The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Scotland! No, Wales! No, Definitely Scotland

Last weekend I spent a day planning some hills for our upcoming trip to Scotland. Then I remembered that we're now in stalking season and a bit of Internet research suggested that my chosen area may well have access restrictions at this time of year. Fortunately, with 90% of the Scottish Marilyns still unvisited, I had plenty of scope to shift my attention to a different area where the potential for conflict between stalking activities and my desired routes was less. Two more days of planning ensued.

With our trip just half a day away, on Tuesday lunchtime we had a rethink. So many reports and photos of horrible midge situations had been seen that Scotland was looking like less of a good idea.

I still have Pembrokeshire Coast Path to walk, to finish the Welsh Coast, so it seemed sensible to slot that in before Scotland. Away went the Scottish Hill resources and my attention switched to Wales (including taking the Scottish 1:25k maps back off my phone and replacing them with Wales, and packing paper maps for Wales too).

After an evening of considering distances and meeting points (as Mick would be driving Colin in support, as he does on all of my coastal walks) I was concerned about the tiny coastal roads around Pembrokeshire, combined with an influx of visitors to this popular area over the summer bank holiday weekend. Everything was pointing to late September being a better time for that trip after all.

What to do? Finally get around to replacing the kitchen or the bathroom at home? Or revert to Plan A so that we would be away and not noticing the awful datedness of those rooms of our house (a ploy which has been working for years and may well continue to be used for some time yet)?

Nine hours before our planned departure time, and Scotland was back on. Unfortunately, I didn't think to replace the 1:25k maps on my phone or in my map case with the Scottish ones (the former I can, admittedly, do from the road, but limiting the time I can use the laptop for other things, as both of its batteries are well past their best).

Alas, the shortlived change of plan to the Welsh Coast had diverted me from an administration task that needed completing before we left home (as the Welsh trip would be shorter and I'd be home again before said task's deadline loomed). Our departure was thus delayed as the admin was completed. We finally got away just before lunchtime yesterday, and by evening were well over the border, doing a sunshine dance to encourage the weather to stay fine for a while longer yet.


  1. Well, that all went to plan then...

    1. Indeed. Never let it be said that I'm not a super-organised planner who knows what she's doing at all times!

  2. Scotland! No, Wales! No, Norfolk!
    When you tire of the hills Gayle it will still be there for you:-
    Reminder - Don't miss Bake Off

  3. The Norfolk Coast Path? It's on the radar. Wondering whether to make it my next bit of coast, now that I've finished Wales.