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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CXXXIX – Southerness to Dalbeattie

Hasteful MammalI AWOKE in Southerness to find blue skies and warm sunshine. It was almost as if the weather had forgotten that this was October in Scotland. Still, I was not about to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially if it was pulling the chariot of the sun.

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CXXXIV – Silloth to Bowness-on-Solway

Hasteful MammalON THE second morning of my mid-August trip, I awoke to the grey diffuse light and gentle pitter-patter of the rain that had been promised by the Met Office.  Fortunately, I had prepared for this eventuality by packing waterproof walking gear.  Well, mostly waterproof.  I walked in it anyway

I quickly decided that were I to stay and have breakfast, I’d never go out in the rain.  Instead I’d spend the day in the warm and then catch a bus to Carlisle.  That was hardly the point of my trip, so I forced myself outside.  It was cold. It was wet. But now that I was out in it, I was in fairly high spirits. The road beckoned, promising a damp and drizzly adventure.

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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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CXXVI – Grange-over-Sands to Ulverston

Hasteful MammalTO MY great relief, it was no longer bucketing down when I awoke in my hotel on the outskirts of Grange-over-Sands, back at the end of April (which feels like a lifetime ago). True, the skies were grey and foreboding with low-hanging clouds but I could forgive that so long as the water stayed where it was — overhead.

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CXXV – Carnforth to Grange-over-Sands

Hasteful MammalTOWARDS the end of April I returned to Carnforth with the express intention of leaving both it and Lancashire behind and striking out into Cumbria and the south of the Lake District.  The sky was grey when I got there and I fully expected that any views of distant hills would be totally hidden by mist. Also, at some point it would rain.

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CXXIV – Lancaster to Carnforth

Hasteful MammalTHE morning after my arrival in Lancaster, I emerged from my hotel full of enthusiasm, energy and significant quantities of breakfast.  A blue sky was bedecked with fluffy white clouds and the clouds were also full of enthusiasm and energy — but probably not breakfast — judging by the speed at which they were bombing across the heavens.

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CXX – Southport to Preston

Hasteful MammalON WHAT would turn out to be a bright but breezy day, I sacrificed any hope of breakfast by rising around dawn in the hope of maximising all available daylight. I planned to walk to Preston by a slightly meandering route that totalled 25½ miles.  The question was, would I make it there before dark?

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CXIII – Llandudno to Rhyl

Hasteful MammalAS I start to write this, the sun is blazing in a blue sky and we are experiencing an unseasonably warm beginning to November, with the promise of an exceptionally cold spell to follow. I should therefore have made the most of the good weather and gone walking but — thanks to my prioritising socialising over organising — that has failed to happen. Today’s walk-related endeavour will therefore be limited to documenting my last perambulation.

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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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