Day 91: Dolgellau to Machynlleth

‘We’ve got the knowledge here, we’ve got the potential.’ – Joel, Machynlleth.

The desire for solitude…

I’m starting to feel like the lone ranger, my singleness weighing on me. But it’s not a feeling of isolation, or loneliness… Stranger, a hardening of my boundaries, a reluctance and disinterest in intruding on others, a new feeling of difficulty in looking someone in the eye, or asking about them, whilst my mind and its imagination inflates into a pop up universe of its own. It’s like the mind can incorporate external stimuli like sights, stories, experiences before a certain threshold is exceeded. Or maybe it’s fatigue, of a mental kind, or the changing of the seasons I am experiencing and immersed into a daily, hourly degree, more intensive than ever before. The dark is drawing in, and weeks of cold, grey and wet weather has us turning inwards, towards the hearth and the familiar figures and sensations that surround it. Maybe I’m tiring out, as other travellers have done who I’ve read, their last days a grainy and gloomy blur. I hope not. I’m finding such rich secrets already in north Wales, and more is promised.

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Day 74: Heysham to Preston

‘Without them, this town would be shut down.’ – taxi driver, Blackpool.

Have you woken to the sound of pure electricity flowing above your head and this fragile polythene sheet that some would call a tent, and others a place of rest? If not, then strive for it, even if it means sleeping in the most exposed and strange of waste grounds in Heysham, near Morecambe. Where are either? Then you haven’t lived. These pylons sound like rain, their voltage dangerous and yet strangely tranquilising, even for all the shouting during the night nearby, as drunken kids raced up and down the road right by my tent. Thankfully I was not discovered, but it adds to the night’s strangeness.

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