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Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure

Microadventures: Part one

By Anna Wells
02, Jan, 2018

Refusing to let 'real life' get in the way of staying active and adventurous, Anna Wells reflects on her year in Microadventures

A microadventure can be described as… “an overnight outdoor adventure that is small and achievable, for normal people with real lives".

After nine years of being a university student with an infinite amount of free time, I recently made the transition to working full-time as a doctor. Becoming a normal person with a real life was a shock to the system, but, I have learned that it is so easy to keep active and adventuring if you alter your perspective on what accounts for a sensible idea!

I think there is something important in the "overnight" part, that turns a day-out into a Microadventure!  It’s not even related to the total duration of time but something about spanning that magic connection between one day and the next.

Sometimes after a hard time at work, there is temptation to rest and recover. But the type of energy involved in having an adventure is so entirely different. It allows your mind to recover and be filled with inspiration and motivation. I have always returned feeling revitalised and energised and ready to start again!

Here are a few of my favourite microadventures from the past year!

Mountain bike bothy trip to Clachnaben

It was my week of annual leave and it rained reliably every single day. A small weather window appeared between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning; this was an opportunity needing seized! My friend Ali was game for an adventure. I arrived at his house at 9pm, we loaded our bikes into our cars and drove into the countryside as the sun was setting behind the rolling hills. Backpacks on, bike lamps illuminating the way ahead, and soon we were riding up the rough track towards the Charr Bothy beneath Clachnaben. We arrived around midnight and enjoyed some delicious cold bolognaise (because I forgot the lighter!)

The alarm was set for crazy-o’-clock and as we rode our bikes up to the top of Clachnaben we were rewarded with a gorgeous sunrise. I felt so incredibly alive and free!

On the summit we were rewarded yet again, with a stunning Brocken Spectre!

Hmm… or not

Then it was time to enjoy the decent and rudely awakened ourselves by hurtling down the rough track at 6am, a surreal experience! Time for a quick coffee in Braemar before we got back in our cars and headed to our respective homes, ready to start the day.

Hillwalking/jogging in the Southern Cairngorms

In an effort to rack up "quality mountain days" for my ML assessment, I picked out a route in the Eastern Cairngorms that took in six munros and a lot of milleage. Day 1 involved four of the munros (Carn a Mhaim, Ben Macdui, Derry Cairngorm, Beinn Mheadhoin).

 It was liberating to enjoy the sunset on Beinn Mheadhoin, knowing that i could keep on wandering into the night, entirely self sufficient with my bivi kit. That evening, I popped my head into the Hutchison memorial hut to find it hot, sweaty and jam-packed with twelve hikers and a dog! After sharing some stories and turning down multiple offerings of whisky, I set off back into the night. What was weird, was making myself stop and sleep. I enjoy long days and "getting things done" so it was very counter-intuitive to halt and get into my sleeping bag!

But with a view up Glen?? It was surely not a bad way to spent the night. A cold fresh start the next morning, then arriving onto Beinn a Chaorainn at sunrise – incredible!

A slightly mind numbing trudge across a 2km bog to Beinn Bhreac , and then back to the car for breakfast, just in time to meet my friend for a day of rock climbing!

I made a short film about this particular micro-adventure, which you can see by clicking here.

For more of Anna's microadventures, read Microadventures: part two

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