A day of canal walking with my family to keep me company…
Saturday 13th August 2016
Had continental breakfast, and a nice chat with B&B owners in sunshine, then caught taxi down to canal, to continue where I left off, and to meet parents and sister! Since it was raining, we started with coffee at Boathouse cafe. Although it was an easy day, I found it hard due to exhaustion from previous day. We saw Falkirk Wheel where family left me, then I continued on and found a spot to stay in bivi by canal.
Distance: 17.8 miles [view on map]
This was significant point on my journey because I was able to exchange equipment with my family, making my pack lighter.
Instead of a tarp and bug net, I now had a bivi bag. The tarp and bug net tent weighed around 1KG, the bivi was half that at only 500g. Just as importantly, it was easier to set up. The downside is that it gets wet due to condensation and needs drying out fairly regularly, so it is not sustainable to stay in it every night. But I knew that going south it would be easy to find accommodation in most places so I would not have to camp many nights in a row.
Instead of walking boots (with sandals as a change of footwear), I would now always be wearing walking sandals. The boots were necessary on rough terrain in the north of Scotland, but now I would be following many well-maintained long distance trails so wearing only the sandals was feasible. It saved me from carrying the 1.5KG pair of boots. It was also better for my feet, because sandals dry out quickly after getting wet, whereas boots stay wet.