Day 95: Tenby to Swansea

‘I’m shackled here.’
– Neil, St. Clears.

Breakfast is ready!

I’m woken by a friendly shout and the smell of frying bacon in the other room, after a lovely deep night’s sleep in Tenby. Everything is good: the friendly company of Declan and Dorie, who have kindly put me up through the Couchsurfing website, which I strongly recommend to any travellers considering a similar journey. Then there’s the small town of Tenby, dotted on the south-west Welsh coast, a delight of a place to pass the time. And then there’s the prospect of a full Irish breakfast this morning. This is the start of a good day.

Matt and Morgan rouse too, and we rub our bleary eyes at the sight of a feast: scrambled eggs with tomatoes and onions, baked beans, mushrooms, slices of warm buttery toast, avocado (there must be something healthy here…), black pudding, bacon and sausages for the meat eaters. There’s fresh coffee and tea too. Wonderful. We talk about the tricky business of living together with other people, of moving in as couples, and the complex etiquette of domestic work between house-mates. Everyone round the table has sufficient experience to draw on, much of it humorously negative. We’re laughing and eating together, and I wish this was the start and end of the day’s activities, but there’s some distance still to travel.

Day 95 001 Day 95 002 Day 95 003 Day 95 004 Day 95 005 Day 95 006

Continue reading

Day 39: Grantown-on-Spey to Inverness

‘It’s a crazy place, but in a good way…’ – Jackie, Forres.

The rain awakes me, pattering against the thin sheets of this tent perched on some nameless Highland hill. Little droplets form on the tent’s exterior, each one unique in outline, existing for a few moments, then rolling away.

It’s colder today, overcast and damp like an early winter morning. I listen for some time to the chirruping, whooping and cawing of the birds. The forest around me is densely packed with spindly tall trees, some rotten, some sporting a floral blue moss. This is wilder living, and now involves some wild toileting. As I take my trowel and bog roll to a more remote part of the woods, I spot the flight of a buzzard rising up through the trees.

Day 39 002 Day 39 003 Day 39 004 Day 39 005 Day 39 006 Day 39 007

Continue reading