The whole story, as recounted by the master storyteller Mr McDonaugh, is all over at the Dander for Dosh blog site.
What can I add? Well. It was hard. Bear in mind that I'm a morbidly obese middle aged chap with high blood pressure and gout. And my idea of exercise is walking between the office and the fridge to eat donuts.
This year, various friends helped me out by walking me all over Scotland. Glen Doll was fantastic. Aboyne, Glen Taner, all done. Fantastic. Einsten loved it all, and continues to love it.
Lots of good walking kit from Decathalon (from their HUGE warehouse at Canada Warf). But the best thing was the Berghaus walking boots from Cotswold. I went to the one in Aberdeen at Union Square, but I understand from my walking buddies that all the Cotswold stores are excellent, all the staff really good. This chap had me try on at least four pairs of boots - only after boot number three did I actually appreciate the differences and pick the right one. So. Go to Cotswolds, throw yourself at the mercy of the assistants, and they'll sort you out.
One thing about a Dander with Eileen organising it, is that everything will be fine and well organised. I knew two things. The start location, and that it would be hell.
I was given other stuff, which I studiously ignored. I really didn't want to know how hellish it would be. The dander up Glen Doll (200m ascent) was bad enough. If anyone had told me that Day three was twice that - I would have given up and never went.
So on the Monday, Coatsie and I drove to Glasgow, and met the rest of the happy dandereres. Various adventures later, we all arrived in Fort William in time to get soaked in a hailstorm on the way to supper, and then - early to bed.
Next day, the nine of us wandered through Fort William, and started...
We then fell into a few groups. The faster walkers - Tony, Dawn Coatsie, would disappear, Eileen and Julian would head off, leaving the silver surfers - Maureen and Steve Leland, Steve McDonaugh, and myself, in the rear.
Day one was hard. No hills, but an excellent set up to the first real day of walking.