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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CCXLV – Stonehaven to Montrose

Helpful MammalI ALIGHTED at Stonehaven railway station early on 13 Sep 2023, ready and eager to resume my migration southward. I had already breakfasted, prior to departing Aberdeen, and so was already fuelled up for the journey, with a particular emphasis on being sufficiently caffeinated – early mornings and I are not what you might call natural acquaintances, except when I see them from entirely the wrong end, having somehow forgotten to go to bed. Fortunately, on this particular morning, that was not the case and I was sufficiently rested as well as fuelled. No excuse, then, for not immediately getting on with it…

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CCXIX – Durness to Tongue

Hasteful MammalFOLLOWING a day spent idling lazily in Durness (thanks to my plans re Cape 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…

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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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CX – Benllech to Beaumaris

Hasteful MammalMONDAY 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.

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CVIII – Cemaes to Amlwch

Hasteful MammalI AWOKE bright and early in my hotel in Cemaes to find that the promised ‘glorious sunshine’ was indeed glorious. Later, when I was on the cliff tops, I would find that it was accompanied by a howling gale of a wind, but one that was suitably sun-warmed so that it felt as though walking under the blast of an enormous hairdryer.  This is not the weather usually associated with North Wales (I’d had some of that the day before).

This was to be a short walk, just far enough to get me to Amlwch, from which I could catch a bus that would begin my journey home.

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LXXXIX – Tresaith to New Quay

Hasteful MammalI AWOKE in Tresaith to discover that December had arrived and promptly done away with any of that blue skies and sunshine nonsense.  No, in December’s opinion, November had clearly been mutton dressed as lamb and it was having none of that. 

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LXXXVI – Goodwick to Newport

Hasteful MammalMY EIGHTY-sixth walk was not a particularly long one, being only twelve miles, but it was another of those moments of synchronicity where such a distance not only brought me to a convenient stopping point (in this case Newport, which is not to be confused with the other, larger Newport on the South Welsh coast) but also achieved a nice round number of miles since Gravesend, namely one thousand, four hundred.

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LXXXIII – Newgale to Whitesands Bay

Hasteful MammalFOR one reason and another — partly that I was busy and partly that I wanted to wait until the trees had stopped trying to have sex with my nose — I allowed six weeks to elapse between my previous walk and this one.  It was probably a little too long.

I was feeling slightly out of practice as I arrived back in Newgale (Niwgwl) and looked at the path climbing up out of the village onto the clifftop. Certainly, it was long enough to miss a window of several weeks’ worth of glorious weather; it was overcast with threats of drizzle when I finally returned.

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LXXXII – Westdale Bay to Newgale

Hasteful MammalA WEEK ago (as I write this), I awoke bright and early from a rather odd dream which left me wondering, for a moment: where had all the lobsters gone?  Reality gradually asserted itself and I realised three things in quick succession…

Firstly, that I had awoken before my alarm and that it would go off any moment.

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