CCXXII – Melvich to Thurso

Hasteful MammalMY FINAL walking day of 2019 began with breakfast in the Melvich Hotel (established 1851). They had helpfully painted a mural map along one wall of the dining area and I dawdled for a bit, gauging my progress against it. That progress would cease if I didn’t get outside and do the next bit, however, so I settled my bill, picked up my stuff and headed out to do that walking thing…

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CLXXVIII – Oban to Port Appin

Hasteful MammalIT HAD been raining when I reached Oban and it rained through the night with thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure.  I knew then, when I woke bleary-eyed in the morning, what the cold, grey light seeping through the curtains must mean. The only real question was how bad would it be?  I hesitated, my hand halfway to the window, not at all sure that I was keen to find out…

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CLXXI – Machrihanish to Tayinloan

Hasteful MammalON A certain morning in early July, on which citizens of a former colony would later be celebrating Getting Away with Violent Treason, I found myself arising not only much earlier than the impending celebrants but also than many in my own time zone.  I used this head start on my day to check out of a Campbeltown hotel and take the bus back to Machrihanish where, I hoped, it would be raining slightly less hard.  My hope proved entirely unfounded.

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CLII – Ayr to Kilwinning

Hasteful MammalTHIS time last month (as I write this), I left my hotel rested (and breakfasted) but I found myself in no immediate hurry to leave the town of Ayr (Inbhir Àir). Instead I bought myself a coffee and ambled idly through its streets, randomly taking in the sights. 

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CXXVIII – Barrow-in-Furness to Foxfield

Hasteful MammalHAVING ‘enjoyed’ torrential rain on my previous walk, I waited until the weather seemed slightly more promising before returning to Cumbria.  The forecast in mid-June was for sunshine one day and probable rain the next.  Slathered in sunscreen but half-expecting a downpour, I found Barrow-in-Furness basking beneath blue skies and looking somewhat better in the sunshine.  Not by much, admittedly, but better nonetheless.

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CXXII – Lytham St Anne’s to Fleetwood

Hasteful MammalI AWOKE early in my hotel room in St Anne’s, dazzling sunlight reflecting off all the walls.  The sun was up, the sky was blue and my stomach was ready for breakfast, which seemed the correct order of things.  Had the sun been blue and breakfast all stomachs I think I’d have just stayed in bed.  I fancied that I could smell bacon and decided that it needed to be mine.

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CXXI – Preston to Lytham St Anne’s

Hasteful MammalI CHOSE the penultimate weekend of March 2015 on which to return to Preston and continue what was in theory my coastal perambulation, not that much of the first day’s walking could really be described as ‘coastal’.

In theory, my route for the day was pretty simple. I just needed to head west along the northern bank of the Ribble until it widened out into an estuary and I could head north along the coast.  That seemed pretty straightforward, what could possibly go wrong? 

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CI – Nefyn to Caernarfon

Hasteful MammalHAVING previously forecast a lot of rain that turned out to be made of golden sunshine, the Met Office recently managed an unspectacular return to form by accurately predicting cloud cover over North Wales.  Which is a bit like predicting sunshine in the Sahara.  But at least I was forewarned and therefore prepared…

Prepared to take no notice whatsoever, that is.

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LXXIV – Llanelli to Kidwelly

Hasteful MammalI WAS aware that Britain was expecting snow when I made the arrangements for my latest jaunt around Wales.  At that point, however, the Met Office were mostly predicting that the snow would fall on the eastern half of the island and that Wales would be largely untouched. As the weekend drew closer, however, the forecast shifted until South Wales was given the first severe weather warning (‘red: take action’, as opposed to ‘amber: be prepared’) in two years.  Obviously, the only thing I could do at that point was cancel.  Obviously.

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LXVII – Barry to Merthyr Mawr

Hasteful MammalI MAY, as the twilight began to lighten the horizon on Saturday morning, have wondered to myself why I thought it was a good time to be sitting in Cardiff Central Station (or Caerdydd Canolog in Welsh).  The answer, of course, was that it enabled me to catch the first train to Barry and so to resume my walk around the coast.  It didn’t, on the other hand, do much for sating my body’s desire for sleep. But hey, it had had a two hour snooze on the overnight coach from London. That would just have to be enough…

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