CXCVIII – Elgol to Carbost

Hasteful MammalMY PLAN for day four of my 2018 June/July trip was thrown into doubt before I even went to bed the previous night. I had originally had a lengthy, roundabout route in mind but was considering making it longer by including a part of the day before’s walk I’d cut out. Further complications were added when breakfast, which I didn’t want to skip — the days being way too hot to eat any kind of substantial lunch — was announced to be at a later hour than I’d hoped for. As it was, the announcement turned out to be a blatant lie; breakfast wouldn’t appear until much, much later than that.

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CXCVII – Broadford to Elgol

Hasteful MammalTWO days into July 2018 and three days into a walking trip, I arose bright and early to find that outside it was brighter (though no earlier) than I was. The grey skies and rain of the previous evening — which had added a level of meteorological mockery after searing heat had prompted route revisions — had dissipated overnight and the air temperature was back to feeling like the inside of an oven. This was brought home to me as I stood on the shoreline, looking across to the harbour pier where I’d stood in the rain twelve hours earlier.

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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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CLXXVIII – Oban to Port Appin

Hasteful MammalIT HAD been raining when I reached Oban and it rained through the night with thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure.  I knew then, when I woke bleary-eyed in the morning, what the cold, grey light seeping through the curtains must mean. The only real question was how bad would it be?  I hesitated, my hand halfway to the window, not at all sure that I was keen to find out…

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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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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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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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CLXIII – Tighnabruaich to Lochranza

Hasteful MammalOVER breakfast in Tighnabruaich, I learned two things. One was that it had rained all night; the other was that an unexpected General Election was now to occur in June.  While it was the latter that aroused the most comment and interest, the former was of more immediate concern as it had the potential to make my day rather squelchier than planned.

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CXLVIII – Port Logan to Portpatrick

Hasteful MammalHAVING enjoyed several weeks of decidedly un-Londony sunshine, I returned to Galloway at the beginning of June to find it just as bakingly hot but underneath muggy, grey skies. The humidity didn’t make for perfect walking weather but I didn’t care; I walked anyway.

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