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.
ABOUT a week into September I stumbled out into bright morning sunshine in the town of Annan. Surely this couldn’t be Scotland? Where was the rain and the snow? But a search of my pocket revealed unfamiliar banknotes for north of the border was indeed where I was.
NEAR the start of September, five years and one day after I set off from Gravesend, I found myself heading out of Carlisle on a route that would lead me to the Scottish border. Not only was this the start of the sixth year of this walking endeavour but the day would end with my stepping foot in Scotland for the first time in thirty-eight years. It was not unexciting.
The day began with the first possible train out of London, which deposited me mid-morning in Carlisle.
I HAD a plan that, while not exactly cunning, had at least had some cunning described to it once. The plan was this: stay overnight in Llandudno, catch the train back to Llanfairfechan and then walk back to my hotel, where all the heavier things from my bag would be waiting for me. It was a good plan. I liked my plan. But it had one tiny little flaw.
MONDAY mornings are not renowned for their better qualities and are sadly often only appreciated in contrast to something worse. Monday last week (as I write this) was a glorious exception, beginning with the awareness that I’d taken the day off and that a full English Welsh breakfast awaited. Also it was sunny, I had slept well and I was ready to walk…
To be honest, I think that Monday was more than a little confused. I know I was.
WHILE 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.
MY LAST walk was about a month ago (as I write this) but that feels like forever. I tend not to go walking in August on account of the heat — well, the rain is warmer anyway — and of the near-impossibility of finding accommodation during the peak holiday season. With this in mind, I was keen to get one more walk in before I ran out of July, particularly since it would carry me to Holyhead, which was something of a personal milestone. I was joined in this endeavour by the Lemming who, as tradition demands, was wearing footwear that was less than ideal.
MY 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?
THE storms that heralded the beginning of 2014 were followed by more storms and then more. The wettest January since records began was followed by a February that seemed to consider that a challenge. All manner of interesting coastal features were washed right away and I, not confusing ‘’suicidal’ and ‘intrepid’, remained in London and followed this on the news.