CLXXXV – Pennyghael to Salen

Hasteful MammalWHILE my first walking day of 2018 was blessed by blue skies and sunshine, the second saw neither of those things.  The forecast had become one for unrelenting rain but, to be honest, that was okay because it was better than the sleet that it had previously predicted.  Armed with a seemingly bottomless packed lunch courtesy of my B&B (Seaview in Fionnphort), I caught the bus back to rain-sodden Pennyghael and prepared to splish-splash the 23 miles to Salen.

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CLXXXIV – Craignure to Pennyghael

Hasteful MammalAS THE winter nights shortened and the calendar crept towards the spring of 2018, I looked forward to resuming my perambulatory pastime.  The warmer weather would also be more welcome except that it never arrived. Instead, a cold front — nicknamed the ‘Beast from the East’ — swept across Britain, burying rural areas under drifts of snow and even dusting London with the stuff.

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CLX – Arrochar to Strachur

Hasteful MammalHAVING sat out the winter weather, I was as delighted to see the arrival of spring as one can be when blossoming trees are trying to have sex with one’s nose.  One of the best ways to avoid involuntary pollination is to go where that is less likely to be an issue, namely the coast (where a breeze off the sea should be safe to inhale).  And so for the first time in 2017, I made my way back up to Scotland, ready to continue my chosen hobby of putting one foot in front of the other a lot.

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CXIV – Rhyl to Flint

Hasteful MammalIT IS early December as I write this and winter is closing in.  It is already much darker and colder than when I last walked and that was but a few weeks ago in mid-November.  And autumn was already skulking home, wrapped in a coat and muttering, even then.

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XCVI – Harlech to Portmeirion

Hasteful MammalON GOOD Friday, I returned to Harlech at an hour well before any shops would have opened even if it hadn’t been a bank holiday. To achieve this I had cunningly left London the night before and stayed overnight in Aberdovey.

Sadly, my cunning hadn’t extended as far as remembering either a bottle of water or my phone charger and my phone decided to register its discontent by rapidly dropping down to one bar of power.  This was annoying, not least because I would be ending the day’s walk in Portmeirion, a place I wanted to take photos of. 

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XCV – Friog to Harlech

Hasteful MammalI AWOKE from a deep and restful sleep to discover that the electronic beeping I could hear was not in fact a bumblebee reversing — it’s funny how something that makes perfect sense in a dream makes none at all when you wake up — but rather my alarm clock telling me that it was an hour that no sane man should see.

Given the bumblebee thing I probably deserved it.

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XCIII – Machynlleth to Aberdovey

Hasteful MammalWHILE the Lemming and I had both agreed that leaving his car at the end point of a walk and catching the train back to the start had been an excellent plan that had given us a much greater freedom with respect to time, we were unable to reprise this cunning scheme on the Sunday due to an annoying lack of trains. What we ended up doing instead was driving back to Machynlleth and walking from there in the knowledge that there was just one — and only one — train from Aberdovey back to Mach.  If we were to miss it we’d be screwed.

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XCII – Borth to Machynlleth

Hasteful MammalWHEN I read that the weather forecast for my latest excursion would be enough heavy rain on the Friday to ensure ankle-deep mud all weekend plus recurring heavy showers just to make certain, I was not in any way deterred.  Nor was the Lemming, who joined me again, although it did prompt him to purchase some rather more waterproof footwear. 

As it turned out, it was mostly sunny but hazy with only the occasional shower…  of hailstones.

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XCI – Llanon to Borth

Hasteful MammalTHE storms that heralded the beginning of 2014 were followed by more storms and then more. The wettest January since records began was followed by a February that seemed to consider that a challenge. All manner of interesting coastal features were washed right away and I, not confusing ‘’suicidal’ and ‘intrepid’, remained in London and followed this on the news.

Until March.

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XC – New Quay to Llanon

Hasteful MammalAS I sit and write this, the rain intermittently pattering at my window, a steady stream of news articles is indicating that most of the coastal towns and villages that I have visited in both Wales and the West Country are, to varying extents, underwater.  We knew that more storms were coming, combining rain and gale force winds; flood warnings had been issued.  And then they combined with the pull of the moon to coincide with high tides.  The results look spectacular but are disastrous for the communities involved.

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