CXX – Southport to Preston

Hasteful MammalON WHAT would turn out to be a bright but breezy day, I sacrificed any hope of breakfast by rising around dawn in the hope of maximising all available daylight. I planned to walk to Preston by a slightly meandering route that totalled 25½ miles.  The question was, would I make it there before dark?

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XC – New Quay to Llanon

Hasteful MammalAS I sit and write this, the rain intermittently pattering at my window, a steady stream of news articles is indicating that most of the coastal towns and villages that I have visited in both Wales and the West Country are, to varying extents, underwater.  We knew that more storms were coming, combining rain and gale force winds; flood warnings had been issued.  And then they combined with the pull of the moon to coincide with high tides.  The results look spectacular but are disastrous for the communities involved.

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LXXXVIII – Cardigan to Tresaith

Hasteful MammalTHE end of November 2013 saw my first walk in six months, a period of perambulatory abstinence that was by no means voluntary but which came about because midway through June I ran for a bus. 

Well, I say ‘ran’… what I actually did was take about four steps and crumple like a rag doll, screaming something like ‘HnnnghhhrrrARRGHohdearGod!’ which is how one says ‘my knee’s not quite right’ in conversational Agony.  

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LXXXIII – Newgale to Whitesands Bay

Hasteful MammalFOR one reason and another — partly that I was busy and partly that I wanted to wait until the trees had stopped trying to have sex with my nose — I allowed six weeks to elapse between my previous walk and this one.  It was probably a little too long.

I was feeling slightly out of practice as I arrived back in Newgale (Niwgwl) and looked at the path climbing up out of the village onto the clifftop. Certainly, it was long enough to miss a window of several weeks’ worth of glorious weather; it was overcast with threats of drizzle when I finally returned.

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LXXIX – Bosherston to Pembroke

Hasteful MammalI AWOKE on Mothering Sunday a little before dawn and, in my half-asleep state, careered about my room like a drunken elephant with numb legs.  A shower helped wake me up, as did a splendid Continental breakfast left on a tray outside my door (I would be leaving before the inn’s usual breakfast time and they had offered – practically insisted in fact – that I could have something left out for me).  Breakfast mostly comprised a croissant with some excellent ham and tastily mature cheddar, washed down with a glass of apple juice.

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LXXVIII – Tenby to Bosherston

Hasteful MammalWITH a whole month having somehow passed since my previous walk, I thought it was high time that I embarked upon another perambulatory adventure. I thus found myself alighting, on a cold, bright and misty Saturday morning, from the earliest train to reach Tenby from Cardiff (where I had stayed overnight).

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LXIX – Port Talbot to Swansea

Hasteful MammalTHE LATEST two days of walking almost didn’t happen. I decided not only to wait until my feet were fully healed from the last sole-destroying misadventure but also to wait until I had bought some new walking boots.  Which a distressing lack of inward cashflow promised to postpone indefinitely. And then…

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XLVII – St Ives to Portreath

Hasteful MammalLAST weekend, with the Met Office promising snow for much of the country, was obviously going to be dangerously unsuitable for walking further along the coast.

Or was it?

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XLIII – Porthallow to Mullion

Hasteful MammalON MY fifth day in Cornwall I was missing a walking sock, despite there being absolutely nowhere it could have gone. Eventually, having searched repeatedly, I asked the piskies nicely if I might have it back.

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XL – Par to Boswinger

Hasteful MammalON THE Sunday, after rising early and obtaining a hearty breakfast from Cap’n Jaspers on Plymouth Barbican, I caught a train back to Par and began my next walk. In the rain.

‘It’s the West Country,’ I told myself, ‘it always rains.’

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