Friday, June 15, 2012

602.8 kms: (Beancross)-Falkirk Wheel-Bonnybridge-Underwood/Lock 17-Auchinstarry-Kilsyth.

I did not expect to do those sorts of kilometers today (not that it is record breaking in any sense). I would not have been surprised to actually see my fat arse on a bus seat all the way to Kilsyth. I hit the snooze button for an hour and a half before dragging myself up and out into the fine Scottish summer. Today, in summer, it got to a high of eleven degrees. And it spat rain all day. In Melbourne, I noticed, it was sunny and seventeen—in winter!!!!!! What is strange though is I am not sure that if this weather was transposed, very legitimately into the Melbourne winter and I was walking around in it, whether I would not think it was too cold for this sort of a malarky. As it is, in this summer environment, it seems bearable. 

After an inordinate amount of faffing in the centre of Falkirk (breakfast, internet searches for accommodation, phoning said accommodation, post-officing), I caught the bus back to the Wheel. Then I faffed a bit more by having lunch and my first Irn-Bru, the Scottish national soft-drink. And finally, I hit the towpath at about two in the afternooon. I wasn't convinced I still wouldn't have to resort to a bus somewhere, but two feet took me all the way to my scary-exterior-modern-interior hotel in Kilsyth, The Coachman. I stopped at Lock 17 for what I have discovered belatedly is the answer to my toilet issues—a drink that allows less fluid in than it buys the right to use the toilet to let out: espresso. The establishment in the middle of nowhere that is the restaurant at Lock 17 is, very bizarrely, an Indian Restaurant and Pub. It is an eighteenth century stables and Inn for the horses that, at the time, pulled the barges along the canal. Now it is ultra modern and serves that quintessential Indian-Scottish dish, the Haggis Pakora. What the ... ? If I wasn't already so full of spicy Falkirk Wheel meatballs, I would have tried it just because it sounds so odd. But if haggis is so calorie rich already, what on earth does deep frying it in batter do to it?


Despite the espresso I had to find a bush to dive into again. If the country was run by women, this would not happen and we would not get to our final destinations only to find weeds tucked in our underpants. There would be PC's all over my maps (Public Conveniences). The towpath was high on a bank with no hiddey spots. It did, however, at one stage stretch straight for quite a while and I was tempted to just go for it. Luckily I didn't because even though it seemed I could see people if they were there, a cyclist turned up shortly out of nowhere and they would have definitely caught me. There was no-one on the canal either. No-one until I came stumbling out of the bushes when I eventually found a spot that didn't look like I would sink into four meters of mud. I sincerely think there is a conspiracy to catch me with my pants down.

Thanks to Doug and Agnes at Lilliesleaf, Easter Cottages, for sending this through to me.

Oh great, Friday night disco at The Coachman is just starting downstairs. If the waitresses were freaking out about someone having dinner by themselves this evening (and coping by pretending I didn't exist), then they will have a canupture if I go and get stonkered and dance a bit by myself won't they. I'll stay in my room and dance with Wes instead.

Good night to Kilsyth, good night to you.

P.s: I am being made a mockery of, ignore everything I saidabout coping with the weather—after a night of disco and bangings at five am, I think I now have a cold. I think it is either from that room or from bearing my bot to the elements. Pooey.

1 comment:

  1. Blast! I hope you cold is a mild one and very short in duration. 600 K's is a monumental effort in anyone's language. WELL DONE!