CLXXVII – Ellenabeich to Oban

Hasteful MammalTHE second day of my August 2017 walking trip was all about doing stuff I’d already done, only differently.  First, I would have to backtrack, doing part of the previous day’s walk in reverse. Then I’d be completing my journey to Oban — which I’d already done once ‘unofficially’ — though by a different route. But before any of that, I resolved to get a proper look at Ellenabeich, which I’d only glimpsed in darkness and/or driving rain

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CLXXVI – Kilmelford to Ellenabeich

Hasteful MammalIT’S been a bit of an unsettled summer and I kept a careful weather eye on forecasts for Scotland with a view to picking the timing of my latest trip carefully.  This turned out to be entirely pointless, though not because of the omnipresent threat of showers.  Rather it was because, as a non-parent, I totally failed to account for the school holidays and their effect on accommodation.

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Extra 3 – Kilmelford to Oban

Hasteful MammalON THE sixth and final walking day of my July 2017 trip I knew I was in trouble the moment I got out of bed. My knee was stiff and slightly inflamed and the previous day’s 20-miler had done it no favours at all.  My plans for the day involved another 20 miles but that was now looking rather foolish. Perhaps I should abandon my walk altogether?  I mean, I could hardly do that using only one leg…

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CLXXV – Cairnbaan to Kilmelford

Hasteful MammalDAY Five of my most recent trip began with an urgent assessment of the damage to my knee. The previous day it had chosen to protest — through the medium of pain — against my plan to walk six days straight.  An evening of rest and a cold compress had reduced the inflammation to almost negligible levels and a tentative stroll up and down the hotel hallway revealed that while it was in some indefinable way not quite right, it didn’t exactly hurt.

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CLXXIV – Kilberry to Cairnbaan

Hasteful MammalAFTER an awesome breakfast, I emerged from the Kilberry Inn full of bounce and enthusiasm to embark upon my fourth day of walking in July 2017, which would be a 21-miler taking me from Kilberry — which had to be my start point on account of it being where I was — to Cairnbaan near Lochgilphead

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CLXXIII – Tarbert to Kilberry

Hasteful MammalON THE third day of 2017’s July trip, I theoretically had a choice on how to proceed. I could continue up the A83, along the shores of Loch Fyne to Lochgilphead or I could go the long way around, following the B8024 along the Atlantic coast.  The former would be a shorter walk of about fourteen miles, the latter would take me two days. 

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CLXXII – Tayinloan to Tarbert

Hasteful MammalI AWOKE on day two of my July 2017 trip with a sense of excitement. Not only was I about to embark upon another day of plentiful pedestrian progress but also I was awaking on an island.  Now, I realise that I normally awake on an island but I was on a smaller island and that makes all the difference.

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CLXXI – Machrihanish to Tayinloan

Hasteful MammalON A certain morning in early July, on which citizens of a former colony would later be celebrating Getting Away with Violent Treason, I found myself arising not only much earlier than the impending celebrants but also than many in my own time zone.  I used this head start on my day to check out of a Campbeltown hotel and take the bus back to Machrihanish where, I hoped, it would be raining slightly less hard.  My hope proved entirely unfounded.

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CLXX – Southend to Machrihanish

Hasteful MammalON THE last walking day of my May trip I caught a bus from Campbeltown to Southend.  Upon arrival, I would turn and walk back to Campbeltown albeit by a roundabout route.  This would be the final and most arduous section of the Kintyre Way, passing near to — but not over — the Mull of Kintyre from which Northern Ireland can be seen.  The Kintyre Way actually ends at Machrihanish but I had it in my head to also walk the five miles from there to Campbeltown (unless I’d had enough by then, when I might just use public transport).

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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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