Since my last blog, I have crossed two borders: one back in to England from Wales and one back out again to start the Scottish leg of the 7,000 miles.
I completed the Welsh coast in 37 days, which I was incredibly pleased about. The scenary was fantastic and the people helpful, but I have set myself a tough target to get the walk completed by November and that means I have to push myself every day to hit targets.
The stretch of coast from Liverpool to Gretna was an unknown to me, having never done any walking there. It was also quite complex, with train lines cutting off paths and the mass expanse of Morecombe Bay to navigate. On the other hand, the historic seaside resorts dotted along the coast did mean a fair few promenades, which were an interesting change to the cliffs and hills of Wales – though I think my appearance was more suited to the latter than the former!
The Lake District was suitabley impressive, the mountains a spectacular backdrop as I pottered in and out on the undulating shore line. And soon I could see Scotland across the water. I crossed the border at Gretna with a quick stop by the “Welcome to Scotland” sign for a picture.
Scotland was always going to be the most difficult part of the journey. The remoteness and lack of paths is unrivalled in the rest of the UK coast, but this was why I wanted to do this walk: the adventure. Navigationally it has been difficult these first few weeks as I climbed up to Loch Fyne. I have had to keep a sharp eye on the maps not only for direction, but also to see where the nearest shops are for supplies.
It has been a hard slog so far, but an amazing one as well. Just last week I sat for ten minutes watching an otter fish, which has been one of the best experiences so far. I’m hoping for many, many more.