CCVI – Applecross to Shieldaig

Hasteful MammalTHE second day of my seven-day trip began at a far more civilised hour than the first had and involved a proper breakfast, courtesy of the Applecross Inn. Fully fuelled, rested and re-energised, I stepped outside to commence the next stage…

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CCV – Strathcarron to Applecross

Hasteful MammalAROUND the middle of April 2019, I found myself back in Wester Ross, ready to embark upon a seven-day trek from Strathcarron to Ullapool. This naturally required that I start in Strathcarron, which would have been easier had the Strathcarron Hotel had a vacancy. Alas, it did not. Plan B was to stay in Kyle of Lochalsh, knowing that I could catch the early morning train (on which I’d left the area at the end of my last trip) to whisk myself there at some awful, ungodly pre-breakfast hour. So that’s what I did.

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CC – Dunvegan to Portree

Hasteful MammalBREAKFAST in my Dunvegan B&B was a communal affair that could have easily been an awkward occasion as the mostly English guests avoided talking to each other. We were saved from silent discomfort by two things — firstly the rampant idiosyncrasy of our landlady, which prompted remark (from me at least as she decided I was sat in the wrong seat and made me move) and secondly that amongst our number were a couple from New York, for whom embarrassed reticence was quite literally something that only happened to other people. Panicked by their attempts to chat with total strangers, we took refuge in non-committal answers and trying to hide behind the marmalade…

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CXC – Mallaig to Kinlochhourn

Hasteful MammalMY PLAN for day two of my May ’18 walking trip involved placing one foot in front of the other a lot until I got somewhere else. Well, nothing unusual there. Except this time, I planned to do that in the Knoydart Peninsula, a rather remote sticky-out bit of Great Britain. So much so that, while I can’t say that it doesn’t have roads, I can say that they’re not connected to the rest of the roads on GB. So, if you want to visit the village of Inverie, for instance, you need to do so on foot or by boat.

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CXLV – Port William to Glenluce

Hasteful MammalTHE final day of my mid-March adventure did not begin with blue skies and sunshine but with a comfortingly familiar overall greyness and grimness.  Having prepared myself for meteorological misery with a hearty breakfast and warm clothing, I ventured out once again…

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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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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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CXXIV – Lancaster to Carnforth

Hasteful MammalTHE morning after my arrival in Lancaster, I emerged from my hotel full of enthusiasm, energy and significant quantities of breakfast.  A blue sky was bedecked with fluffy white clouds and the clouds were also full of enthusiasm and energy — but probably not breakfast — judging by the speed at which they were bombing across the heavens.

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CXI – Beaumaris to Llanfairfechan

Hasteful MammalWHEN I awoke in Beaumaris, I found that the glorious sunshine that had accompanied the previous two days had quite vanished; the skies were grey and clouded and the weather forecast confirmed that rain would arrive sometime around mid afternoon.  This called for drastic action, if unpacking my waterproof jacket from the bottom of my bag can be called ‘drastic’, which it probably can’t. 

It could rain if it liked, I was going to walk anyway.

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CVIII – Cemaes to Amlwch

Hasteful MammalI AWOKE bright and early in my hotel in Cemaes to find that the promised ‘glorious sunshine’ was indeed glorious. Later, when I was on the cliff tops, I would find that it was accompanied by a howling gale of a wind, but one that was suitably sun-warmed so that it felt as though walking under the blast of an enormous hairdryer.  This is not the weather usually associated with North Wales (I’d had some of that the day before).

This was to be a short walk, just far enough to get me to Amlwch, from which I could catch a bus that would begin my journey home.

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