There were 14 possible start points for the 2019 TGO dotted along the west coast of Scotland. Challengers can pick any one of these points to register at and start from. Challengers can then finish anywhere on the east coast between Fraserburgh and Arbroath. For a successful crossing you had to reach the control in Montrose by the cut off time. Participants can plan their own route between their two chosen points which is then vetted to ensure it is safe and realistic.
After much deliberation, I decided on starting in Mallaig and the ferry across to Inverie in Knoydart.
There is no quick way to get to Mallaig from County Durham! I left Darlington station just after 7am and arrived in Mallaig around 6pm. The train to Edinburgh was fast but a change for Dalmuir then a lengthy wait in Dalmuir for the onward connection to Mallaig. It took 5 hours from leaving Dalmuir to eventually arriving in Mallaig but at least this leg of the journey passed Rannoch Moor, Ben Nevis and the viaduct in Glenfinnan made famous by the Harry Potter films. It’s a great way to see some remote parts of the highlands whilst relaxing.
The return journey from Montrose was much easier with a direct train back to Darlington taking only 3 hours.