Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Day 51 Monday - Beecraigs Country Park to Kilsyth

Walking 6.45am to 4.00pm
Distance walked today 21 miles
Total distance walked 737 miles
Distance left 315 miles

An unexpected pleasure last evening. Having had a meal in the restaurant, I was invited over to the only other tent on the site. Gayle, Katie & Donna were boiling water for tea and we spent an enjoyable half hour talking before I turned in for the night. They were camping just for one night, checking out their kit for the "T in the Park" festival.

It was an easy walk down to the outskirts of Linlithgow to the towpath of the Forth & Clyde Canal. I was to follow this all day.

A mile or so along the route, I met a "trail angel" (see http://en.wikepedia.org/wiki/Trail_Angel). Norrie is a keen backpacker, lives in Linlithgow and was full of questions about the walk. One important question he asked was whether I'd had breakfast and mentioned the possibility of a bacon roll and coffee.

An hour later, after I was thinking that I'd dreamt about the encounter, he appeared again and, in a picnic area, produced a bacon roll (with HP sauce) and a caf├ętiere of coffee perched on the roof of his car! Amazing.

There followed an offer for me to be picked up at the end of the day's walking, ferried back to his home in Linlithgow for a meal and a bed and then deposited back on the trail tomorrow morning. My pack was left in his car so I walked today with just food, a bit of water and waterproof.

I stopped off to see the spectacle of the Falkirk Wheel in operation - well worth the visit.



The canal walking was nice and undemanding with a few locks to be seen but very few boats.
A lot of people were using the towpath for walking and cycling.

I heard that Reg & Geert (see earlier postings for Devon and Gloucestershire) were in Kilsyth and gave Reg a call. I shall probably meet up with them tomorrow morning. Vinnie is at least a day behind me.

I've had a really good evening at Norrie's home in Linlithgow, meeting his partner, Alison. We've taken his neighbour's boisterous dog for a walk in the rain around Loch Linlithgow to see the ruined palace where Mary, Queen of Scots was born.

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