FOLLOWING my thirty-miler from Durness to Tongue, I slept the sleep of the absolutely steam-rollered. Come the next morning, my body was not at all keen to stop sleeping and carry on with the walking part of my walking trip.
FOLLOWING a day spent idling lazily in Durness (thanks to my plans reCape Wrath coming to naught), the first Sunday of October 2019 saw me up and about bright and early. Well, early, at least. It wasn’t actually all that bright, being grey and overcast. But while brightness was elusive, earliness was unavoidable; I had a long day of walking ahead of me…
I MUST have been tired after three days of hiking because, on the fourth morning of my September 2019 trip, I first slept through my alarm and then slept right through breakfast. This was highly appropriate, though, as it was nine years since I set off on my first walk from Gravesend and I set off late then too.
FOR reasons I’ll dub ‘theThree Ws’ — work, weather and walking-related injury — a six-month gap interceded between my last trip and this one. But March 2019 presented me with a window of opportunity. It was a narrow window and made no efficient or economic sense but that hardly mattered. I thus spent two days almost entirely on trains (i.e. there and back) for one single day of walking. I was, you might say, getting back on track…
THE fifth morning of my most recent walking trip brought me slight nausea and no desire whatsoever to eat breakfast, a situation I ascribed to insufficient sun hat discipline the day before. My desire to walk multiple miles under what promised to be another day of blazing sunshine was also somewhat eroded but, in that matter, I had little choice. I had a room booked in Dunvegan that evening and my vast array of transport options amounted to Shanks’s pony or begging a lift.
DAY 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.
I 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.
I 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.
AFTER a day and night of continuous rain, I was unsurprised to find the sky grey but delighted that it seemed to have temporarily run out of water to drop on my head. I came within seconds of missing the bus by dint of waiting at entirely the wrong bus stop but the driver took my stupidity in his stride. It was only after the bus was underway that I realised that my stupidity extended further than that — I had left my delicious packed breakfast in the fridge at my B&B. Still, at least this meant I couldn’t sit on it.
DAY four of my mid-March march across Galloway saw me wake rested but still tired — my legs weren’t as keen as the rest of me to get out and do some more walking. I cajoled them into compliance by means of tasty breakfast plus the promise today’s walk would be shorter than the previous ones.
I’m not sure they believed me but bacon silenced dissent.