CCXLVIII – Dundee Loop

Helpful MammalON THE second day of my April 2024 trip, I did not one but two walks, although one was much shorter than the other. For the first, I arose well before breakfast and went for a wander around Dundee, which I would be leaving later.  Ordinarily, I would roll this into the following walk but I quickly realised that there was enough to be seen to make this its own thing.  And so it was…

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CCXLIII – Aberdeen Loop

Helpful Mammal I RETURNED to the great grey granite city of Aberdeen just before mid-September in a largely successful bid to get a few days of walking in before the weather changed from summery to autumnal. A train journey lasting several hours conveyed me north from London and it was early evening when I finally alighted at Aberdeen station.  From there, it was a very short walk to check in at my hotel, after which I was faced with the question of what to do with the rest of my evening. The obvious answer was to find food and go over my plan for the following morning’s walk. What I actually did was go for a walk right there and then. In the rain.

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CCXXXVII – Lossiemouth to Cullen

Hasteful Mammal LAST week, I made my way back up to Scotland from London to resume where I had previously paused my perambulatory pastime.  That, you may recall, was in Lossiemouth, which lies an inconvenient six miles or so from the nearest rail link, thanks to the likes of Dr Richard Beeching. This being so, I returned to Lossiemouth in a roundabout way by first spending a night in Inverness (where I had dinner with a friend who recently moved there) and then caught the first train to Elgin in the morning. It seemed like a plan. And it was.

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CCXXXII – Dingwall to Inverness

Hasteful MammalON THE Fifth of May 2022, I breakfasted in Dingwall in the small but splendid hall of Tulloch Castle Hotel after a night quite unhaunted by the ghostly Green Lady, for whom the hotel bar is named (well, that is where its spirits are found). Indeed, the only tortured soles causing me apprehension were those on the bottom of my feet, which were making a valiant effort to inform me that my hiking shoes needed replacing. Not tomorrow or the next day but today. And yesterday would have been far better.

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CCXXX – Golspie to Tain

Hasteful MammalA LITTLE over two months ago, as I write this, I awoke in Golspie (Goillspidh) and was pleased to realise that I was now back onto what passed for my plan. By adding extra distance into the day before, I was back to being where I had intended when I had intended.  But would things stay that way?

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CXVI – Chester to Heswall

Hasteful MammalTHE city of Chester is a lovely place to amble about in on a crisp January morning, whilst stuffing one’s face with delicious but unhealthy goodies bought from an old-fashioned sweet shop.  Trust me, I speak from experience (the actual speech may be muffled on account of the mouthful of sweets).

‘Mmfl mmmfl mmmMMmmm mfl,’ I tell you,

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CXV – Flint to Chester

Hasteful MammalMY MOST recent walk was neither particularly long nor particularly coastal, involving as it did an amble alongside the River Dee as far as Chester, which is not on the coast.  But what Chester lacks in coast it makes up for in being absolutely lovely and that was justification enough.

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CXI – Beaumaris to Llanfairfechan

Hasteful MammalWHEN I awoke in Beaumaris, I found that the glorious sunshine that had accompanied the previous two days had quite vanished; the skies were grey and clouded and the weather forecast confirmed that rain would arrive sometime around mid afternoon.  This called for drastic action, if unpacking my waterproof jacket from the bottom of my bag can be called ‘drastic’, which it probably can’t. 

It could rain if it liked, I was going to walk anyway.

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LXXXIV – Whitesands Bay to Strumble Head

Hasteful MammalTHE plan was simple. Get up at the crack of dawn and leave before breakfast, giving myself plenty of time to amble slowly and leisurely around the coast to Strumble Head. And then, if time still allowed, to continue on to Goodwick.  It was a good plan. It was doomed.

The enemy, contact with whom no battle plan survives, was in this case me. As evidenced by my getting up somewhat later than intended and then taking time out for breakfast. 

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XVII – West Wittering to Bosham

Hasteful MammalTODAY I found myself looking back on yesterday’s walk in a reflective mood, glad that I have the luxury to sit about and contemplate. I spent the day ambling along the edge of Chichester Harbour at a leisurely pace, enjoying warm weather and the gentle ripple-waves of an incoming tide.

‘Oh how I love the sea,’ I thought. And I do. Even those parts of it that sit tamely within harbours, quietly and gently going splishy-splash.

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