CCIV – Kyleakin to Strathcarron

Hasteful MammalFOR reasons I’ll dub ‘the Three Ws’ — work, weather and walking-related injury — a six-month gap interceded between my last trip and this one. But March 2019 presented me with a window of opportunity. It was a narrow window and made no efficient or economic sense but that hardly mattered. I thus spent two days almost entirely on trains (i.e. there and back) for one single day of walking. I was, you might say, getting back on track…

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CLXXXVIII – Mingarry to Lochailort

Hasteful MammalTHE FIFTH day of my first walking trip of 2018 was also its last, a slightly-frustrating state of affairs that would see me reach Lochailort but not Mallaig. This had not been my original plan, which had included a sixth day, but ominous meteorological forecasts had promised that a Mini-Beast from the East would bring bad weather and likely heavy snow. I didn’t want to get to Mallaig only to find myself trapped there and so my plans had been curtailed.

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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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CLXXIII – Tarbert to Kilberry

Hasteful MammalON THE third day of 2017’s July trip, I theoretically had a choice on how to proceed. I could continue up the A83, along the shores of Loch Fyne to Lochgilphead or I could go the long way around, following the B8024 along the Atlantic coast.  The former would be a shorter walk of about fourteen miles, the latter would take me two days. 

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CLXXII – Tayinloan to Tarbert

Hasteful MammalI AWOKE on day two of my July 2017 trip with a sense of excitement. Not only was I about to embark upon another day of plentiful pedestrian progress but also I was awaking on an island.  Now, I realise that I normally awake on an island but I was on a smaller island and that makes all the difference.

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CLXXI – Machrihanish to Tayinloan

Hasteful MammalON A certain morning in early July, on which citizens of a former colony would later be celebrating Getting Away with Violent Treason, I found myself arising not only much earlier than the impending celebrants but also than many in my own time zone.  I used this head start on my day to check out of a Campbeltown hotel and take the bus back to Machrihanish where, I hoped, it would be raining slightly less hard.  My hope proved entirely unfounded.

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CLXX – Southend to Machrihanish

Hasteful MammalON THE last walking day of my May trip I caught a bus from Campbeltown to Southend.  Upon arrival, I would turn and walk back to Campbeltown albeit by a roundabout route.  This would be the final and most arduous section of the Kintyre Way, passing near to — but not over — the Mull of Kintyre from which Northern Ireland can be seen.  The Kintyre Way actually ends at Machrihanish but I had it in my head to also walk the five miles from there to Campbeltown (unless I’d had enough by then, when I might just use public transport).

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CLXIX – Campbeltown to Southend

Hasteful MammalI BEGAN the fifth day of my May 2017 trip in Campbeltown on the Kintyre Peninsula. According to the itinerary that I had prepared for myself, I would be walking to Southend, which seemed like quite a challenge. I mean, that’s a walk of roughly 550 miles.  Also, even by my notoriously lax standards, it cuts off an awful lot of coast.

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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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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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