Total so far: 932.9 miles
Percentage completed: 55.9%
(Click map to enlarge)
The canals up here are hard. The tow-paths are not the soft earthy jobs of Somerset or Offa's Dyke. These babies are built to last; and that means either loose chunky gravel or tarmac dusted with small chippings. Either way - it's hard on the feet and after a day and a half of this, my feet are sore. My second pair of socks have been binned this evening as the backs of the heels are shot through and have been giving me problems.
But enough of my woes. Today I walked the Falkirk Tunnel. The Union Canal goes straight through a hill for 620 metres and so did I. It was cool in the tunnel after the heat of the afternoon, and the frequent cascades of water pouring from the tunnel roof came as a bit of refreshment, even if sometimes unexpected.
The lighting wasn't so bad, but you can't really make out the floor of the path and every now and then you are aware that there are flowing stalactites on the wall to your right. The roof of the tunnel is occasionally vaulted and often it is bare rock.
I suppose it could be a muggers' paradise, but I was more concerned in keeping my footing and not slipping under the wooden handrail into the canal.
All in all, an excellent experience.
The hotel I am in seems to have had a past life; either as an office block or a multi-storey car park - take your pick, but it does the job - my one pair of good socks are drying on the radiator and I am nursing my sore feet - they will be better by the morning and they only have one more day of Canal bashing left to do!