OVER Breakfast on the twelfth day of September 2023, I wrestled with a choice of routes by which I might head south from Aberdeen. There was a coastal path for at least part of the way to Stonehaven, and it had been my original intention to take it. I had, however, since learnt of the existence of a mediaeval drovers’ road named the Causey Mounth, which had served as the main highway between Aberdeen and Stonehaven until the current A92 was constructed in the 1960s and 70s. This faced me with something of a dilemma; after all, I could hardly do both, now could I?Continue reading “CCXLIV – Aberdeen to Stonehaven”
AFTER breakfast, I began my penultimate coastal walk of April 2023 by – and this should hardly be surprising – walking along the coast. I finished it like that, too, with some coastal walking in between. Although, technically, I suppose I didn’t actually begin with coast as I initially detoured a few metres further inland to take a better look at some Peterhead structures I’d glimpsed the previous evening on my way to my hotel.Continue reading “CCXLI – Peterhead to Newburgh”
MID-April, I awoke in my hotel room, about half a mile west of Cullen (Inbhir Cuilinn) proper, ready to begin my second day of a six-day walking trip. This would be a shorter walk than the day before, at about sixteen miles, and would take me through Cullen itself and onwards to Banff. That’s the original Scottish Banff, of course, not the Canadian one, which would be a far longer and more challenging walk, what with the ocean and all.Continue reading “CCXXXVIII – Cullen to Banff”
ON 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.Continue reading “CCXXXII – Dingwall to Inverness”
WITH wonderful synchronicity my one hundred and fiftieth walk also included my two thousand five hundredth mile. The objective for the day was to walk from Cairnryan to Girvan, which I made to be twenty-three miles.Continue reading “CL – Cairnryan to Girvan”
ON WHAT would turn out to be a bright but breezy day, I sacrificed any hope of breakfast by rising around dawn in the hope of maximising all available daylight. I planned to walk to Preston by a slightly meandering route that totalled 25½ miles. The question was, would I make it there before dark?Continue reading “CXX – Southport to Preston”
TOWARDS the end of May, with a weather forecast of ‘heavy showers’ interspersed with ‘heavy rain’, I returned to that part of Gwynedd that used to be Caernarfonshire to embark upon a challenging couple of walks. The first, from Pwllheli to Aberdaron, was about 25 miles, which promised to be hard going in the expected rain.Continue reading “XCVIII – Pwllheli to Aberdaron”
I 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.Continue reading “XCV – Friog to Harlech”
ONE problem with the increasing distance from my home of these coastal walks is that I now require so much longer to get to the start and back from the finish that I essentially lose whole days just travelling. I was quite keen to minimise that on my most recent trip so I endeavoured to return to Aberdovey as early in the day as was possible in order to get some more walking in from the very moment I arrived.Continue reading “XCIV – Aberdovey to Friog”
THE end of November 2013 saw my first walk in six months, a period of perambulatory abstinence that was by no means voluntary but which came about because midway through June I ran for a bus.
Well, I say ‘ran’… what I actually did was take about four steps and crumple like a rag doll, screaming something like ‘HnnnghhhrrrARRGHohdearGod!’ which is how one says ‘my knee’s not quite right’ in conversational Agony.Continue reading “LXXXVIII – Cardigan to Tresaith”