IT WAS my intention to awake bright and early on the last day of my early August walking trip. And technically, I succeeded. I awoke bright and early, turned off my alarm and promptly went back to sleep. As you do.
It was a couple of hours later that I actually surfaced, roused by the persistent sunshine that was streaming in through my hotel room window. I decided to take the sun’s subtle hint — one ignores a thermonuclear fireball at one’s peril — and was soon kitted up, checked out and ready to perambulate. I would be starting my day with north-west England’s one and only proper set of sea cliffs: St Bees Head.
I RETURNED to Cumbria at the start of May to resume my pedestrian adventure. I hadn’t really planned to, indeed I had other plans for the long bank holiday weekend, but I decided at the last minute that maybe, just maybe, I could fit in a single day’s walking. And so, I set off, without even checking the weather forecast.
I arrived in Cumbria amid a driving downpour, which mercifully soon lessened to alternate between drizzle and moderate rain. Still, it felt right, if by “right” I meant “damp” — this was traditional Cumbrian weather in all its watery glory. I would continue to be inundated with tradition for the rest of the day but, fortunately, I had recently invested in some properly waterproof clothing, which I trusted would keep me warm and dry.
TOWARDS the end of April I returned to Carnforth with the express intention of leaving both it and Lancashire behind and striking out into Cumbria and the south of the Lake District. The sky was grey when I got there and I fully expected that any views of distant hills would be totally hidden by mist. Also, at some point it would rain.
I AWOKE bright and early in my hotel in Cemaes to find that the promised ‘glorious sunshine’ was indeed glorious. Later, when I was on the cliff tops, I would find that it was accompanied by a howling gale of a wind, but one that was suitably sun-warmed so that it felt as though walking under the blast of an enormous hairdryer. This is not the weather usually associated with North Wales (I’d had some of that the day before).
This was to be a short walk, just far enough to get me to Amlwch, from which I could catch a bus that would begin my journey home.
WHILE I may have avoided walking in August, on account of hot weather and everywhere being booked solid, September is an entirely different prospect. And this is good because if August is optional then the start of September is almost compulsory for walking: I started my coastal perambulations on the third of September 2010, which means that as September rolled around again I was into my fifth year of walking.