Day 58: Linlithgow – Twechar

Friday, 16/06/2017
Distance: 40,2 km (25 mi) for a total of 1617 km (1004,7 mi)

Ascent (ca.): 270 m (885 ft)

Weather: Sunny morning, getting more cloudy and then overcast, a bit of drizzle 

This morning required a complete repacking of my rucksack after the washing day but that was of course a very welcome thing to do. Even though I left my little hut a bit later than intended I wasn’t too concerned as I knew that today’s stretch would be long but flat.

I rejoined the Union Canal and trudged along. The scenery doesn’t change much along these canals, there is no navigational issue as the towpath can’t be missed and there was nothing happening on the water. The only diversion was the Falkirk tunnel. Although it’s dimly lit and the end can be seen all the time, carefully setting ones feet is necessary because it’s slippery and wet. And the tunnel looked shorter than it felt walking through.

By the time I had reached the end I felt the urgent need for something to eat. I decided that I’d give myself a second shock in two days and went into Falkirk city centre – and out again as fast as possible after I got the food I wanted. 

Soon I reached the Falkirk Wheel. I had visited it already some years ago but it’s still a piece of engineering which fascinates me. And who would I met there? Mina, James and Chris, of course. They were waiting for a helicopter ride which was offered to them via some connection of Mina.

The walking along the canal so far had been boring to say the least. And without a change I would be literally bored to death at the end of the day. So for the first time during this trip I got out my earphones and was thankful that I had put a collection of my favourite tunes on my mobile phone. Apart from shortening the time it also distracted me from the fact that my feet didn’t like the flat hard surface. In fact, today was more strenuous than e.g. the day up to Cross Fell
Something interesting: In England people asked me where I started and where I was heading to, but nobody asked me about route details. Every walker I talked to so far here in Scotland (and a number of non-walkers) wanted to know my plans how to cross Scotland and they were all really pleased to hear that I’m aiming at a western route through Knoydart. What is it that makes the Scots so proud and aware of their country?

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