Alastair did 2 loops, combined total time just under the 2 hours mark – Beinn Na Lap –ridges – Corbetts – Munros. Again the Westies were dotted all over the East part of Rannoch Moor (somebody please fill in the gaps).

In the remaining few hours the hula hoop was brought back out and it was Westies vs MTBers (a group of mountain bikers were staying in the hostel after us, hence the hula competition). The walk back to the station was surprising easy – I had all 7 layers of skin on my knuckles this time.

On the platform and there was some sort of ritual, which involved clapping, dancing and singing but no music or alcohol – I know what Michael Palin feels like now when he does his tv programmes. Then it was time for the last competition of the weekend, the long standing jump – there was only going to be 1 winner!

Got off the train at Bridge of Orchy, then everyone parted separate ways. Sitting in the back of John H’s car looking out the window at the silhouette of Ben Lomond, I was saddened as the faint orange glow of Glasgows’ streetlights were becoming stronger and all but the brightest stars were fading to almost nothing – it dawned on me that the weekend had been too short, way too short. The only saving grace that I can take away from this weekend is that “You can’t say you’ve ‘partied’ until you’ve partied in the wilderness in speedos!”

A huge thank you to everyone for making, baking, cooking, organising, driving, partying, navigating and coming along to make a weekend that I will never forget.

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