BLOG POST – The mud and the Lime tree. | December 9th, 2016


I hopped out of the bed on the right, flung on some clothes and popped down for some breakfast.

Turns out I was the only guest up and eating. As I was brewing my tea – it was a self-service kitchen – ever so suddenly the side fire-door crashed open and the dude who served me Apple crumble the night before, as well as the owner of the truckstop, passed the door way with a friendly,
“Hey hey! Good morning!”.

We ended up having breakfast together and,even with my bowl of cereal and jam and toast, I was kindly made a whole heap of scrambled eggs.

They lived up to the sign.

After a walker’s version of a truckstop fuel up, I gathered all my things together and began the great plonk to Moffat – not before a peace mirror selfie though, of course! 😉

The Redmoss Truckstop.

I was to be mainly following this road for my entire day, fortunately. thanks to the seemingly magnetic motorway, it was predominantly free from cars. The photo is actually on the Cycle Route 74 – lovely!  🙂

Also, I had a hell of a close call… 😉

A recurring theme of my wandering has been to find rather peculiar discarded objects hurled to the side of the road, and today was no exception.

Some one must have been pwned super hard on COD4 to have been able to launch the controller this far out.

I find it to be an interesting dynamic to be above streams of speeding hunks of metal and glass on a concrete bridge taking slow, precise and patient photos.
I waited until it seemed it was pretty empty on this road for the effect, but this was, in reality, quite busy!


Bullshit. Never been to Ardfern.

Some Doctor came through, huh – What’s the Difference? 😉

Frosted Blue and yellow purple hills. OH AND GINGER SHEEP.

I think it’s actually really quite cute that way out here people still plonk padlocks onto bridge’s railings. Is the concept to lock the moment in time? I’ve seen many on my wander, now – and – albeit cheesy as a wotsit – it’s just beautiful ^_^

Hand and paw, together as one. <3

I distinctly remember this moment; I was listening to a ‘Great Big Beautiful Podcast’ featuring Paul Salopek talking with the hosts Jamie Greene and Justin Connors –
Paul is an incredible inspiration for this expedition, in-fact, had I not picked up the National Geographic Magazine with his project of walking in the footsteps of the human migration from Ethiopia to Tiera del Fuego slap-bang on the front cover, (It’s an awesome photo of him leading step with two pack-clad camels trailing on the tip of a desert dune in a stunning blue evening light) I can’t honestly say that I’d have had the courage to create my own wander!

As you can see, Umby was a continual companion for the day.


I honestly think these mile markers are wrong, or I’m just insanely fast. 😉
You walk at 3mph or so with a 10+KG pack on, I took this photo just after 6pm, which means from here it should be around 4 hours of walking…well, I arrived in Moffat at 8:30pm. I’M A SPEED DEMON!

My method of navigation is a combination of a pre-planned GPS route (downloaded from on my Garmin Etrex 20 and my phone, continually on charge via a battery pack, using both Galileo, – a offline, country-downloadable app – and Google Maps. Google Maps I tend to use only when I want to check how long I still have to walk to my destination in real time – It’s surprisingly brilliantly accurate!

My reason for bringing this up is that as I was swinging my limbs down the dark ‘n dreary road with the rain’a pelting my umbrella – conditions that, after 5 previous hours of the same, had long become a little old. AND SO, I checked my current position to my Hotel in Moffat on Google Maps and I was surprised to discover it was recommending a 30 minute shorter route than what I’d initially planned. After some deliberation, I decided to hop on board with the new route.

It took me across the motorway on an incredibly lonesome, seldom used bridge.

My newly taken route looked oh-so-smashing as a little blue line on my phone, but upon getting a ground truth under my feet, I soon realised that, although this may have been the ‘shorter’ option, it didn’t necessarily take into account that the way was a steep, recently cattle-trodden swamp of a farm track!

So a slippin’ and a slidin’ my way upwards,  mounting fences and dodging cow pats and puddles, I’d finally managed to rise to the hill, stealthily surpassing metal grinding workshop farmhands, and scrambled out boot-soaked and triumphant, to the beautiful glimmering lights of Moffat!

Falling out of the bushes onto solid tarmac is always an incredible experience, but this time even more so!

What made arriving in Moffat even more joyful was the fact that they are, apparently, the first ‘Walkers are Welcome’ Town in Scotland! In defense of the rest of Scotland, I must say I’d been through plenty of towns before Moffat that were wonderfully welcoming, but perhaps they were the leading example 😉

Proof I’m a speed demon.

My hotel was named ‘Hartfell house and the Lime tree’. What a gorgeous name, huh?

It’s a bit blurry and the colours are all out of shape, but here’s the building.

Was a lovely place with incredibly kind staff – especially when they’re confronted by some straggly, mud-covered, yet delightfully polite backpacker 😉

I enjoyed my sleep. 🙂

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