After two years of lock-down and only a few walking holidays that went ahead in 2021, we are gearing up for the 2022 season and we decided that the best start for the season would be meeting up with our guides. So, we did the last week of February. Most of our guides and the complete About Argyll Walking Holidays team running the office met up in Pitlochry.
It was great to get together again after two years of Covid restrictions preventing us to run holidays with overseas participants and organise a guides meeting. Not all our guides were able to attend, but we had a good turnout with some new faces John, Paul and Kate joining some regular faces Lesley, Malcolm, Nigel, Stewart and Frieda.
After a comfortable sleep we covered many topics of the business and the promising year ahead with many customers finally getting to travel on our tours after having to postpone their walking holiday one or even two years in a row. We discussed the feedback from previous holidays and what we are doing very well and a few areas that could make our holidays even better. There were lots of great ideas from the wealth of experience and knowledge from all of our guides.
From left to right: Paul, Kate, Malcolm, Nigel, Lesley, Frieda and John (Stewart left early because of the snow)
In the afternoon we met Liz Auty from the John Muir Trust. Unfortunately due to severe weather warnings we could not go to the mountain Schiehallion for a walk, so we opted for the safety of their office (just opposite our accommodation).
Liz gave us a very informative talk explaining the work that the Trust are doing regarding rewilding, managing the planting of new trees and letting nature recover from years of human interaction, followed by an open forum for questions. We all came away with positive views on the regeneration of our wild places and the excellent work the Trust is doing.
About Argyll Walking Holidays is a corporate member of the John Muir Trust a charity dedicated to protecting wild places. They own and care for some of Scotland's finest wild landscapes including Ben Nevis, Schiehallion, Quinag and Sandwood in the northwest Highlands, part of the Cuillin on Skye and 3,000 acres on the Knoydart peninsula.
John Muir grew up in Dunbar, east of Edinburgh, where he developed an early love for wild places. Aged 10, he emigrated to the United States with his family. He was fascinated by everything in nature - from mosquitoes to mountain ranges - recognising that all of life is connected.
His passion for wild places led to a life-long quest to protect them. Muir’s writings helped people to understand the importance of wildness and inspired the creation of the world’s first national parks.
In the evening we enjoyed another hearty meal. Our hotel really looked after us with genuine Scottish hospitality.
We studied maps for new walk options, talked about changes to our walking trips, exchanged experiences with participants, suppliers and walks and chatted to each guide about the tours they are leading this year. We are all really looking forward to taking our customers out again and walk with them in beautiful parts of Scotland.
The last morning after breakfast we said our goodbyes and headed off into the snow for our onward journeys looking forward to start the season.