Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Walk 267 -- Lochead to Kilberry

Ages:  Colin was 68 years and 332 days.  Rosemary was 66 years and 109 days.
Weather:  Dark, grey and persistent drizzle.  Mild.
Location:  Lochead to Kilberry.
Distance:  12½ miles.
Total distance:  2538 miles.
Terrain:  All tarmacked lanes.  Undulating.
Tide:  Coming in.
Rivers:  No.302, Allt Cinn-locha.  No.303, Achahuish Burn.  No.304, Baranlongart Burn.  No.305, Ormsary Waters.  No.306, Crear Burn.
Ferries:  None.
Piers: None.
Kissing gates:  None.
Pubs:  None.
‘Historic Scotland’ properties:  No.27, sculptured stones at Kilberry which we were too tired to visit.
Ferris wheels:  None.
Diversions:  None.
How we got there and back:  We were staying in our caravan in Lochgilphead.  This morning we drove to Kilberry where we parked behind an expensive restaurant which we thought was a pub!  We caught a bus from there to Achahoish.  Then we had to walk two miles down a lane to get to the spot where we finished yesterday’s Walk.
At the end, we finished our Walk at the car which Colin discreetly drove out of the restaurant car park.  A little further down the road we had our tea and shortcake, then returned to our caravan in Lochgilphead.  We both felt wet and miserable — what should have been a lovely Walk along the lochside had become an endurance test in the rain.
It started to drizzle shortly before we arrived at the starting point of today’s Walk.  After a few little breaks, the rain became persistent and turned what should have been an enjoyable hike into an endurance test.  So few photos were taken today, we didn’t want to get the cameras wet.
We passed through a little wood where we saw a patch of arum lilies.  They were beautiful, easily the best thing on the whole Walk.
The road cut through a farm with daffodils on the verge, and a huge farmhouse behind high walls.  We peeped into the garden and saw a statue of a boy in a flower garden — I wonder what was the significance of that sculpture.  I felt, somehow, there was a story behind it.
Nearby was a standing stone — one of many in this area.
We crossed a stream in some mossy woods, it was very pretty there.  We sat on a log to eat our sarnies — we had sat there to eat our pies on the way out earlier.  Colin was feeling pretty miserable because he was still having trouble with his artificial sphincter, and had leaked.  I was feeling pretty miserable because my arthritic toe became quite painful and I had to take my boot off to apply ‘Powergel’ which didn’t really work even then.  I’ve had four and a half years of peace with that toe — in fact I had more or less forgotten all about it — so I was disappointed that it had started playing up again.
We were both feeling pretty miserable because of the rain.  We put our cameras away and struggled into overtrousers.  Further up the road it stopped raining and became too hot in the sun — momentarily.  I was foolish enough to take my overtrousers off, Colin didn’t.  Almost immediately the sun disappeared and it started raining again!  I couldn’t be bothered to struggle into my overtrousers again, so I got wet.  This time the rain was here to stay.
We came to Achahoish where we had alighted from the bus earlier, and turned southwards along the slightly mainer road.  Hardly any traffic, that was a godsend.  This road follows the shore of Loch Caolisport, sometimes right next to it and sometimes a bit further inland.  The view was foggy.  We didn’t see any wildlife.  We were wet and miserable.  We just tramped on. 
Further on we sat on a mossy bank to eat our apples in the rain.  Then we trudged on.  I have found that I have far more stamina now that I am taking thyroxine tablets daily.  I went to the doctor about something completely different, and a blood test revealed that I have an under-active thyroid.  One of the symptoms of this is ‘sluggishness’, apparently, but I hadn’t noticed that I was sluggish.  However, we have both noticed the difference since I have been taking the thyroxine.  Whereas I used to lag behind Colin and could never catch him up, now he has difficulty keeping up with me!
On and on we went, two sad figures in the rain.  We sat on a wall to eat our chocolate, then trudged on.  A four-by-four vehicle passed us, then came to a stop.  The woman driver offered us a lift to Kilberry which was still about two miles away.  We said that we’d love to because we were so wet and miserable, but explained why we couldn’t.  I thanked her for her concern, and gave her one of my blog cards.  As she drove away I really questioned my sanity once again!
We passed the signpost to some sculptured stones, but we were too tired, wet and miserable to divert down the lane to see them.  We thought we may come back another day and take a look at them, but we never did.  They are probably little different to other such stones we have seen in other locations around Scotland, so we weren’t too bothered about missing them.
Eventually we arrived at the ‘pub’ in Kilberry, only to find it was really an expensive restaurant and the car park was full.
This should have been a fabulous Walk, but the weather ruined it!

That ended Walk no.267, we shall pick up Walk no.268 next time by the Kilberry Inn.  It was five past seven, so the Walk had taken us six hours.  This morning we had asked permission to leave our car in their car park all day, saying that we would call in for a drink after our hike.  This we fully intended to do, but we now discovered it wasn’t an ordinary boozer but an expensive restaurant — not our scene at all.  We felt like two drowned rats, and the place was full of posh people in smart clothes!  So Colin quietly sneaked the car out of the car park and drove it a little further down the road to the bus turning area.  There we had our tea and shortcake, then returned to our caravan in Lochgilphead.

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