Though a straight line appears to be the shortest distance between 2 points, life has a way of confounding geography. Often it is the dalliances and the detours that define us. There are no maps to guide our most important searches; we must rely on hope, chance, intuition and a willingness to be surprised.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

It’s the Fi-nal Countdown (well Sven is from Berlin. Oh no, wait a minute. Don’t they do Take My Breath Away…?)

On Monday night I took the train out to Bathgate and then walked along the cyclepath to Blackburn, covering 8 miles in total. When I got to Blackburn I dropped in on my great Aunt May. She was particularly interested in how I was getting on with the walking having been a keen walker herself.

Aunt May will be 90 in January. When she was 84, she walked 14 miles from Kinlochleven over to Fort William, which I think is amazing. Well done Aunt May - that easily surpasses any of the walks that I’ve done. And many thanks for your donation, I am very grateful and will try to put the money to the best use that I can.

By the Tuesday morning my legs and feet were very weary again. They'd never fully recovered from the River Ayr Walk. I had a day (and night) off on the Tuesday and went to see Beck and Radiohead at Meadowbank. Good gig.

Fake Plastic Trees. "It wears me out, it weeeeeeeeaaaaarsssssss me ou-out." (I know the feeling)

On Wednesday night, my good friend from work Sven, and I, took the train to North Berwick. Our biggest achievement was arguably to get the dodgiest close-up photo yet. The plan was to walk along the coast to Gullane and then inland to Drem station to catch the last train back into town. Unfortunately, we found ourselves scrambling over rocks and picking our way along heavily overgrown coastal paths (why is the tide always in when i go walking?). This all took longer than planned and by the time we left Gullane, we had to hitch a ride to the station. Still managed 9.5 miles (excluding the hitching).

As they say in West Germany, Sven is a bit of a character. Here we can see him demonstrating his penchant for dogs and large rucksacks.

The weather was fabulous.

On Thursday and Friday lunchtimes, Sven dragged me on two different routes round Arthurs Seat for 4.5 and 5.5 miles. I say dragged because I was pretty knackered by this point, running both mornings, (2 and 2.5 miles) and evenings, (6.5 and 8.5 miles) too. The evening runs took me back to the Pentlands - though on a couple of different routes, to stick within the 'rules'.

The glum look in this photo was not intentional, so it kinda nicely sums up how knackered I was at this point!

With just two days to go to complete the 500 I did a testing walk on Saturday along the length of the Water of Leith from Currie just outside Edinburgh down to the Firth of Forth at Leith docks (and then back to Gorgie). A total distance of 18.5 miles.

Costa del Leith

This all totalled up to 65.5 miles and took me to a tantalising 488 miles in total...

... with just one day to go.

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