In ‘Gurkhas in the Mist’ ex-Gurkha officer John Archibald relates in sometimes hilarious fashion the story of his 8-day, 200-mile, coast-to-coast walk across the Scottish Highlands with six serving Gurkha soldiers in aid of the Gurkha Welfare Trust.
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From Inverie on the Knoydart peninsula the team trekked to Stonehaven on the east coast by way of the Rough Bounds of Knoydart, Loch Arkaig, the Spean Bridge Commando memorial, Corrour, Dalwhinnie, Braemar, Lochnagar, Glen Muick, Glen Esk and the Fetteresso Forest.
A separate chapter is given over to each day’s trek and along the way John introduces us to his Gurkha friends and describes the people they met and friendships made, interesting facts about the areas they passed through, a survival guide to midges, comments on the fish farming industry, the historical background to the commando training centre at Achnacarry, the origins and history of the Gurkhas and how he, a lad from Huntly in Aberdeenshire, came to be walking across Scotland with six of them.
The book will appeal to readers interested in travelogues, hill walking, the Scottish Highlands, Scottish history, and military history, both Gurkha and Commando.
As we made our way up the steepening track I stepped over a large deposit of cow dung, courtesy of a highland cow.
“Highland cow, saheb” I intoned sagely.
“Nepali cement, saheb”, replied Rajen.
Apparently in the hills of Nepal where resources are scarce and nothing goes to waste cow dung is mixed with straw to make bricks. Remember that the next time a Nepali bricklayer extends his hand in greeting.