Marhofn 196.11 - May 2009

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Baglogs: Lower Tiers:

Baglog: Martin Richardson (+58=728)

In the summer I managed an English Marilyn completion with a visit to the Isle of Wight. I had finished the Welsh ones the previous year with a boat trip to Bardsey for Mynydd Enlli, so there is a pattern emerging. I did consider finishing regions 27 and 28 with another island, Ailsa Craig, on new year's eve, but for reasons I will explain later I changed my mind.

The trip to IoW was with an old school friend who is not really into walking, other than on city streets. However, on occasional city breaks together he drags me around museums and cathedrals, and I make him go to the highest point within the city limits. He did quite well to accompany me to the top of St Boniface Down, but what a disappointing hill to finish with, in view of the radar station. Incidentally, we were both in the same class at school as a lad who spent much of his time in the corner of the classroom drawing cartoons, by the name of Chris Tyler. You may have heard that name somewhere.

Anyway, the reason I changed my mind about Ailsa Craig is that I noticed that Ben Cleuch, at 721 metres, offered the possibility of being my 721st. How could I resist bagging a Marilyn, a Donald, a Graham and a Bilbo in one series of steps? It had snowed during the night, but the day itself was clear and cold, offering distant views of familiar hills whilst walking on the firm frosty ground sprinkled with icing sugar snow. A perfect walk on a perfect day that helped me scoop up a number of additional Donalds too - and there is a pub, the Woolpack, at the end. Who could ask for more?

I thought about leaving the Bilbo bagging as the last one of the year and going back south a bit, to collect more Donalds. However, having invested in the diesel in getting to the area, I decided to continue with the delights of region 26 now I had started on it. That included the splendid chain walk on the cliffs at Earlsferry as the golden sun rose across the water over Bass Rock and North Berwick Law on a clear frosty morning.

My hopes for 2009 are to finish regions 26-28, including a visit to Ailsa Craig, to reach the magic 777 halfway mark, finish the Donalds, get the Corbetts to 33% and keep working on everything over 600 metres in regions 43-55.

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