Scottish National Trail (part 3): racing against the storms from Glasgow to Pitlochry

All hiking posts, Hiking, Scotland, Scottish National Trail

Last Autumn I hiked the length of Scotland on the Scottish National Trail. Read part 1 and part 2.

Day 10 – Cadder -> oak tree between Milngavie & Drymen (16km)

“It was lovely weather before you came!” my Mum tells me again and again as I watch the rain from her window. I can’t imagine Scotland ever having lovely weather.

So it comes as no surprise to me that it’s shitting down when I rejoin the trail in Cadder after a couple of days’ break.

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Scottish National Trail (part 2): canal walking from Edinburgh to Glasgow

All hiking posts, Hiking, Scotland, Scottish National Trail

Last Autumn I hiked the length of Scotland on the Scottish National Trail. See part 1 here.

I take a week off of hiking to go and help shut down an opencast coal mine in the north of England.  By the time I’m back in Scotland, my feet are finally no longer sore!

Day 7: Edinburgh -> near Philipstoun (12km)

I take a train out of the centre of Edinburgh and join the trail at Edinburgh Park station. This is because I want to go to Decathlon to pick up some gear. The irony isn’t lost on me, buying cheap petro-chemical gear to go and hike in nature.

Today marks the first of a few long days of canal walking, following the Union canal and then the Forth and Clyde canal. I’m a bit wary about walking along canals for days. “Where will I camp?” is my main concern, followed by, “it’s going to be so boring!”

The Scottish National Trail (part 1): the Lowlands

All hiking posts, Hiking, Scotland, Scottish National Trail

I hiked the length of Scotland last Autumn. These Scotland blog posts are dedicated to Old Alan, a Scottish family friend who died after my trip.

“I’m going to hike all of Scotland!” I say suddenly to Chris. “Do you want to come?”

“No…I’ve got lots of work to do…”

“Me too! But I’m going to do it anyway!”

Once I decide to do a hike, there’s no talking me out of it. Chris decides that he will join me “when it gets more exciting in the Highlands”.

Hiking the Carian Trail (part 1): endurance and struggle!

All hiking posts, Carion Trail, Turkey, Hiking, Turkey
The stunning view from Amos on the Carian Trail

The stunning view from Amos on the Carian Trail

The Carian Trail (or the Karia Yolu in Turkish) is an 800km hiking trail along the south-west coast of Turkey. Having walked the Lycian Way in Turkey a few years before, I am certain that I know what I am getting into.

My intention is to walk 400km of the trail, and I want to do it alone. I’m sure that I will meet no other hikers, as this trail is pretty new. It will be an amazing journey of personal growth, and I will spend days walking, meditating, foraging for edible plants, and swimming on deserted beaches. It’s going to be paradise, I think to myself….

Day 1: İçmeler to a meadow close to Amos (8km)
I pack my rucksack in my guesthouse and lift it up. “SHIT! It’s so fucking heavy!” I say out loud to myself. On all of my recent hikes, I have shared the load with Chris. He would take the food and water and I would take the tent. But now I am alone and I have to carry it all: a few litres of water, food, tent, sleeping bag and mat, clothes, books, notepads for writing, compass, torch and other accessories. Immediately I ditch a book – my copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I hadn’t been enjoying it much, anyway.