CLXXXI – Fort William to Glenfinnan

Hasteful MammalI DECIDED back in September, against all sense and reason, that I would return at that month’s end and continue my walking adventure.  And adventure of sorts was certainly a possibility, given the wind and rain warnings for the couple of days that followed.  But the first day was relatively clement and went something like this…

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CLII – Ayr to Kilwinning

Hasteful MammalTHIS time last month (as I write this), I left my hotel rested (and breakfasted) but I found myself in no immediate hurry to leave the town of Ayr (Inbhir Àir). Instead I bought myself a coffee and ambled idly through its streets, randomly taking in the sights. 

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CXLVI – Glenluce to Drummore

Hasteful MammalLURED by a weather forecast that promised sunshine in Scotland and rain in London, I headed back to Galloway in the middle of April in order to get in a couple more days of walking.  The weather was sunshine and small fluffy clouds for most of the journey to Scotland.  It was also sunshine and small fluffy clouds for most of the journey home. Can you guess how it was in between?

It rained. A lot. Well, obviously.

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CXXXV – Bowness-on-Solway to Carlisle

Hasteful MammalI HAVE had many alarm clocks over the years and, given time, I can learn to sleep through any of them.  But a faceful of blinding solar emanations is always difficult to sleep through, which how I came to be up and about and haring for a bus on the third and final day of my mid-August trip. I made it to the bus stop with just minutes to spare and mentally thanked the great, glowing orb in the sky.

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CXXXIV – Silloth to Bowness-on-Solway

Hasteful MammalON THE second morning of my mid-August trip, I awoke to the grey diffuse light and gentle pitter-patter of the rain that had been promised by the Met Office.  Fortunately, I had prepared for this eventuality by packing waterproof walking gear.  Well, mostly waterproof.  I walked in it anyway

I quickly decided that were I to stay and have breakfast, I’d never go out in the rain.  Instead I’d spend the day in the warm and then catch a bus to Carlisle.  That was hardly the point of my trip, so I forced myself outside.  It was cold. It was wet. But now that I was out in it, I was in fairly high spirits. The road beckoned, promising a damp and drizzly adventure.

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CXXXIII – Maryport to Silloth

Hasteful MammalIN THE middle of August, despite rain being forecast, I made my way back up to Cumbria for the purpose of further perambulatory diversions. 

Having left London at a time known only to insomniacs and chorusing birds, I alighted in Maryport sometime mid-morning to find the small town in bustling holiday mood.  I immediately went looking for an ice cream; the sunshine was mocking the Met Office with a vengeance—it was more like Umbria than Cumbria.

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CXXXI – Ravenglass to St Bees

Hasteful MammalALTHOUGH there is a certain purist joy in staying overnight at the start and end point of each walk, so that all the travelling that you are doing between places is on foot, there is a whole different kind of joy in starting the day already ensconced in a hotel at your end point.  This kind of joy entails the ability to dump all your heavier things in your hotel room, safe in the knowledge that you’ll walk back to them later. It is a ‘travelling light’ kind of joy.

This was, of course, what I was doing when I caught a train from St Bees to Ravenglass in order to spend the day walking back to St Bees (the railway version of the journey was around sixteen times faster). 

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CXXIII – Fleetwood to Lancaster

Hasteful MammalMY RETURN to Lancashire came interestingly close to not happening, as I slept through my alarm and missed my intended train into central London

The next one, which I caught, gave me very little time to transfer between National Rail and Underground stations, which culminated in my racing through London Euston and leaping aboard my train to Preston with literally seconds to spare.  Compared to that, the ten minute transfer window I had at Preston provided great opportunity for dawdling. 

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CXXI – Preston to Lytham St Anne’s

Hasteful MammalI CHOSE the penultimate weekend of March 2015 on which to return to Preston and continue what was in theory my coastal perambulation, not that much of the first day’s walking could really be described as ‘coastal’.

In theory, my route for the day was pretty simple. I just needed to head west along the northern bank of the Ribble until it widened out into an estuary and I could head north along the coast.  That seemed pretty straightforward, what could possibly go wrong? 

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CXVII – Heswall to Liverpool

Hasteful MammalHAVING slept like a log in my hotel in Heswall, I awoke about as speedily as a tree grows in breadth.  I was warm and comfy and had no great desire to get out of bed but I also knew that the Seacombe to Liverpool ferry stopped running shortly after four pm and thus, if I wanted to catch it, I needed to be ready to go immediately after breakfast at eight. And I knew breakfast started at eight because I’d checked.

The breakfast was a lie

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