Nineteen of us spent the summer solstice weekend, 20-22 June, at the Adventurers' Escape independent hostel at Weem, by Aberfeldy - a combination of friends old and new, people who stammer, speech and language therapists and a therapy student, from places far and wide. Everyone was made to feel welcome.
This year the majority climbed a less well-known Munro, Meall nam Tarmacham, which has a splendid ridge and fantastic views of the surrounding mountains, including better-known Ben Lawers. Carolyn Allen, main organiser of the event and aficionado of Munro climbing, led our entourage. We were fortunate to enjoy relatively good weather that made the views spectacular. Once more, Mrs McAleese's tablet came out tops in the walkers' poll on home baking though many other contributions were greatly appreciated as well. Richard Perry, co-organiser, should be congratulated on attempting more than one recipe! We were joined by Vince Rocks who came all the way from London for the fresh air and 'craic' he enjoyed two years ago at Glencoe. David Lilburn, a Scot, also made a homecoming visit to join us from the big smoke. The age range amongst Munro climbers was from eighteen to fifty-something and all made it to the top.
Alternatives on Saturday included white water rafting and a sponsored low-level walk in a frock, undertaken by Campbell Lauder.
In the evening we cooked and ate together, visited the local pub and sang and played silly drama games in the wee small hours. Those so inclined stayed up to witness the shortest night merging into a sunny blue dawn on Sunday morning: it seemed so shockingly bright that it sent us all packing to bed for at least a few hours.
On Sunday, in bright sunshine the majority overcame tired leg muscles and 'heids' to stroll up the wooded gorge known as the 'Birks of Aberfeldy', immortalised by Robert Burns in his eponymous ballad. We ended with lunch at the Weem Hotel, neighbouring our hostel, before saying farewells and making our homeward journeys.
This was our fourth 'Walk and Talk' weekend and we are gratified that participants are adamant that this annual event should continue.
As one participant said: "Another great weekend which I enjoyed immensly. Well organised, nice people, good food and great craic. The views from the Munro were fantastic - and everyone on the weekend gelled together really well."
BSA Scotland would like to thank those who raised sponsor money by tackling the Munro walk, and to those who gave 'informal' donations during the weekend. To date we have received over £660, all of which will go towards supporting the work of BSA Scotland.
Jan Anderson, BSA Scotland, August 2009