CXCII – Invershiel to Kyle of Lochalsh

Hasteful MammalDAY 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.

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CLXXXIX – Lochailort to Mallaig

Hasteful MammalMY PLAN for this walk, as originally envisioned, had been that I would travel up to Lochailort on the 9th of May and spend the night at Lochailort Inn, ready to set off for Mallaig in the morning. That did not happen. Thanks to something of a travel nightmare, I awoke in Glasgow instead. There, I had a hearty breakfast and boarded a train that left at 8 am, the same time I’d hoped to start walking. The rail journey from Glasgow to Lochailort takes approximately five hours, which meant that I didn’t even reach my starting point until lunchtime. This did give me an excuse to nip into the Lochailort inn for a sneaky lunchtime G&T to kick my walk off, but it also meant I only had half a day to complete a walk of about 18 miles. Would that even be possible?

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I Spy… What Lies Beneath

Hasteful MammalThis afternoon, I went looking for a secret London street.  Well, maybe not secret —based on the evidence of my own eyes, cabbies certainly seem to know it’s there — but arguably hidden.  At the very least, I can say it’s a street I didn’t know existed, despite being somewhere I thought I knew quite well.  It’s also more of a tunnel.

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CLV – Greenock to Glasgow

Hasteful MammalAT AN early hour on October’s first Monday, I bounded keenly out of my hotel to discover that the skies had clouded overnight and a bracing breeze had sprung up, throwing my choice of attire — a thin t-shirt — into question.  I dealt with this by ignoring the question entirely. I gave the chill wind the cold shoulder and remained lukewarm about the concept of wearing warm layers. T-shirts are cool.

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CXVI – Chester to Heswall

Hasteful MammalTHE city of Chester is a lovely place to amble about in on a crisp January morning, whilst stuffing one’s face with delicious but unhealthy goodies bought from an old-fashioned sweet shop.  Trust me, I speak from experience (the actual speech may be muffled on account of the mouthful of sweets).

‘Mmfl mmmfl mmmMMmmm mfl,’ I tell you,

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CXV – Flint to Chester

Hasteful MammalMY MOST recent walk was neither particularly long nor particularly coastal, involving as it did an amble alongside the River Dee as far as Chester, which is not on the coast.  But what Chester lacks in coast it makes up for in being absolutely lovely and that was justification enough.

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CXI – Beaumaris to Llanfairfechan

Hasteful MammalWHEN I awoke in Beaumaris, I found that the glorious sunshine that had accompanied the previous two days had quite vanished; the skies were grey and clouded and the weather forecast confirmed that rain would arrive sometime around mid afternoon.  This called for drastic action, if unpacking my waterproof jacket from the bottom of my bag can be called ‘drastic’, which it probably can’t. 

It could rain if it liked, I was going to walk anyway.

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CII – Caernarfon to Llanfair PG

Hasteful MammalHAVING reached the northern coast of Wales, I have also put myself into the vicinity of another of the few railway lines that Richard Beeching didn’t have torn up in the 1960s.  This is excellent news for my travels as the London to Bangor journey time is considerably less than that of London to Pwllheli, even without the railway replacement buses on the latter line.  With this in mind, I was keen to return to north Wales and actually get some walking in on the same day that I travelled.

So I did.

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XCVI – Harlech to Portmeirion

Hasteful MammalON GOOD Friday, I returned to Harlech at an hour well before any shops would have opened even if it hadn’t been a bank holiday. To achieve this I had cunningly left London the night before and stayed overnight in Aberdovey.

Sadly, my cunning hadn’t extended as far as remembering either a bottle of water or my phone charger and my phone decided to register its discontent by rapidly dropping down to one bar of power.  This was annoying, not least because I would be ending the day’s walk in Portmeirion, a place I wanted to take photos of. 

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LXXXIV – Whitesands Bay to Strumble Head

Hasteful MammalTHE plan was simple. Get up at the crack of dawn and leave before breakfast, giving myself plenty of time to amble slowly and leisurely around the coast to Strumble Head. And then, if time still allowed, to continue on to Goodwick.  It was a good plan. It was doomed.

The enemy, contact with whom no battle plan survives, was in this case me. As evidenced by my getting up somewhat later than intended and then taking time out for breakfast. 

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