Best of 2017 (5)

Sport is the last award category.

2017 wasn’t a big year for sports travel. I’d given up my involvement with ice hockey’s governing body, so that cut out the trips to Newcastle.

I did go to Belfast for ice hockey in April to see a Team GB game in an IIHF World Championship tournament there. I’d been party to the decision – a bit controversial – to bid to take the tournament to Belfast. I was curious to see how it turned out.

The Action

Team GB won it and were promoted, so it was a real success on the ice. I’d love to know how the financial side worked out, but I don’t have access to the information any more.

In October I went as far as Glasgow (aye “wow!”) to watch rugby – Warriors against Southern Kings from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Again I was driven partly by curiosity. It’s the first season in the Pro 14 competition for the two South African teams.

Glasgow won a slightly one sided game on a very cold evening. I was glad I’d gone for a curry at Mother India’s before the game. Inner heat.

Warmth

I tried to set up horse racing trips occasionally, but life seemed to get in the way. I’ll have to try harder in 2018. Paris and Dublin are definitely on the wish list.

I had a several days trips around Scotland to go hiking and hill walking, mostly in Perthshire which is easily accessible for me by train. I enjoyed them all. Probably the most memorable (not in Perthshire, of course) was hiking up Coire Ardair to view the magnificent cliffs of Creag Meagaidh. It was spectacular in late March with plenty snow still lying.

Coire Ardair

I also tackled Goat Fell on Arran, but had to turn back close to the summit. My rickety old knees were causing me problems and I didn’t want to be phoning for mountain rescue to get me down. A day out on Arran is always wonderful however, even if it’s just for the ferry trips.

Bliss

Time to choose a winner. I’m going to go for the hike to Coire Ardair. I was so lucky with the weather. Between that, the spectacular scenery, the hard exercise and the clear mountain air, it’s a winning combination!

ⓒ iain taylor, 2018

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