CLXXVI – Kilmelford to Ellenabeich

Hasteful MammalIT’S been a bit of an unsettled summer and I kept a careful weather eye on forecasts for Scotland with a view to picking the timing of my latest trip carefully.  This turned out to be entirely pointless, though not because of the omnipresent threat of showers.  Rather it was because, as a non-parent, I totally failed to account for the school holidays and their effect on accommodation.

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CLXI – Strachur to Dunoon

Hasteful MammalWHAT defines a coastal walk?  Does it have to be along the coast or in sight of the coast or just near the coast? And then how much so? Does starting and ending at the coast count? And what about the shore of a freshwater lake? Isn’t that a sort of inland coast? Does it matter? With these questions very much in mind, I consulted my personal rules of walking

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CLVIII – Helensburgh to Kilcreggan

Hasteful MammalDAY three of our recent four-day adventure promised to mostly involve walking both sides of the Gare Loch, at the mouth of which sits Helensburgh.  Blazing sunshine was unlikely but it was expected to be dry, though rain clouds would sweep in overnight to make the next day a write-off.  While this meant that the Lemming and I had to adjust some of our plans for the week, it left those for day three untouched.

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CXLIX – Portpatrick to Cairnryan

Hasteful MammalTHIS year has been shaping up to be my least perambulatory year since I set off from Gravesend, with less mileage achieved than even the year that I injured my knee and couldn’t physically walk.  Partly this is because of bad weather earlier in the year and partly because of distractions.  The logistics of actually getting up to Galloway have also presented some challenges but at the start of August I was able to do so and get in a couple more walks.  This was an opportunity I grasped with both hands — with my hand-eye coordination, I’d only have dropped it otherwise.

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CXLII – Gatehouse of Fleet to Newton Stewart

Hasteful MammalON THE second day of my recent Galloway gallivant, I decided to consider my options carefully.  I planned to walk from Gatehouse of Fleet to Newton Stewart and three possible routes presented themselves.  I could stick to the coast and dodge lorries on the A75 for fourteen miles or I could head inland and follow one of two alternatives, namely National Cycle Network route 7 and an old military road.  It was time to consult the self-imposed rules by which these walks are governed…

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CXLI – Kirkcudbright to Gatehouse of Fleet

Hasteful Mammal I RETURNED to walking after a five month gap, the delay having come about on account of being a bit under the weather. Not me, you understand, but south west Scotland, which had spent much of the winter assailed by flooding and storms.  Since I planned to go walking, not wading, I patiently waited this out until the first signs of impending spring brought calmer, warmer and — most importantly — drier weather.  And then I got sunburnt. In Scotland. In March.   It’s like my special super-power.

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CXL – Dalbeattie to Kirkcudbright

Hasteful MammalWAY back in the distant dawn of time, known to some as ‘last October’, I plodded step by step from Dalbeattie to Kirkcudbright, fitting in my last walk of the year before the days got too short. As it turned out, they already had, which goes some way to explain why I was up and about in Dalbeattie before it was properly light. 

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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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CXXV – Carnforth to Grange-over-Sands

Hasteful MammalTOWARDS 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.

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CXX – Southport to Preston

Hasteful MammalON 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?

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