Tuesday, 24 September 2013


2 weeks, 250 miles (due to slightly inaccurate map reading), at least 250 meals cooked, 3 tanks of fuel, 50 cakes consumed by the support team whilst waiting, millions added to the local community by the support team's 'essential' purchases and nearly £2500 raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Thank you to everyone who supported us; if it was with driving, cooking, words of encouragement, discounts, donations or comedy.  We've done it - we've walked from Dunnottar Castle to Dunvegan Castle in rain, snow, sleet, wind and the tiniest bit of sunshine.  We've grappled midges, ducks, trees, cows and banana man.  We've enjoyed the best of Scottish Hospitaity and some of the rudest situations ever (ladies of Fort Augustas and beardy man of Skye you know who you are).  The munches never want to see a camper van again (little do they know it is my new favourite thing and one will be purchased v soon).  Missy V and I went on tent strike on the final day as we put it up twice in Dunvegan, the poles snapped and were bodge taped together only for the whole thing to be blown down during the night and the dad, Missy V and Mr Mac had to spend the night in a portacabin.  The munches and I slept through the whole thing.

Even though it rained on the last day, we had a fanastic finale to the Daunder at Dunvegan Castle.  Many thanks to Fiona and the Castle team, the Isle of Skye Pipe Band and the tourists who saw the final few meters.  Dunvegan opened the Castle Gates we were piped in and welcomed to the Castle.  Mum's spirit is home and the sparkly wine on the gun terrace was ace.

I will do a final DDDaunder post to list all the companies that helped along the way with contact details but would just like to say a huge thank you.

It was emotional through out the walk, but those final few steps were hard for many of us.  As a family we've not only lost my mum, but Cousin M's dad, the dad's dad, aunty Joan, cousin H has faced a long battle, both nan's haved fought breast cancer and other close family members and friends have been affected by cancer.  Everyone knows someone, everyone will be affected by cancer in some way in their life so please give a little to those that provide the support and friendship when you feel exhausted, emotional and at a loss as to what to do next.


So here's to the Daunder, to Macmillan, to the friends and family that made it possible; but most of all, here's to Mum.

Jen xx

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Jungle fever

Day 11 and it's still raining!  Unfortunately to get the mileage in the boys are having to walk on roads.  Mr Mac is suffering with very sore feet so we were despatched to purchase super doper insoles.  Tired of walking on the roads Mr Mac took the team on a bit of a meander; and yes you've guessed it they went further than they needed to and found a uncharted jungle between Broadford and luib.

Cousin M was dry in his issue wet weather gear - unfortunately it's bright orange and makes him look like a road layer.  He didn't break anything today, but was broken by the DDDaunder.

Missy V and I boosted the local economy again, visiting inside outside outdoor shop, Skye batiks, Rador visitor centre (the munches even got a bit of soft play in) and the aromatherapy soap shop in Portree.  Monster munch created his own ticker tape parade in the bunk house with the tourist leaflets and mini has started to crawl!

Mr Mac is currently trying to light the fire but has just discovered that Mr S threw the matches on the fire last night - we will see how things go...

Many thanks to Lyndsay and Tom of the Sleigachan Bunkhouse for their continued hospitality and king donation to the fund.

Remember text LJTH58 to 70070 and you will donate £5 to Macmillan Cancer support.

We're nearly there, the end is insight.  Top memory of today in monster munch telling me he loves me so much it makes him laugh.

Jen xx

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

I can cook

Well day 9 of the dd daunder dawned and it was still raining, even the proper breakfast didn't brighten their spirits.  The walk was more of the same, rain,snow, wading through rivers (mr s this time) with the addition of a strange screaming in the woods before the Corrieyairack Pass ....

The support team was joined by the missus who met the walkers for one of their many beer/coffee breaks.  Monster and mini munch took a trip on the Loch Ness Crusie to hunt for Nessie.  As usual we were late and had to walk fast - monstertold me to slowdown as i was goingtoo fastfor his little legs.  Alas no Nessie was spotted although monster insisted the splashing across the boat was Nessie swimming under the boat.  Both munches entertained the American tourists on our boat by hair pulling and giggling.  Their photos were taken numerous times and monster told one lady that here video ofnessie was pretend much her surprise.  They then both fell asleep! We finished off with ice creams in the rain.

I am extremely proud of myself for making a really tasty venison stew (ably assisted by the missus) and then we were treated to back packer games and Germans wearing nothing but a sock and a tartan turban.

Breakfast on Tuesday was an all together stressful experience that nearly ended in a Japanese tourist pilfering the breakfast supplies.  It was still raining, even hotchocolatesand rum didn't lift mr S's spirits.  The munches were treated to knitted dinosaurs in the cute little highland shop and we had lunch in a highland cow cafe at redfern.  I even had a gluten free bacon and egg roll.  Munch woke up in time for ice cream.

Arrival at Splean bridge campsite wasn't quite as joyful as our arrival at Morag's lodge, it was still raining, Monster stood under the water tap fully clothed and was drenched within 5 minutes of us getting out the van, midges were every where but it did have inside toilets.  The dad added some extra mileage and walked to the coast with the vet so can now say he has done the coast to coast.

We said good bye to the vet, missus and murphy and settled down for a very cold night.  

Wednesday the rest day dawned and the intrepid trio embarked on a 21 mile oddessey toSkye, up and down some of the steepest hills, across the Glen Elg ferry (thank you to the guys for giving free passage) and finally got to Broadford and yes it was still raining.

Missy V and I made and executive decision and booked us in to the Sligachcan Bunk house - we do not want to be cold anymore!  Many thanks to the owners for their hospitality and mouse trap.  The open fire, kitchen and hot showers have really helped.  Chicken curry for tea.  Cousin m has arrived and he is already responsible for breaking the van, the van keys and dropping mini munch on his head.  This could be a dangerous four days.

Please keep donating, just text LJTH58 to 70070 and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Jen xx

Monday, 16 September 2013

After the rain

Well it's raining, it rained yesterday, it's raining today and is likely to rain for the rest of the week - the van is moist, the walkers are moist and the munches are drenched.  That said the team (joined by the vet and missus and murphy the dog) smashed out 20 miles yesterday and 18 odd the day before in the most horrendous weather.

Saturday was pant wettingly exciting for monster munch - we went on a real live steam train on the Srathspey Railway - he could hardly contain himself.  Missy V even bought him a Percy train.  His encounter with the fat controller did not go quite so well  - he hid behind me!

The desire to be warm and dry was overwhelming so we went to Papa Rock in Aviemore for dinner.  I can not recommend it more.  The munches thought it was great (I was quite excited by the built in kids toilet seat on the loos), fantastic children's meals and mini got a tour of the restaurant while I got to eat my dinner with 2 hands!  If you are ever visiting this part of the world - Papa Rock is a must.

We woke up in the rain, put the tent down in the rain - we may have put a bit much in the van - said goodbye to the Dad's friend (who has been amazing all week) and wound our merry way to Fort Augustus in the rain.  We had lunch in possibly the worse cafe in Scotland (behind the costcutter supermarket), played in the rain, watched the moving bridge and tried to explain to monster munch how locks worked - climbing on them was more fun in his opinion.  Hot chocolates were enjoyed in the lovely Boathouse Restaurant which had big sofas and views of Loch Ness.  Monster even had a lesson in glass blowing in Iceberg glass blowers.
We were all very glad to check in to Morag's Lodge in Fort Augustus.  It's warm, dry, has a bar, a kitchen and HOT showers.  We have a very happy team and can not praise the staff here more.

The walkers appeared with tales of sogginess and the dad's attempts to appear on you've been framed and boost the money raised by crossing rivers in the most comedy way possible.  Oh and we found out what they did in the bothy overnight - made a candle and played pass the pigs - pretty dull I'm afraid.  Warm beer and refreshing showers were enjoyed with lasagne, treacle tart and custard.
Monster munch is determined to find the Loch Ness Monster - I feel a boat trip coming on.....

Jen xx

Friday, 13 September 2013

not such a silent witness

After not posting for a few days I would like to assure you that the team are still alive and we have not spent any time in a and e.  The lack of updates is due to my inability to connect to hot point things until now.  The lack of punctuation today is due to me writing on a kindle.

So what have they been up to?  On the route to Breamar they met a security guard who informed them they could not walk their intended route as they were filming silent witness.  Of course this went down like a lead balloon and the security guard got a flea in his ear and the route was not diverted!

There were also more encounters with the wildlife of Scotland.  Frogs were caught and lizards inspected.  They have also challenged Jock on his road building skills and are claiming Jock`s road does not meet in the middle.  I don`t think ordinance survey will pay much attention to their protests.

Meanwhile back at the support camp monster munch has been terrorising ducks (and wearing missy v out), mini munch has been flirting with all and sundry (a small mention needs to be made about his tumble out of the van when I forgot he was in the tailgate space, he`s fine I think I was more upset).  Missy v and I have been boosting the local economy at wild thistle and the breamar gallery (links to follow) and enjoying the tasty lunches at Taste.  Many thanks to the caravan club for their discount at the camp site and to the invercauld hotel for their hospitality and support.

After saying goodbye to the cousins the trio set off on their long leg and first overnight stop.  Mr s was dressed in a cow onesie (as mentioned to me on many occasions by other campers) and it was raining.
I can`t report more on their exploits as they have come back, had tea and gone to bed.  We put the camp down, ate cake, drove a very long way, put the camp up again (in the rain) , monster munch may have just as well rolled in a puddle of mud looking at the state of him, ate cake and slept.  Whilst wRiting for the intrepid trio to return we visited Kingussie wildlife park, ate cake, saw tiger cubs, got up close with a bison and made boil in the bag rice in a kettle. Missy v also found out 3 year olds Don`t do neat when it comes to arts and crafts.

It would be great if you would like to donate to Macmillan cancer support by texting LJTH58 to70070 you will donate £5.

Jen xx

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Ever alert for the call to action...

Our intrepid walking team are now over 25% through the mileage of the DDDaunder.  It was Tarfside to Glen Clover today and not only were they joined by the cousins, Mr S metamorphosed into Banana Man.  Whilst this made for a very sweaty Mr S, it also put many a motorist at risk as they did a double take when they saw Banana Man walking through the Scottish Glens.

Thankfully there were no situations where they were temporarily unsure of their position today (unless you count the time they thought they were on the wrong hill) but Banana Man was made to make up for Mr S's shortfall in miles yesterday.  Ten minutes in to the penalty he was spotted snuffling tea from a passing camper van.
The Scottish wildlife put in an appearance again today and our walkers were almost mown down by a passing heard of deer and nearly trod on a mountain hare.  Banana Man proves no match for the Scottish elements and was blown over whilst balancing on one leg.

The support team had an altogether less pleasant day, The Dad's friend was forced to drive more miles that can be considered sensible in a Polo to ferry walkers, broken cars and tents brought in error.  Frazzled can be the only description of his current demeanour.

I made my first journey in the camper van, we didn't die, we didn't crash and we got to where we needed to (only 1.5 hrs late).  Monster Munch struck again - painting a picture as a surprise for Daddy - the wall it was drawn on took close to an hour to get clean!

Thanks today go to the Glen Clover Hotel for their hospitality and to the very kind couple in the bar who made a donation to the fund.  If you would like to donate you can at:


Jen xx

Monday, 9 September 2013

When a shortcut isn't a shortcut

Day 2 has dawned bright and early AGAIN curtesy of mini munch AGAIN on theDDDaunder   Luckily the kilts did not make an appearance today but the blisters got bigger and we have lost another team member - thank you for your sterling efforts Mr R.

Things went wrong for the (now only) three musketeers on the Auchenblae to Tarfside leg - Mr Mac decided that he knew a short cut to save 1km and yes you've guessed it the short cut became a long cut and added 10 km to the route!

Whilst the scenery was fantastic and the grouse were abundant, I think it is safe to say that today's route almost broke our walkers (they did have a small moment of excitement on a rickety bridge and when The Dad fell down a hole).  Mr S even had to thumb a lift!  The blister bursting this evening was not pretty.

The support team learnt that French bread, instant custard and sultanas do make bread and butter pudding (of sorts).  The munches terrorised local shoppers in Tescos - monster had a melt down despite my attempts to bribe him with a Spider-Man costume.  We were even treated to a toe painting session from the monster with felt tip pens - he now looks like he has frostbite!
More cousins have arrived to join days 3 and 4.  The miles are racking up thick and fast, so are your donations, if you would like to donate you can on:


Jen xx

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