After a rainy month in the Western Highlands in January, the year 2020 kind of slewed to a halt. Acharacle had proved a roller coaster of weather and geography – driving to the branch surgery at Kilchaon to see maybe four people involved a switchback ride through a temperate rain forest and around the edge of an extinct volcano. The patients I saw took the ferry to Tobermory, Mull, rather than drive the route I drove several times a week, to do their shopping.
Flash forward to January 2021 – so much and so little at the same time has happened. We need a plan. And today the plans for 2021 started to form. These are – to complete a long diastance path in sections, to walk/run/cycle 1000 (not sure if miles or kilometers yet – depends on progress!) by the end of 2021, already a challenge as we’re a month into it – and two other personal challenges that I am not about to make a public declaration on for fear of failure – but I’ll let you know at the end of the year.
The long distance path. We’re still in lockdown, so the sensible one to choose is the one which literally goes past our front door (a door which incidentally doesn’t open in the winter), The Shropshire Way, a 202 mile figure of eight walk which centres on the county town of Shrewsbury and extends north and south into the county reaching the Welsh Marches, down to the Shropshire Hills AONB, past Much Wenlock, site of the original Olympic Games, alongside Telford with all of it’s industrial archaeology, through the Lake District of Shropshire around Ellesmere and so forth.
I must say that a day which had seemed, to use my son’s word – glum – has become the day when the rest of my life seems somehow to hold another real spark of excitement and anticipation. Always busy, never bored but a bit Meeeehh at time – and I’m heading to Shetland again in two weeks so can’t complain – I have a fire within me I haven’t felt since we started the Camino from Le Puy in 2018. Or Lejog in 2017. I’m easy to please.
Shropshire is such a beautiful county, with incredible history. A well kept secret.
So….we’re off – coming with us?