Wednesday 22nd August 2018
10.59 miles today. 830.44 miles total.
I slept very well at Rob and Louise’s house (Thank you both for your hospitality) and, along with their other house guest, we were all ready to go by 8.30am.
Rob dropped me off at the same corner where I’d finished yesterday’s walk. The only difference was that it was raining.
I decided to extend today’s walk by going into East Calder to get cash, and was glad I did.
Not only did I find an interesting small town with pretty gardens
some new building and artwork (this is called Past and Present),
and the best use yet for an old phone box, but I chatted briefly with John and Freda who were walking two greyhounds. Freda comes from John O’Groats and says she will look out for my name in the finishers book.
Then a voice called from behind me, “Good on you. Are you enjoying yourself?” and a smiling man jogged past, also in full waterproofs.
I left the town heading north up a cycle path, alongside a cereal crop that was over ripe and turning black.
Maybe the extra rain up here has delayed some of the harvest?
The path looks like an old railway track. Here it follows a viaduct.
The weather gradually improved leaving just the puddles.
The path continued under the motorway and arrived at the railway station at Uphall.
I smiled at a poster advertising the industrial heritage at Pumpherton Refinery. The advert is by Scottishshale.co.uk.
The final mile into Uphall had a number of outbreaks of Japanese knotweed along the verges. Some had been treated but there was a lot of new growth. It’s getting to be quite a problem across the country.
In Uphall there was more evidence of the industrial heritage.
This was one of those journeys that should have been easy but wasn’t*.
So I stopped for a long rest and a very full lunch at The Oatridge Hotel before moving on. The food was home made and good value so I think it was a lucky find.
The rest of the route was on the road and with more energy, fairly pleasant to walk with distant views of hills – or are they mountains?
I found more huge fungi, these were decomposing in a rather disgusting manner but I assume they have some purpose in the ecosystem.
As I came into Linlithgow a man stopped for a chat. His wife had died of Pancreatic Cancer 8 years ago. Every story is individual and it was a good reminder of how much we need faster diagnosis of this disease.
Tonight I’m staying at an AirBnB. The owner is away so I’m on my own.
Once again in a cosy bed and I can see out over the loch and the castle.
Despite the tourist delights I’m not sightseeing as it’s more important to rest and recover.
It’s back to camping tomorrow as I head for Falkirk, the Wheel and the Kelpies. I do want to make space to see them.
*My legs were hurting a lot and lacked energy. Two reasons: Firstly, after a huge breakfast at the hotel yesterday morning I was not hungry so ate very little for the rest of the day. Underfuelled. Secondly, the Plantar Fascia inserts in my shoes are worn out so no longer providing support. This has a knock on effect on Achilles, calves, knees, quads that other PF sufferers may recognise. I have a spare set of gel insoles with me so will use those to rescue my feet before walking tomorrow.