Walking 1004.9 miles from John O'Groats to Lands end in aid of Accommodation Concern! (starts august 3rd 2014)

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Day-20 Who dares wins!

Away from my nights rest (!).... And relieving my unfulfilled stomach with snacks from a shop, I pick up a B road twice the size of most A roads in the north and far busier traffic didn't seem to expect walkers along here.What I didn't expect was the statue in the photo, a memorial for Sir David Stirling the man who founded the SAS! It's quite a memorial too,it lists all the men who have died in the service of this great brigade, a very grounding moment.
Back on the B road and I really know I'm out of the wild as the road joins a massive roundabout on the end of the M9 giving me a whole new set of concerns as I struggle to cross multiple dual carriageways that join here!, around and on the road to Bridge of Allan another victorian spa town with its posh coffee shops, I settle for a fizzy drink from Tesco!
From here my next target is in easy sight the impressive Wallace monument that towers above the valley perched on Abbey Craig,well worth the climb to the top though I'm puffing a bit.....Think I was trying to show off to the tourists! Hehe!,spectacular views back to the mountains as much as at the exquisite architecture!.
My crossing of the river forth was much less time consuming than its eastern equivalent in 2010! Hard to imagine it's the river that eventually forms the Firth of Forth!. 
Into Stirling now I head straight to the grand Yha building to start my 24 hour rest period. Night all

Day-19 karma at play

Walking into the campsite took me a kilometer off route last night, it also put me within a hundred yards of my route! The problem being ten meters of the river balgie blocking my route, chewing over this problem with Hugh a chap I'd met walking into the site with his wife last night, he gives the ideal solution with the use of his canoe!
So many thanks Hugh :-)
Once again the crossing water thing left me a bit pale...I'm told! Still well worth it, across some rough farmland and onto the cycle trail again, as ever running smooth and easy over the landscape with pleasing views of Loch Lubnaig in the morning sun (!) one view I certainly didn't expect was to meet a young lass walking from Callandar in her party frock and carrying two heavy looking handbags! Poor girl did look a bit tired to say the least! So passing on some rations was the least I could do! Think that glucose drink helped :-)
Continuing along to a place called Stank (it didn't) I met another lady who was accompanied by a border terrier called Leonard! Lovely to fuss one, though it did bring home how much I miss Alfie :-/
The trail goes through a holiday park and consequently a few people were around jogging, cycling etc.. Leaving the holidaymakers to their exercise and heading into sun dappled woods beside the river my company is back to the usual little birds I've still to identify! (note to me!!!)
With one step I'm out of the woods and utterly blown away by how flat the land had become! No mountains ahead gave me a very weird albeit relieved feeling, the pressure should be off now, the hard graft of mountain walking is done, at least until I'm back in England.
A chap with his dogs passes me and donates a fiver, thanks!.
One thing I'm noticing quickly is how further advanced the local flora is here, in the mountains and only a few miles back the rose bay willow herb is only just in flower, here it's in seed! A remarkably different climate. Into Calandar for lunch and a huge fried breakfast is devoured quickly! Provisions purchased and I'm on the road once more via a tiny B road to Buchany, plenty of black berries here to gorge on making a change from all the tiny raspberries I've been nibbling on for the last few weeks!
Onto the main A road to Doune and into the village where I get a room in a very sub standard B&B... I was going to slate them here but I'll refrain at least I got my battery pack charged up.