Firstly, apologies to those many many people who have been in touch to give me a hard time for leaving those poor ponies stuck on Mount Keen for so long!
Yes, we're safely home - but the combination of three months in the pure mountain air, followed by a shopping trip to Dundee, resulted in a dreadful bout of flu for me - obviously my system was no longer able to cope with twenty-first century urban bugs.
I'm feeling better now (thank you) although still a bit feeble. I rode the boys out today for the first time in company with my friend Felicity - the ponies set off as though they were intending to do the whole thousand mile route backwards - so obviously still feeling pretty fit!
There's still a lot of 'finishing off' to do on the blog, and I will get there I promise.
One of the most common questions has been ' so how much total weight DID you lose/gain'? You will remember that there was a splendid scoff for two riding on this, at the Kinloch House Hotel Blairgowrie.
The answer is we lost a total of 39 kgs - nothing at all really, given that the ponies had NO additional feeding on the trip. For those who really want to know, it broke down thus: Doogs lost 30 kg; Yeoman lost 8 kg; and I lost...well, you do the maths. All I can say is, I must have been in fantastic shape before I left. Nothing to do with the splendid round Scotland hospitality, then...
The boys were delighted to get home. Somewhat to my surprise, I haven't had any trouble catching them since we got back either! Doogs was immediately surrounded by his gingernut thoroughbred harem, where he has remained ever since. I swear I've caught him saying , "and you'll never guess what we did next..." as the mares flutter their eyelashes and look impressed.
Yeoman - well I think it's fair to say that he left home a boy and came back a man - such a change in a horse, from a somewhat dippy delinquent, to a senior and responsible member of our little equine community.
Now we're back in cyberspace, check into the blog now and again to find out about the gear we wouldn't be without (and what went in the bin); what I'll do differently next time (and what that 'next time' is going to be - very exciting!) and equally exciting (to me anyway), the full-length unexpurgated book version of the trip which is due for publication in the spring. The profits from the book will go to World Horse Welfare International Training. There are also lots of great photos to catch up on which I'll post as I go - sending pictures to the blog en route was a little challenging at times.
Hope all you grief-givers are a little happier now!