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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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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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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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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LXXX – Pembroke to Milford Haven

Hasteful MammalON THE third day of my last walking trip, I awoke bright and early and — just for a moment — enjoyed very much the knowledge that it was Monday and that I had taken a day off and so didn’t need to get up for work.  Also, as I would only be walking about ten miles that day, I didn’t need to get up early to start walking either.

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LXXV – Kidwelly to Carmarthen

Hasteful MammalONE week ago (as I write this), I awoke sprawled across a bed in the descriptively named Kidwelly B&B to realise that the previous evening I had just sat down for five minutes, ahead of getting food, and accidentally slept for twelve hours. I guess I was running a bit of a sleep deficit; too many late nights and early mornings will do that for you.

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LXXIV – Llanelli to Kidwelly

Hasteful MammalI WAS aware that Britain was expecting snow when I made the arrangements for my latest jaunt around Wales.  At that point, however, the Met Office were mostly predicting that the snow would fall on the eastern half of the island and that Wales would be largely untouched. As the weekend drew closer, however, the forecast shifted until South Wales was given the first severe weather warning (‘red: take action’, as opposed to ‘amber: be prepared’) in two years.  Obviously, the only thing I could do at that point was cancel.  Obviously.

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