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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CLXXXIII – Strontian to Craignure

Hasteful MammalIN KEEPING with my unintentional Christmas tradition of not writing up the last walk of the year until the festive season, it’s time I recounted the details of my walk from Strontian to Craignure. Not that I walked the entirety of that distance; Craignure is on the Isle of Mull (Muile), so a ferry crossing was involved.

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CLXV – Brodick to Lagg

Hasteful MammalTHE morning of 6th May 2017 found me blinking at the sun’s harsh glare as its rays danced and sparkled across a vivid blue sea.  The sky was azure, dotted here and there with fluffy clouds and palm trees stood proudly in front of the B&B in which I breakfasted.  Mountains rose from the island’s interior.  Had I somehow travelled to St Lucia by mistake? A glance at my breakfast plate disabused me of the notion. No, this was definitely Scotland

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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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CLXII – Dunoon to Tighnabruaich

Hasteful MammalTHE early part of April 2017 was gloriously bestowed with blue skies and sunshine but, for one reason and another, I wasn’t able to head back up to Scotland until the latter half of the month.  The weather afforded me just one further day of unusually summery spring, that day being the one I used to travel up. The following morning, as I threw back my hotel room curtains, a world of greyness stared back.

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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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CLIX – Kilcreggan to Arrochar

Hasteful MammalWHAT was originally meant to be day four of our November trip turned into one of on/off drizzle in which it would have been dismal to walk. Consequently, we jumped into the Lemming’s car and did a ridiculous but enjoyable circular drive through a sizeable portion of Scotland, ending up in Arrochar and yet another hotel.  Having thus, amongst other things, discovered how eerily orange Glen Coe is during autumn, we resumed walking the following day when the weather was altogether more clement.

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CLIII – Kilwinning to Largs

Hasteful MammalMORNING in Kilwinning was heralded by the light pitter-patter of drizzle upon the window, which did little to compel me to leave my nice warm bed.  Summoning every ounce of available willpower, I forced myself up and into the bathroom where the cold, tiled floor leached out my body heat in seconds.  This was clearly a situation in need of a remedy and that remedy came in the form of as much cooked breakfast as I could physically shove into my face.  Right, now I was set for a full day’s walking; drizzle be damned!

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CXLIII – Newton Stewart to Isle of Whithorn

Hasteful MammalMOST times, if I go walking, I do two or three days at a time.  Thus, I usually know, if it’s day three, that it is the last day of the trip. Not so on my last adventure, where it was the middle day of five. It was also the longest day’s walk of the trip and, coming as it did after the fatigue of two previous days of walking (which came, in turn, after five months without walks), it threatened to be a challenge.

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