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.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Thursday and Friday, 22/23 June: Linlithgow Hills and Forth Bridge

Took a couple of nights off: monsoons on Tuesday night the likes of which I hope I won’t see again until next May and a dodgy reaction to a Yellow Fever injection on Wednesday night.

Jogged 8 miles on Thursday night from Beecraigs Park in the hills above Linlithgow over to Torphichen. Came across the Scottish Korean War Memorial, stuck way out on the B8047. It looks – and probably is – pretty lonely and unnoticed.

On Friday, I took the train to North Queensferry after work and ran/walked 12 miles across the Forth Road Bridge and along the back roads to Linlithgow. The road bridge is hugely impressive when you walk across it – 1.5 miles long, and, standing in the middle, you can feel a fair bit of movement when trucks go past! Rail bridge looked pretty poorly, covered in bandages.

42 miles clocked, 458 left to go…

…which is back on track, but got my first blisters. I’m going to be following the advice of a book on walking which says that there is only one thing to do with blisters if you are in the middle of a long trek – take a needle, dip in boiling water…

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

19 June - Stirling and Loch Katrine

Cheers to Adam for a grand day out on Monday. Adam and I cadged a lift with a group of Egyptian teachers who are in Scotland to improve their English. The tour was run by Adam’s mum who has been doing cultural tours for a good number of years – there can’t be many jobs where you need to speak Arabic and demonstrate highland dancing on a moving bus.

In the morning, we did a circular
4.5 mile walk from the Wallace Monument to Stirling Castle. The walk took us past a number of important historical buildings, but for me 17 Lady’s Neuk Drive in Cambuskenneth (which you can see behind Adam and I on the left) was the highlight, being my home until the age of two! The picture on the right is 4 Ferry Orchard, just round the corner, which my dad built (My Da Built that House Ye Know!) before I was born. 35 years on and, unlike me, still looks in great condition - well done Dad!

In the afternoon we walked part-way round Loch Katrine for another 5.5 miles, so… 22 miles down, 478 to go.

Thanks to everyone who’s made a donation so far – I really appreciate it and though there’s a long way to go I am determined to get to 500 miles as promised.

PS Adam, Jo, Alistair and Freya are back from India for a 3 week visit. They are out in India for a few years, doing some amazing work in Thane, near Mumbai and they have their own blog – see the link on the right. (Jo – hope to see you on Sunday 2/7)
PPS I’d better mention this before Adam does - after the walking he gubbed me 8-5 at pool. Even Dad P's silky cue skills were no match for Black-Ball Black.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Off and walking

Made a start to the big walk today! Walked along the canal path from my house in Linlithgow to the Falkirk Wheel where mum and dad met up with me.

The canal path is nice and flat, which made for an easy start, but it does get a bit boring, except for short wooded stretches which can be really still and atmospheric.

Anyway, feel a bit weary now but still enthusiastic (!) and... 12 miles knocked off. 488 to go!
ON THE IPOD: Boy Kill Boy, The Kooks.