comments iconDay 38: A Day of Two Halves


Today walk: 22.20 miles

Total walk:   555.30 miles

Today raised:  £ 30.00  +  ¥ 66.66

Total raised: £ 12,093.09  + ¥  91,538.66

There is a term in football (a subject to which I will joyfully return at the end of this blog) that a game was a ‘game of two halves, meaning that a team were either incredibly poor in one half of the game and brilliant in the second or the other way round. Well today was a walk of two halves:

The first half of the walk from the small fishing village of Maidens along the A719, past Culzean Castle and then along the B7023 and B7024 to Culroy and then into Alloway could not have been better. Beautiful countryside, pleasant cool weather and light traffic. I can say it was an absolute pleasure to walk and that seemed to make me move faster too.

At lunchtime we arrived into historic Alloway, Ayrshire which is the birthplace of Scotland’s most famous son, the poet Robert Burns. Robbie Burns  was born in a small cottage in 1759 and died at the age of just 37 but his impact on the culture of Scotland could not have been greater. What I found intriguing about Robert Burns from my visit was:

First, that he was from a very poor background. He lived in the cottage that his father built as a farm labourer and that was Robert’s expected career path which he did follow but wrote songs and poems as well. He had three pieces of good fortune the first was to be taught French and Latin by John Murdoch a local teacher who saw some of his potential with language. The second was an encounter with Captain Richard Brown who encouraged his to pursue his talent with poetry and finally, and probably most significantly with Sir Walter Scott the great poet, play write and author who was able to introduce Burns into the literary circles of Edinburgh which would be key to getting his work published and recognised.

The second was that Robert Burns has a particularly close following in Russia where he is regarded as a ‘peoples poet’ and translations of his poems into Russian still sell very well.

For those not familiar with Robbie Burns works then here is one to try:

“But pleasures are like poppies spread:

You seize the flower, the bloom is shed;

Or like the snow falls in the river,

A moment white–then melts for ever,” (From Tam O Shanter, 1790)

The second part of the day was absolutely miserable walking along the A77 again and then getting lost and being unable to find a route down from the A77 into our hotel located on the B739. In the end Xuelin came to the rescue navigating a path through the forest on foot to A77 to find me and then guide me back safely to the hotel.

Once I got back I was able to check the football scores I found that whilst I had been fighting my way along the A77 they had managed to score three goals against West Ham and earn their first points of the season.