CLXXXV – Pennyghael to Salen

Hasteful MammalWHILE my first walking day of 2018 was blessed by blue skies and sunshine, the second saw neither of those things.  The forecast had become one for unrelenting rain but, to be honest, that was okay because it was better than the sleet that it had previously predicted.  Armed with a seemingly bottomless packed lunch courtesy of my B&B (Seaview in Fionnphort), I caught the bus back to rain-sodden Pennyghael and prepared to splish-splash the 23 miles to Salen.

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CLIX – Kilcreggan to Arrochar

Hasteful MammalWHAT was originally meant to be day four of our November trip turned into one of on/off drizzle in which it would have been dismal to walk. Consequently, we jumped into the Lemming’s car and did a ridiculous but enjoyable circular drive through a sizeable portion of Scotland, ending up in Arrochar and yet another hotel.  Having thus, amongst other things, discovered how eerily orange Glen Coe is during autumn, we resumed walking the following day when the weather was altogether more clement.

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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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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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CXLV – Port William to Glenluce

Hasteful MammalTHE final day of my mid-March adventure did not begin with blue skies and sunshine but with a comfortingly familiar overall greyness and grimness.  Having prepared myself for meteorological misery with a hearty breakfast and warm clothing, I ventured out once again…

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CXLIII – Newton Stewart to Isle of Whithorn

Hasteful MammalMOST times, if I go walking, I do two or three days at a time.  Thus, I usually know, if it’s day three, that it is the last day of the trip. Not so on my last adventure, where it was the middle day of five. It was also the longest day’s walk of the trip and, coming as it did after the fatigue of two previous days of walking (which came, in turn, after five months without walks), it threatened to be a challenge.

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CXXXVII – Annan to Dumfries

Hasteful MammalABOUT a week into September I stumbled out into bright morning sunshine in the town of Annan.  Surely this couldn’t be Scotland? Where was the rain and the snow? But a search of my pocket revealed unfamiliar banknotes for north of the border was indeed where I was.

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CXXIX – Foxfield to Millom

Hasteful MammalTHE morning of the 13th of June brought humidity and haziness in place of the scorching sunshine of the previous day.  While I devoured my breakfast, I pondered which was better for walking and came to the conclusion that it didn’t really matter because I was going to walk in it anyway.  My rapidly disappearing breakfast agreed with me entirely — deliciousness clearly implies agreement.

Breakfast was all but demolished when it occurred to me that the Lemming was also walking with me for the day and that we had arranged to meet at breakfast. What we hadn’t done was actually meet at breakfast.

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CXXVII – Ulverston to Barrow-in-Furness

Hasteful MammalI RETURNED to Cumbria at the start of May to resume my pedestrian adventure.  I hadn’t really planned to, indeed I had other plans for the long bank holiday weekend, but I decided at the last minute that maybe, just maybe, I could fit in a single day’s walking.  And so, I set off, without even checking the weather forecast.

I arrived in Cumbria amid a driving downpour, which mercifully soon lessened to alternate between drizzle and moderate rain.  Still, it felt right, if by “right” I meant “damp” — this was traditional Cumbrian weather in all its watery glory.  I would continue to be inundated with tradition for the rest of the day but, fortunately, I had recently invested in some properly waterproof clothing, which I trusted would keep me warm and dry. 

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