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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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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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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CLVI – Glasgow to Dumbarton

Hasteful MammalI HAD been half-expecting that my walk ending in Glasgow would be the last one of this calendar year before the winter weather rolled in.  But, as it turned out, a week of excellent early November weather in Scotland not only coincided with cold and wet weather in London but also with my good friend the Lemming being able to join me for a week, which he did.

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CLV – Greenock to Glasgow

Hasteful MammalAT AN early hour on October’s first Monday, I bounded keenly out of my hotel to discover that the skies had clouded overnight and a bracing breeze had sprung up, throwing my choice of attire — a thin t-shirt — into question.  I dealt with this by ignoring the question entirely. I gave the chill wind the cold shoulder and remained lukewarm about the concept of wearing warm layers. T-shirts are cool.

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CLIV – Largs to Greenock

Hasteful MammalI HAD planned to return to Largs in September but the weekend I picked turned out to be the wettest, windiest, most miserable weekend for months.  That threatened to fail the all important ‘is this fun?’ test and so I deferred to the start of October.  For that weekend, the forecast was more promising but I didn’t dare raise my hopes too high; autumnal Scotland was hardly likely to offer up blue skies and sunshine. Or so I thought.

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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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CLII – Ayr to Kilwinning

Hasteful MammalTHIS time last month (as I write this), I left my hotel rested (and breakfasted) but I found myself in no immediate hurry to leave the town of Ayr (Inbhir Àir). Instead I bought myself a coffee and ambled idly through its streets, randomly taking in the sights. 

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CLI – Girvan to Ayr

Hasteful MammalTHE sky was blue and the sun blazing fiercely when I returned to Girvan late in August.  Doused head to toe in my own bodyweight of sunscreen, I strolled back towards the harbour ready to continue from more-or-less where I left off.  This would be the first of three days of walking, covering the sixty-odd miles or so between Girvan and Largs.  Day one’s objective was Ayr, Ayrshire’s historic county town, where I would stay overnight.

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CXLIX – Portpatrick to Cairnryan

Hasteful MammalTHIS year has been shaping up to be my least perambulatory year since I set off from Gravesend, with less mileage achieved than even the year that I injured my knee and couldn’t physically walk.  Partly this is because of bad weather earlier in the year and partly because of distractions.  The logistics of actually getting up to Galloway have also presented some challenges but at the start of August I was able to do so and get in a couple more walks.  This was an opportunity I grasped with both hands — with my hand-eye coordination, I’d only have dropped it otherwise.

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