Hike Southbound through Britain with Daryl May
Click for Northbound hike
The pictures are from my Benches of Britain collection, featuring some of the more interesting of the genre
Wagon Wheel
Days S21 - S27                                                                    Central Scotland
Day S25 - Renfrew to Rutherglen 
Day S24                                       Urban slog                                         Day S26
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Scottish Highlands
Central Scotland
    Southern Scotland
North of England
English Midlands
    English West Country

Northbound Home
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Time of departure: 7.45 am
Time of arrival: 1.45 pm
Place departed: Renfrew, Glasgow
Place arrived: Rutherglen, Glasgow

Miles: 12.5
Cum miles: 327.7
Percent complete: 33.7

Bed sign Burnside Hotel. Rutherglen ****
Cost for bed and breakfast: 35 ($70)
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Slat missing
Bench by Richard Fosh
This bench shot is by Richard Fosh, whose end-to-end site has some great photos
It wasn't a satisfying day. The weather was kind, but my familiar aches and accommodation challenges resurfaced.

The aches centered on my right foot and knee, probably both brought on by non-stop hard surfaces in the form of asphalt sidewalks. I thought I could stop taking an anti-inflammatory on the basis of my long, relatively pain-free walk yesterday. Apparently not.

I would have walked further than I did, though, if I'd had better accommodation results. My plan was to get going early, and to reach Hamilton, 20 miles from Renfrew. It was a bit far, but I would then be lined up with a sequence of nicely-spaced B&Bs beyond Hamilton running all the way to the English border. Besides, I had a list of four B&Bs in Hamilton, all conveniently clustered so that I could try them all, and one would surely have space.

Phoning ahead, Aaron reported full, McAuley impatiently announced she wasn't in the B&B business any more, Jones didn’t answer, and Glenmohr sounded like the phone had been disconnected. This left me with the dilemma that I could get all the way to Hamilton - at about my limits - and find nowhere. With my foot and knee aching, and my accommodation listings used up (but for Jones), I decided to stop whenever the opportunity presented itself. Having passed no accommodation at all thus far today, I expected to cover several miles yet. But, shortly after I made that decision, I came across the Burnside Hotel. I'd covered only 12.5 miles.

Navigation today was quite difficult. The GPS was having one of its late lie-in's, and the maps don't give street names. I had a great many turnings to find and take, avoiding freeways, crossing rail lines at available bridges, and going through many roundabouts with their pedestrian-control fencing.

Tomorrow, which is Wednesday, I've booked in Larkhall. On Thursday, the nice weather is expected to end and the long Easter weekend starts just as I get into remote areas again.

On some days, photo opportunities don't present themselves. On others, it rains too much to risk the camera. Today was a "slow photography" day, and so I'm taking the space to share some of my Benches of Britain photo collection - all taken on the end-to-end route though, of course, not all of them today. The Benches of Britain series continues on day S41, rest day 17, and day S62.

I think it was hiking veteran, Mark Moxon, who wrote that the end-to-end hike is like filling a gallon can one drop at a time. Indeed, he's right, almost to the point that you get so used to adding a drop that, at the end, you're surprised that the can is full. But here in Glasgow, with the can only one-third full, each drop feels so small and the can looks so empty.
Another half-slatter
Concrete picnic
Day S24                                   2007 and 2008 Daryl May                                  Day S26