How to Disappear Completely

Posted on

The story of my Talisker trek

So one very dark Sunday morning, after having discovered that Kevin and I were booked onto completely different flights, I started my intrepid journey to the Isle of Sky (at the time of writing the home of the best whisky in the world). The first part of my journey was uneventful, I missed the bus so had to get a taxi to Liverpool St. and dozed all the way to the airport. Once at Glasgow I had a three hour wait before the last plane landed with Kevin on it and we could all get on the buses for the 6 hour drive to Skye.

On the way to Skye, we drove past Ben Nevis and, surprisingly, Jimmy Savile all kitted out in his shell suit and waving at the passing traffic from the back garden of his home in the highlands.


Upon arrival, we discovered that there were people who had had a much more exciting journey than we had. The celebrities had been on a plane whose engine had caught fire during the flight and they were forced to land at Glasgow instead of going to Inverness. The coach coming from Edinburgh had gone the wrong way for an hour and a half and was forced to turn around. Because of those problems, dinner was delayed and we spent the time getting to know our new team mates Sarah and Dave.

The next day started with training in map readying and orientation. The terrain was boggy and it was very windy but again the morning went without any major hiccups and to our delight, the wind kept the midges out of sight.


Then the competition began in earnest and we hit our first checkpoint about 45minutes after we started, this meant that we had our first task to do. Three of us were blindfolded and held a rope in three directions that had a flag in the middle of it and the fourth person directed us, by pulling on the rope we had to get the flag over different point in a circle. We successfully completed this with the only problem being Dave who was directing us forgetting Kevin’s name and calling him Derek.

Once the first task was done, it was onto our next checkpoint, here we were given three rugby balls and one person had to juggle two of them while the other three had to feed them to him, we lost points if one touched the ground.


The next thing to do was to get to the next checkpoint which was nearly two hours away. We set off across boggy marshy land and soon found ourselves picking our way across an enormous bog with loads of tufts of heather in it. In my infinite wisdom, I quickly became bored with the slow progress and decided that the best course of action was to sprint across. As you can imagine, I didn’t make it more than 50meters before one leg disappeared into the depths of the bog and I land face first onto a large lump of heather. At which point my heroic team mates made their way carefully to the edge of the bog leaving me stranded.

At the third checkpoint we had to overcome the famous river crossing test, we made it across once but failed to get back again. Having felt we had lost points at that checkpoint, we decided we needed to make up points on the next checkpoint.

We mostly ran to the next checkpoint, demonstrating how fit we all were (or how foolish). The fourth task was some kind of human pulley system, we had to keep buckets of water or materials off the ground as it travelled from one side to the other. We managed to do this faster than anyone else – which wasn’t bad.

Then it was off to the final checkpoint and we were given a written task that we could do back at the campsite. We got back at quarter to four and went for a drink while we wrote the answers.

In the end we finished 6th overall, but we out drank any of the other teams. Team M rocks!


5 Replies to “How to Disappear Completely”

  1. well done my son,great to hear that falling on your head does not make any difference to your performance!! You have not said 6th out of how many teams? Sounds like your navigation skills are better than time keeping. but i didn’t give you your middle name for nothing, Justin !!
    love Mum

  2. ahhhhhhh, you’ve just broadcast my middle name to the entire world. There were 18 teams in it, one dropped out it was so difficult.

  3. Liz and members of the congregation at St Botoph’s Church Longthorpe say well done, they like the whisky too, and have donated their £51 collectively

  4. so…..Justin…..

    Congrats on completing your trek!

    You should post all your pics especially the face in the bog heather ones on

    See you on pm., take care 🙂

  5. thanks,

    fortunately for me, my intrepid companions were too busy running away to take photo’s of me face down in the bog.

    I’ll definately have to get round to posting the pics at some point.

Comments are closed.