I thought about staying another night in Bonnybridge but although I had a very nice room the Inn was not offering breakfast until 10 AM – far too late for me and the bar was not to my taste. It was very noisy with TV screens on every available wall space and gaming machines in every nook and cranny. The people were extremely friendly; a visit to the bar would normally provoke one of the locals to hold out a welcoming hand ‘hi I’m Jimmy, nasty weather oot there’ or similar. But because of my deafness and their accents I found it very difficult to converse.
So I decided to move on.
I set out on the trail that I found on the map yesterday – I had missed it when planning my route. Basically It cut off a corner and saved me walking through the suburbs of North Glasgow.
Much of the route is The John Muir Way and it has, after 20 miles, brought me to Strathblane where I’m booked into a rather nice old inn for two days. Yes two days! I am at last taking a day off from walking. The weather forecast is dreadful and I’m feeling a little tired so I’m looking forward to a day doing very little or even nothing at all.
Last night I noticed the state of my right walking boot. For some while it’s been showing signs of cracking across the toe area; this crack is now quite deep. Rather more alarming is that a large chunk of rubber sole has disappeared from the toe of the same boot. The left boot is in far better condition. Maybe I am heavy footed on my right hand (foot?) side?
The boots were bought specifically for this trip and other than about 100 miles of breaking in were brand new when I set out so they are covered by warranty. I will try and make them last to Fort William where Cotswold Outdoors have a branch and see what they say. My biggest worry is the thought of breaking in a new pair of boots whilst on a big walk. I must say that I’ve not had any blisters or foot problems yet (I’m touching wood), other than a general aching and throbbing at night.
I might also treat myself to some new socks. My favourite walking socks are made by Bridgedale and some of the pairs that I am using on this trip could be over 10 years old; well used and darned several times.
Again, touching wood, the rest of my kit is doing well although I might ask Cotswold if they do a larger rucksack cover; mine struggles to fit over the bag if I have anything (like a water bottle) in the side pockets. All of my clothing is in colour-coded waterproof dry sacks within the rucksack so a little water getting in is not a major problem but it would be nice to resolve the issue.
‘Colour coded clothing bags? What is he on about?’ I hear you ask. Blue for clean clothes, orange for dirty clothes, green for worn once or twice but still clean enough to wear again. All very organised! The dry bags with clothing in also make very comfortable pillows in my tent.
But I have a proper bed and pillows tonight…….