Edinburgh to Linlithgow
The Queens Guest House was a great place to have spent the last few nights and will certainly be top of the list of where to stay the next time I find myself in Edinburgh. The room was great. The staff were great. The breakfast was pretty good. The location was excellent. What else could I have wanted while taking some well earned time off?
The weather forecast yesterday said it’d be raining today and they weren’t wrong. Still, if it’s raining when I get up then all the waterproofs go on straight away which saves a lot of messing around if I have to put them all on later. All dolled up for the rain I headed out the door onto the almost empty Edinburgh streets.
The only problem with picking a place to stay right in the thick of it in Edinburgh was that it meant that there was a bit of a stroll before I could pick up the canal that would take me out of the city and all the way to Linlithgow. It was the best part of an hour, walking out past Haymarket and Slateford stations before I managed to get on to the canal towpath. This was frustratingly slow, mainly down to the number of bloomin’ pedestrian crossings I had to wait for.
Finally on the canal towpath the route now became very simple: follow the path. I’d not really been looking forward to this as previous canal walks have been not exactly the most interesting of walks and this was a long one. Still, I was expecting the going to be easy as it would be flat and the rain wasn’t causing any problems so I was hopeful of a good walk.
There wasn’t a great deal to look at walking along the towpath. I passed a few people out on their bikes and a couple of barges went past, but other than that it was pretty boring. Still, I seemed to be making good time and by the time I stopped for lunch, finding a bench under a tree for a little cover from the rain, I’d covered about nine miles and was feeling pretty good. Not wanting to hang around too long I ate my lunch and headed off again.
It was only a few miles further when things started to fall apart. The toe I’ve had so much trouble with on my right foot decided to flare up today. It’s been pretty good for days now so I was a little surprised when this happened.
I struggled on but the pain in the toe meant I started to walk awkwardly and it wasn’t long before the sole of my right foot started to rub badly and my right hip started to hurt. This was not good as I still had quite a long way to go before finally stopping. There wasn’t much I could do other than grin and bare it and hope that I’d make it ok.
I did manage to find a bench at one point where I took a break. I took my right boot off, removed my socks and tried to patch up my foot as best I could with some plasters, hoping that it’d make the final few miles a little more comfortable. To be honest it didn’t really but I guess it was better than doing nothing?
Time was getting short before I had to phone the girls by the time I made it in to Linlithgow and I was running on empty. Walking up the high street to find my bed for the night I found a chip shop and grabbed fish and chips, hastily shoveling them in to my mouth before phoning the girls. They didn’t really want to talk with me on the phone – too distracted again. I look forward to speaking with them every single day, but today I really needed it. Shame.
I eventually made it up the high street to the West Port Hotel – pub – and checked in. I sorted all my wet clothes and boots out and stood in the shower for about half and hour hoping that it would ease the pain I was feeling in my feet. That’s the problem with showers though…you have to stand up in them, which makes sorting painful feet out a little bit difficult.
I didn’t bother leaving my room as I couldn’t face walking anywhere, not even downstairs to the bar. I could have murdered a pint after today’s walk but I suspect I wouldn’t have stopped at one so not going downstairs was probably a good thing considering I’ve got the same distance to walk tomorrow.
I really didn’t enjoy today’s walk, even if it started out quite well. The one big problem was the severe lack of places to stop and sit down during the day. Also, the rain meant that when I did finally find places to take the weight off I didn’t really want to take my boots off. Put the two of those things together and they really hit my feet badly which made it very painful indeed.
All in all a day that I would sooner forget about. I can only hope that I manage to get a better night’s sleep tonight and that I shrug this minor setback off in time for tomorrow’s long walk along the canal…joy!