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Issue 48 - The walk of life

Whisky Magazine Issue 48
June 2005


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The walk of life

A team from Whisky Magazine completed nearly 50 miles of the Speyside Way to raise money for Make Poverty History. Dominic Roskrow reports

As great whisky moments go it takes some beating: an obscenely large glass of Balblair poured at Balmenach distillery late on a Friday evening in the company of friends and just as dusk began to turn to night .

We'd just completed a 12 hour, 30 mile yomp through Speyside on the back of 18 miles the day before. It had been hell. Or at least the last four hours of it had, when we'd lost confidence in our route and turned back towards a main road across streams and ditches and over fences and bush.

We'd added two hours to our walk only to find that had we reached the top of the hill we had turned back from we would have been looking down on Cromdale, our finishing point.

And to cap it all we'd managed to find a track with thick swamp-like mud to sink in to and with a gate every 20 metres, so that our tired and battered limbs were forced to discover climbing muscles when every sinew was screaming ‘stop.'

Being the only Englishman among properly-kitted Scots, this wasn't an option of course. But it didn't stop me telling everyone what I thought. For the record I don't really think all Scots are scheming liars with deep-buried sadistic tendencies towards their southern cousins.

I maintain, however, that you can't justify calling a walk the Speyside Walk when at times it is clearly not even remotely next to the side of the Spey. And that certainly my walking companions have a very loose definition of the term ‘flat', as in ‘the worst of it is over now, it's flat the rest...

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