Day 1 – I count my chickens

Portpatrick to Stranraer, 15Km

Portpatrick is also the start of the E2 European Long Distance Footpath which runs down to Weybridge and then on around Europe, ending in Nice. You’d imagine it would be thick with walkers but I didn’t see anyone except Mark from Workington who was coming down the steps at the start. We had a chat. He said, “I’ve never been to Orkney but my friend, Big Rodney, retired there. He was a butcher in Workington. You can’t miss him if you see him. Tell him ‘hello from Mark’”.

I worked in a butcher shop in school holidays when I was 15. In those days, chickens arrived in crates, mostly dead, and my job was to ‘clean them out’. Hopefully I’ll meet Big Rodney up on Orkney and we’ll have something to talk about.

The only other person I saw today was a young shepherdess. She had driven her sheep into a pen ready for dipping and was lying on the ground talking to them. Or perhaps she was on the ‘phone. It’s difficult to tell now that everyone has EarPods. I think she was talking to them because she stopped when she saw me and returned my wave. You probably think I’m making all this up but I promise, I’m not.

The start of the Southern Upland Way in Portpatrick. Very welcoming!
Today I had a nice walk along the coast
I used to dream about these sort of beaches as a child, rather than Brighton. But then I grew up and got to like Brighton
The first of 13 Kists along the SUW. Each one is assigned to an artist. A poet has this one.
Each Kist contains treasure and you can collect a set of all 13 coins. There’s a crypto version too, in case you don’t want to weigh yourself down.
It all looks very civilised, this SUW. There are yellow topped waymarks and even a bench
The bracken is well behaved too, so far

18 comments on “Day 1 – I count my chickens

  1. Vikki McLean

    Hello Tim,
    I’m very much looking forward to another blister-free armchair excursion – 1000 kilometres is so easy when there is no need to even stand up!
    Thanks for your efforts.

    • Hi Vikki, I hope no blisters. All well so far. Could you spare Calum for a couple of months? I could use a translator

  2. Dad it’s AirPods hahaha “ear pods”

    • HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.

      Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

      HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

      Dave: What’s the problem?

      HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

      Dave: What are you talking about, HAL?

      • I wasn’t about to correct you I thought EarPods was close enough!

      • I thought they were EarPods. My iPhone keypad was happy. Maybe Apple has a name change coming…

  3. A great start Tim, I trust you only left footprints behind. 15km down, 985 to go 🙂

  4. David Anthony Ghiorso

    Following from California before I head off to Spain for a short pilgrimage in October. I have done the West Highland Way and Great Glenn Way in 2015 so cannot wait for your comments.

    • Hello Dave, Paul told me you both met recently. I have such happy memories of those days we three walked towards the Great St Bernard Pass and then in the Po Valley. Three years ago

  5. Why have I not known about your blog till this trip?! Sophie Grieg! 😂
    I feel like I have missed so much already!
    So enjoying and looking forward to this trip,
    Good travels Tim xx

    • Hi Dawn, welcome to this somewhat strange blog. You’ll learn nothing about the underlying geology, history or politics of the places I pass through. Perhaps a glimpse through the upper atmosphere of my mind

      • PS back issues still available on my website

      • Enjoying hearing about your adventures and seeing the photos.Not something I would ever do so great way to feel like I’m there!
        Will look back at Japan too then, great.

      • Yes, sometimes I wish I could do the same…

  6. Vicky Williamson

    Kia Ora, Tim. Well, it was worth getting out of bed this morning because I learned something new – I learned about Kists!
    Looks like a grand day with great vistas, easy paths and to be free from threats of Covid. What’s the grub like on the way and at day’s end? Do you miss those 6 – 8 dish Japanese meals in minshuku? Kia kaha, Vicky

    • Hi Vicky, and welcome back. I think it’s going to be quite interesting, kists, koalas, palms already joining haggis, whisky and all things tartan still to come.

  7. Hi Tim. Wonderful to see you have completed another journey. I am looking forward to reading about your adventure.

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