CLXVIII – Carradale to Campbeltown

Hasteful MammalDAY Four of my May 2017 walking trip presented me with a choice. I had two options for walking from Carradale to Campbeltown: the coastal route down the B842 or a longer, meandering trek via the Kintyre Way.  While both had their advantages, I’d already spent the previous day on the B-road. But Section 5 of the Kintyre Way could hardly be described as ‘coastal.’ Ah, decisions, decisions…

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CLXVII – Lochranza to Carradale

Hasteful MammalDURING my coastal walking endeavour I have been inconsistent where islands are concerned. I ignored Sheppey, clipped one side of Hayling and dismissed Wight as something for another day. Anglesey, by contrast, I included.  Once I reached the Firth of Clyde there were islands a-plenty and at first I chose to regard them from afar. The Cumbraes and Bute I thus passed by, likewise the Isle of Arran.  Except that the convolutions of the coast brought Arran within reach a second time and, partly motivated by the distribution of ferry routes, I decided to my own surprise to walk it.

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CLXVI – Lagg to Lochranza

Hasteful MammalTHE second day of my May 2017 walking trip began with blue skies, sunshine and a hearty breakfast at the Lagg Hotel on Arran. My plan for the day was a fairly long walk by my standards — twenty-five miles to Lochranza — constituting the third and final part of my circuit of the isle. Or, to look at it another way, by nightfall my total net travel over Arran would be zero.

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CLXIV – Lochranza to Brodick

Hasteful MammalI SPENT the third and final day of my April walking trip making my way around the coast of Arran towards the island’s main settlement, Brodick.  I was met by low cloud and greyness as I emerged from my hotel but the moisture in the air could not dampen my enthusiasm. My t-shirt, yes. My spirits, no. And so, grinning like a mildly humidified idiot, I set off…

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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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CLVII – Dumbarton to Helensburgh

Hasteful MammalON THE second day of my recent trip, I awoke to find that the promised sunshine had delivered itself in abundance. The skies were blue and the weather warm while, down south in London, water was falling from the sky.  I knew then that, as I walked to Helensburgh, a dash of unashamed schadenfreude would enhance my every step.

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CLVI – Glasgow to Dumbarton

Hasteful MammalI HAD been half-expecting that my walk ending in Glasgow would be the last one of this calendar year before the winter weather rolled in.  But, as it turned out, a week of excellent early November weather in Scotland not only coincided with cold and wet weather in London but also with my good friend the Lemming being able to join me for a week, which he did.

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CLIV – Largs to Greenock

Hasteful MammalI HAD planned to return to Largs in September but the weekend I picked turned out to be the wettest, windiest, most miserable weekend for months.  That threatened to fail the all important ‘is this fun?’ test and so I deferred to the start of October.  For that weekend, the forecast was more promising but I didn’t dare raise my hopes too high; autumnal Scotland was hardly likely to offer up blue skies and sunshine. Or so I thought.

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CLI – Girvan to Ayr

Hasteful MammalTHE sky was blue and the sun blazing fiercely when I returned to Girvan late in August.  Doused head to toe in my own bodyweight of sunscreen, I strolled back towards the harbour ready to continue from more-or-less where I left off.  This would be the first of three days of walking, covering the sixty-odd miles or so between Girvan and Largs.  Day one’s objective was Ayr, Ayrshire’s historic county town, where I would stay overnight.

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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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