CLXVIII – Carradale to Campbeltown

Hasteful MammalDAY Four of my May 2017 walking trip presented me with a choice. I had two options for walking from Carradale to Campbeltown: the coastal route down the B842 or a longer, meandering trek via the Kintyre Way.  While both had their advantages, I’d already spent the previous day on the B-road. But Section 5 of the Kintyre Way could hardly be described as ‘coastal.’ Ah, decisions, decisions…

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CLXVII – Lochranza to Carradale

Hasteful MammalDURING my coastal walking endeavour I have been inconsistent where islands are concerned. I ignored Sheppey, clipped one side of Hayling and dismissed Wight as something for another day. Anglesey, by contrast, I included.  Once I reached the Firth of Clyde there were islands a-plenty and at first I chose to regard them from afar. The Cumbraes and Bute I thus passed by, likewise the Isle of Arran.  Except that the convolutions of the coast brought Arran within reach a second time and, partly motivated by the distribution of ferry routes, I decided to my own surprise to walk it.

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CLXIII – Tighnabruaich to Lochranza

Hasteful MammalOVER breakfast in Tighnabruaich, I learned two things. One was that it had rained all night; the other was that an unexpected General Election was now to occur in June.  While it was the latter that aroused the most comment and interest, the former was of more immediate concern as it had the potential to make my day rather squelchier than planned.

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CLXII – Dunoon to Tighnabruaich

Hasteful MammalTHE early part of April 2017 was gloriously bestowed with blue skies and sunshine but, for one reason and another, I wasn’t able to head back up to Scotland until the latter half of the month.  The weather afforded me just one further day of unusually summery spring, that day being the one I used to travel up. The following morning, as I threw back my hotel room curtains, a world of greyness stared back.

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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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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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CLVIII – Helensburgh to Kilcreggan

Hasteful MammalDAY three of our recent four-day adventure promised to mostly involve walking both sides of the Gare Loch, at the mouth of which sits Helensburgh.  Blazing sunshine was unlikely but it was expected to be dry, though rain clouds would sweep in overnight to make the next day a write-off.  While this meant that the Lemming and I had to adjust some of our plans for the week, it left those for day three untouched.

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CLVII – Dumbarton to Helensburgh

Hasteful MammalON THE second day of my recent trip, I awoke to find that the promised sunshine had delivered itself in abundance. The skies were blue and the weather warm while, down south in London, water was falling from the sky.  I knew then that, as I walked to Helensburgh, a dash of unashamed schadenfreude would enhance my every step.

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