CXCV – Armadale to Isleornsay

Hasteful MammalIT’S been a month since my last walking trip, which occurred at the end of June 2018 but which I hadn’t gotten around to writing up until now. I had more success in returning to Scotland than I’d enjoyed on the previous trip, though a bus terminating unexpectedly at London Bridge due to roadworks did have me jogging across central London in the small hours of the morning in order to catch the first train out. I travelled up to Mallaig and stayed the night there, ready to take the ferry back to Armadale in the morning. Which I did.

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CXCIII – Kyle of Lochalsh to Isleornsay

Helpful MammalI AWOKE on the fifth day of my May ’18 walking trip serenaded by the patter of rain. This made the day relatively simple as I had a wet weather plan and a dry weather plan and now I didn’t need to agonise over how dry ‘dry’ actually was. Thus, when I emerged from my hotel, full of cheer and hearty breakfast, I knew what route I would take. It began with the A87, which would carry me off the British mainland and onto the Isle of Skye (An t-Eilean Sgitheanach).

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CXCII – Invershiel to Kyle of Lochalsh

Helpful MammalDAY four of my May ’18 trip began with a surprising absence of shuffling discomfort. My legs, feet and dodgy knee all appeared to have forgiven me for the 28-miler I’d inflicted on them the day before. Hurrying, lest they change their tune, I fuelled myself up with a hearty breakfast in advance of this day’s efforts. Fully fed, I then took stock of the weather conditions.

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CLXXXVIII – Mingarry to Lochailort

Helpful MammalTHE FIFTH day of my first walking trip of 2018 was also its last, a slightly-frustrating state of affairs that would see me reach Lochailort but not Mallaig. This had not been my original plan, which had included a sixth day, but ominous meteorological forecasts had promised that a Mini-Beast from the East would bring bad weather and likely heavy snow. I didn’t want to get to Mallaig only to find myself trapped there and so my plans had been curtailed.

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CLXIX – Campbeltown to Southend

Hasteful MammalI BEGAN the fifth day of my May 2017 trip in Campbeltown on the Kintyre Peninsula. According to the itinerary that I had prepared for myself, I would be walking to Southend, which seemed like quite a challenge. I mean, that’s a walk of roughly 550 miles.  Also, even by my notoriously lax standards, it cuts off an awful lot of coast.

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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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CXXXIX – Southerness to Dalbeattie

Hasteful MammalI AWOKE in Southerness to find blue skies and warm sunshine. It was almost as if the weather had forgotten that this was October in Scotland. Still, I was not about to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially if it was pulling the chariot of the sun.

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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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CVII – Holyhead to Cemaes

Hasteful MammalWHILE I may have avoided walking in August, on account of hot weather and everywhere being booked solid, September is an entirely different prospect.  And this is good because if August is optional then the start of September is almost compulsory for walking: I started my coastal perambulations on the third of September 2010, which means that as September rolled around again I was into my fifth year of walking.

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CIV – Malltraeth to Rhosneigr

Hasteful MammalTHE sky was cloudy and the temperature warm as I returned to Malltraeth at some ridiculously early hour.  The village shop, a strange mixture of newsagent and fish & chip shop, was open for the purpose of the former and I unashamedly purchased an ice cream to serve as my breakfast.  This I sat and leisurely devoured, while enjoying a view of the estuary from the Cob.  It was an excellent start to a day’s walk.

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