CCXLVI – Montrose to Arbroath

Helpful MammalTHE final day of my mid-September 2023 trip saw me alighting from a train at Montrose railway station at an unsociably early hour, keen to continue southwards towards Arbroath. The weather felt slightly less warm than it had been but the skies were mostly clear and good conditions were forecast, so my sartorial choice of a t-shirt and shorts was not being brought into question. Except, maybe, for the small but excruciating detail that said shorts would potentially bring my legs into full contact with every single stinging nettle on the route. Again.

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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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CLIII – Kilwinning to Largs

Hasteful MammalMORNING in Kilwinning was heralded by the light pitter-patter of drizzle upon the window, which did little to compel me to leave my nice warm bed.  Summoning every ounce of available willpower, I forced myself up and into the bathroom where the cold, tiled floor leached out my body heat in seconds.  This was clearly a situation in need of a remedy and that remedy came in the form of as much cooked breakfast as I could physically shove into my face.  Right, now I was set for a full day’s walking; drizzle be damned!

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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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CIII – Llanfair PG to Malltraeth

Hasteful MammalIT WAS just before six in the morning when I returned to Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll, having negotiated the cunning and secret railway challenge designed to prevent you from doing so:

Not only is the station saddled with the impressive (if contrived) name of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch but it is also a request stop, which means that the train will only stop to let you off if you can successfully tell the guard that that’s where you are going.  It also helps if you can stop saying it before the train hurtles past.

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XCIX – Aberdaron to Porth Oer

Hasteful MammalMY 99TH walk was supposed to carry me from Aberdaron from to Nefyn. And technically it did but not quite as I’d intended. As it turned out, I abandoned the coast path after only nine miles and walked the rest of it by road.  This was in no way what I had planned and I quickly resolved that I would return and complete the coast path route next time.  So why did I do this?

Let me take you through it step by step…

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LXXXI – Milford Haven to Westdale Bay

Hasteful MammalI had a cunning plan to make the best possible use of Easter and its attendant four-day weekend by walking great distances along the Pembrokeshire coast. It was a good plan and I liked it, but the common cold virus had other ideas and decided to prove that it’s not only Martian tripod pilots that it can bring low if it wants. 

I thus spent Easter feeling somewhat sorry for myself and occasionally wondering if I’d somehow stuffed a hagfish up my nose.

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LXIII – Avonmouth to Severn Tunnel Junction

Hasteful MammalMY MOST recent walk was plagued by annoyances which failed to dent my enthusiasm.  For instance, I specifically delayed my walk by a fortnight so that various others would be able to join me and none of them did.  Now, I’m quite happy to walk on my own but had I known I’d be doing that, I’d not have postponed it. I think in future I’ll just plan for myself and not for the benefit of others.

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