Adventurers set off on Kidnapped capers

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Two adventurers set sail from South Queensferry on a voyage tracing the route taken in RL Stevenson’s famous novel Kidnapped.

Alan Rankin and Willie Gibson are sailing around and trekking across Scotland reliving the classic tale during the epic 760-mile journey.

The sailing route will see the intrepid adventurers sail from South Queensferry on the Forth, northwards passing Aberdeen, around Orkney, passing Cape Wrath, then outside of Skye, south of Tiree and landing on the rocky island of Erraid near Mull.

The challenge tales place 130 years to the month when Stevenson completed what many believe to be one of his finest works. The fact that Kidnapped has not been out of print since it was first published in 1886 is testament to this.

Alan said: “We have been watching the weather forecasts and saw the opportunity to set off on a southerly tail wind sending us up to Orkney. Our passage takes us into some open seas so getting the timing right is critical to the success of the sailing leg.”

Willie, a veteran of over 20 mountain marathons and long distance running routes, said: “We plan to follow the route as close as possible to that described in the book.

Alan Rankin and Willie Gibson before setting sail on their epic journey

Alan Rankin and Willie Gibson before setting sail on their epic journey

“We will also use the long distance walking route The Stevenson Way as a further reference to final routing through the hills. The trek takes in over 42,000 feet of ascent so we have some big days ahead of us!”

Once on Erraid the pair will trek, hike and run the 260 miles back to Edinburgh. The overland route crosses Mull, Morvern, Appin, Glencoe, Rannoch Moor, the Trossachs, Hillfoots and returning over the Forth to South Queensferry and following the story to finish in Edinburgh.

The pair are using a satellite tracker to record their progress on website

The challenge will raise funds for three charities – Parkinson’s UK, Ocean Youth Trust Scotland and Stevenson Adventures.

Nick Fleming, CEO of Ocean Youth Trust Scotland said: “We wish the Kidnaped130 team the all the best for their amazing adventure. We are looking forward to following their journey and to hearing about the challenges they face along the way. Good luck and fair winds! “

Ian Logan from Stevenson Adventures said: “The terrain that Alan and Willie are running through is rough and hard going. The locations are remote and wild but also with a wonderful beauty. Hats off to them for this great effort!”

Alan and Willie will be joined by sailing friend Richard Marshall to assist with the long sailing route.

Denise McNiven, Scotland and Northern Ireland Fundraising Manager for Parkinson’s UK, said: “Parkinson’s UK is delighted that the Kidnapped 130 team are supporting our work. We wish Alan, Willie and Richard the best of luck on their fantastic adventure.”

The challenge is expected to be completed within 18 days. Donations can be made online from Follow updates on Twitter @kidnapped130 or on Facebook.

Kidnapped – the story

The RL Stevenson classic is set in 1752 and follows the story of David Balfour, a young lowland lad recently orphaned, who leaves home to seek his fortune. He meets with his Uncle Ebenezer who David soon realises has taken the family seat of Shaws by default and he, David is the rightful heir.

Uncle Ebenezer not wishing to share the family estate has David kidnapped at South Queensferry and is taken aboard the brig Covenanter to be shipped off for sale into slavery in the colonies. During the stormy voyage around Scotland David realises he is at the mercy of a crew of murdering scoundrels.

As a result of a collision in thick fog off Skye they take on board Alan Breck-Stewart a Jacobite sympathiser. David and Alan fend off the murderous crew intent on killing Alan for his money but the voyage is ended when they are shipwrecked on the Torran rocks off Erraid, a small island off Mull.

From there Stevenson masterfully weaves fiction with history as the tale follows David as he witnesses the infamous ‘Appin Murder’ of the government agent Colin Glenure.

He is re-united with Alan and together escape the pursuing redcoats and embark on a great adventure crossing Scotland by way of Glencoe, Rannoch Moor, The Trossachs, Hillfoots, crossing the Forth and returning to South Queensferry.

Together with David’s lawyer they trick Uncle Ebenezer into admitting his duplicity and the book ends with David inheriting his rightful fortune.

Kidnapped is an adventure set amongst political, social and personal intrigue at a time of great upheaval in Scotland.

Kidnapped130 will bring this literary classic to life capturing and bringing together heritage, environment and adventure to relive this compelling tale.