The 2nd Leg: John O’Groats to Edinburgh (Diary Part II) 第二程: 天涯至愛丁堡步行日誌
July 12, 2007, 10:17 pm
Filed under: 小綠步行日誌 The Walk

7th June 2007 (Thursday) London to Wick

After the Golf Event held on 5 June at the Oxfordshire Golf Club sponsored by SeeWoo Group raised £10,000 for the Islington Chinese Association, I took the 0800 hour train from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh, changed to Inverness, then changed to Wick arriving after 2200 hour.  On the train to Wick, met Herbert, a Sri Lankan locum Oncologist, who was on visiting duties at the clinics in Thurso and Wick.  The retired Oncologist read my map of Scotland with intense interst, he said he may soon return to New Zealand for good.

The fields were blooming with gorse, the sea was deep blue, when mist came after 2100 hour, the slow train was seemingly travelling in fairy land.

Arriving Wick, met Mark who carried sleepingbag and heavey stuff looking for youth hostel.  He intended to walk all the way via West Highland Way and Pennines Way to Land’s End for Cancer Research in 2 months.  His hand was strong and coarse.  Stayed at the prebooked Bramhill Guest House for 2 nights.

二零零七年六月七日 (星期四) 倫敦 至 Wick

六月五日泗和慈善高球盃為依士靈頓華人協會籌募一萬鎊建址基金。六月七日早上八時英皇十字車站乘火車北上愛丁堡、轉 Inverness 再轉有北國燈座之稱的 Wick;晚十時多抵達。對座一位斯里蘭卡籍腫瘤科老醫生,已退休的他仍在做臨時工;他說妻子喜歡蘇格蘭,他卻願再回紐西蘭渡晚年。與「蘭」結畢生緣的老先生,對火車迂迥曲折的旅程,和我帶來的地圖對照,意趣盎然。



Day 1: 8th June 2007 (Friday) Wick to John O’Groats to Wick, Rain

I checked the bus timetable and stop to John O’groats last night, there were road works everywhere on the High Street and the Terminus was moved to somewhere I could not figure out.  Therefore I arrived at 0855 hour waiting for the 0923 bus at the bus stop opposite to the Post Office on the High Street; not until 1040 hour a young lady came across the road and invited me to her Notion Salon for a cup of tea.  Pamela Macedie runs the hair salon across the Road and had been watching me waiting for the bus which arrived just a few minutes before my turning up.  The bus stop served only the route to John O’Groats.  She did manage to check with the Transport authority, after many diversion calls, that the last service was at 0850 and the next service was 1240 hour.  And it was someone else, and noone’s, duty to change the advertised timetable.  Pamela kindly called a taxi on my behalf which costed £17.

It was misty and rainy.  Orkney Island was nowhere to be seen, the Island of Stroma lied ahead in solitude.  The hotel where End to Enders used to sign the souvenir book was under renovation.  It was windy and the sea was dark.

At about 1330 hour near Freswick, a middle aged man in his Ray-ban glasses stopped his P470SSK and asked whether I would like a lift.  Though it was raining but this was indeed my first morning of the Walk, I thanked him and continued my walk.  Ventured into the deserted Auckengill pier near Sinclair Bay, it was beautifully tranquil, wild flowers, heathers, birds, gentle seabreeze to mark the beginning of a memorable journey.

The 17 miles walk seemed to be very comfortable.  It rained heavily in Wick.  Had local hake at the No. 1 Bistro on the shortest Street in the World.  A couple pint of Guinness is still the best.

第一日: 二零零七年六月八日 (星期五) Wick 至 John O’Groats 至 Wick, 雨天

昨夜已探路,見到隨處有封路修路工程;找到大街郵局對面的巴士站,巴士班次是早上 0923。早餐時,旅館主人亦致電友人查詢,磪定了是有巴士服務。由 0855 一直等到 1040,巴士站又沒有印上查詢電話;這時在對街經營理髮店的 Pamela 走過來;說巴士在我剛到時已開走了。不無困難地,她致電找出了巴士班次應為 0850, 1240…………. 只是時間表沒有更改而已。只得搭出租車好了,盛惠17塊大洋。

下午一時半左右, 一名型男將車停下來,問我要不要搭車,婉謝了。在 Auckengill 荒棄的碼頭吃餅乾、蘋果;石南野花開在高聳巖石層,千姿百媚,色彩迷離;水鳥、海潮、和風懶懶洋洋…………….. 由天晴行到下雨,下雨又到天晴。


Day 2: 9th June 2007 (Saturday) Wick to Dunbeath, Sunny morning

Cars were tooting all the way, people are used to charity walkers and gave lots of encouragement.  When passing by the E’Swallach on the A99, a machinist McCormat,  with his 2 lovely young daughters the freckled Vienna and Cathy, donated £10 to my chairty walk.  He told me couple of days ago a walker on stilts passed by walking 600 miles for the charity for epilesy.

After Latheronwheel, a gentleman John Tunneh, stopped his car on the way to volunteer at the Rockness concert, to give me a lift.  He said I just passed by his house, he worked for Red Cross and had been posted to Hong Kong for a few years.  His son married a Chinese lady and now lives in Beijing.  He directed me to Janet of the Castleview Restaurant for her kindest assistance.  Janet and her daughter recently owned the restaurant, she kindly droved me back to Mary’s farm house B & B.   Mary is a rustic old lady who told me she had never been to London and that she does not fancy a holiday.  Life in Scotland is always holiday, though she is tempted to visit Land’s End.   The B & B has a green heart trimmed from the tree clinged to the white wall.

Castleview restaurant demands a panoramic view over Moray Firth.  Janet cooked for me the local mackerel.  After early dinner, strolled along the Dunbeath harbour, the mist had already come. 

第二日: 二零零七年六月九日 (星期六) Wick 至 Dunbeath, 上午天晴

輕裝上路,好不愜意。沿路車號響不停致意,想來當地人慣了向慈善步行者致敬。在A99 公路旁一間大屋 E’swallach, 當機械工的 McCormat 正在搬長木板;我問他要不要請幫手,他笑說都快要做完了。他的兩名小女孩很可愛,小的 Cathy 抱著洋娃娃,稍大的 Vienna 滿臉雀斑。 McCormat 還捐了£10做慈善。

將要抵達目的地 Dunbeath, 在 Latheronwheel 時約翰把車停下來,說我剛才經過他的房子;他正要到 Inverness 做 Rockness 音樂會義工,問我要到那裏去。知道我正在找小旅館後,便把我載到憑高覽勝的風之堡找他的朋友珍納。約翰是紅十字會員工,曾在香港待過;他兒子娶了中國媳婦,正在北京做事。

珍納去電瑪麗,找到了宿處後更將我載去。農舍家庭兼做小旅程,憨厚的瑪麗說一生人未去過倫敦,也沒有去的衝動。住在蘇格蘭極東,天天都是在渡假,務農的家一星期工作七天,也不需要假期。白牆外綠樹修成了一個大心,我聳恿她將 B&B 定名為青心客棧。


Day 3: 10th June 2007 (Sunday) Dunbeath to Helmsdale, Sunny

Slept well from 2230 to 0800 hour.  Bid farewell to Mary with the packed lunch.  Passed the serene village of Berridale.  Visited the ruins of Badbea, the cliff side settlement resulting from the Highland clearance.  Life must be tough on the edge of windy cliff and poor soil.  A 17 miles walk again in rural Scotland for the day seemed to be very pleasant and enjoyable.

Stayed at the commune style Rhuard B & B, the owners Peter and Maggie Smith are very capable looking after a big house of nearly 15 rooms.  Matthew, a bicycle mechanics from Leeds, was cycling for a week in Scotland.  He will soon relocate to Bristol for a similar job.  There were also a few builders staying for 3 months to complete a project.  Tried the Scottish Tennant and salmon at the local Inn.  

第三日: 二零零七年六月十日 (星期日)  Dunbeath 至 Helmsdale, 天晴

今日的17哩路相當輕鬆,有了第一程的經驗,心裡是落實了不少。途經廢村 Badbea, 是兩百年前蘇打蘭郡王因着養羊謀利;把村民通通逐走,不少去了新英倫,留下來的就聚居在風極大,土極瘦的懸崖邊。餐風棲雨,生活好不容易。

Helmsdale 遊客不少,青年旅舍和較貴的旅館都住滿了。住進瑪姬公社式的大小客棧;房內還堆着裝修木材,也要£20一夜,算是便宜的呢。近15間房,住了包月的建築工人,行山釣魚客;來自列斯的印籍青年Matthew踩單車假期七天,因為附近二處營地關閉,才被迫住進公社。


Day 4: 11th June 2007 (Monday)  Helmsdale to Golspie, Beautiful Day

Maggie packed a lunch box for me for £3.  Walked the first one and half miles to Portgower, then turned to the beach walking all the way to Golspie.  Puffins, seals and wild birds were hanging around.  The Moray Firth was quiet and peaceful.  Passed Brora, Dunrobin Castle and staying at the Bridge Hotel which was looked after by an Austrian young lady.  The small single room was £28 per night, but then she included a hugh packed lunch for me for tomorrow.   Tried the medium raw Scottish steak with salad and vegetable.  The bartender was a local lad posted with a picture naming himself the greatest Boner in Scotland.  

第四日: 二零零七年六月十一日 (星期一)  Helmsdale 至 Golspie, 美麗的一天

瑪姬的簡便旅行午餐收費£3。走一哩半公路,從 Portgower 起沿海邊緩緩而行,担天望地,海燕、海豹、海鷗、海鳥終日伴行,海濤洗耳目,盡得一日風流無賴。

過 Brora 古鎮,從遠而近的 Dunrobin Castle 古堡;住進橋頭酒店,£28一夜小單人房,不連洗手間浴室,其實也不算貴了。做工的奧地利小姐看似無情,其實也古道熱腸,宿費還包含了明天的午餐。晚膳於酒店鋸牛排,不過不失。 

Day 5: 12th June 2007 (Tuesday)   Golspie to Tain to Alness, Sunny in the morning

Rain throughout the afternoon.  Walked south passing through Cambusie, Stelzbo and Embo, Dornoch was where Madonna got married.  A gentleman stopped his Rover and told me we met at Helmsdale!  It was another 3 miles walking to Cuthill (pronounced as cutall) then crossing the 870 meter Dornoch Firth Bridge, the longest in Europe built by the cast and push method.

Bought some bread and banana for torrow at the Co-op in Tain before looking for accommodation.  Tain is a pretty town but very tourist.  Mrs. Roberts had tried hard to telephone all her conncections of B & B and they were all full.  She showed me to the bus stop at the Post Office to catch the 1800 hour bus to the next town before it was too late.  

A respectable lady kissed her husband and boarded the bus, her hushband just came back from Portmouth seeing her dying sister.  The lady could not wait and cancelled her air ticket, taking the bus to Inverness to catch the train to Edinburgh then to London Euston then to Portsmouth hoping to see the 63 years old dying from terminal carcinoma.  The lady was born in Portsmouth, brough up in London, lived in Skye for 20 odd years and Tain for 6 years.

It was only 11 miles from Tain to Alness.  Stayed in a guest house for £25.

Bo Lam called many times with regard to the repair of the freezer at the Chinese Association.  It was agreed to pay £440 cash to have it done within 2 hours.  A new one would normally cost £1,400.

Strangly both knees began to ache a bit, particularly the ligament behind the left knee.

第五日: 二零零七年六月十二日 (星期二)   Golspie 至 Tain 至 Alness, 上午晴天

午後一直下雨不斷。沿海邊小徑直奔 Dornoch Firth Bridge 大橋,橋頭小鎮是流行歌后麥當娜舉行婚禮的地方,小鎮當然也不算醜怪。大橋長870米,是全歐州最長模製壓合技術的樣板。過橋后走到 Tain 才不過五時多,在超級市場買麵包、香蕉等作明天午餐。

Tain 不大但有皇者氣派,竟然所有大小酒店都住滿了。好心的羅拔時太太致電她全城的行家,也找不到一張床;指引我趕六點鐘的巴士到下一個埠碰運氣。氣喘吁吁地趕上了到 Inverness 的巴士;一位大方斯文的女士吻別丈夫,坐到我前面座位。原來她丈夫剛看過垂危的妹妹,從樸茨茅斯趕回來。這位女士原本訂了下周飛機票,恐怕見不着只有63歲的病危親人,連夜由北趕南;人生來去,何其匆匆。這位女士生於南方,在倫敦長大,在天堂島住了二十多年,在 Tain 也住了六年多;一口咬定蘇格蘭又空曠又漂亮。

Alness 是長長的灰色小鎮,沒甚麼看頭,睡一夜也要£25。

寶兒不斷來電請示如何修理中心的冷藏櫃;又是老毛病雪種不夠。修理也要£440, 我傾向買一個新的;但修理只須兩小時包一年保養,結果還是修理好了。


Day 6: 13th June 2007 (Wednesday)   Alness to Dingwall to Inverness to Aberdeen, Sunny

Wanted a rest day, but still walked a long way to Dingwall, missed a truning somewhere and forced to walk along the busy A9 up to Findon Mains, did not cross the Cromarty Firth Bridge, but instead turned onto A862 which was unexpectedly busy with heavy traffic.  Walking on the A862 was very irritating.  Dingwall was okay, visited the museum but not the McDonnel Monument.  Got on a bus to Inverness.  Next to the bus stand was a No. 305 bus going to Aberdeen at 1630 hour, without hesitation I decided to take a day off travelling to Aberdeen.  The route of about 110 miles took nearly 5 hours and arriving at 2110 hour, but I had the opportunities of seeing many of the fishing harbours and rural towns on the north-eastern parts of Scotland.

It was amazing that I spent more than 2 hours scouring all the 30 plus B & B along Western Road without avail.  All the hotels in the City Centre were fully booked and obviously very expensive.  At least 2 hoteliers advised me to get out of Aberdeen to find a bed in nearby Dundee, for it is impossible to find a vacancy between Monday to Thursday!   I got myself a fish and chip and Coca Cola from a Chinese Take Away, went to the Train Terminus to change into my full walking gears.

It was very warm.  At the station, met an Indian law gradute who was working for BP as an engineer.  He booked a return ticket from London to Aberdeen two and half months ago for £2, he walked through the City in the day and could not find a bed after searching through Crown Street.  He claimed that he did not need to sleep and always prebook cheap tickets travelling to all parts of UK, he is also doing a part time Master degree in law.

I invited Chanx the young law student turned engineer for a drink in the pub, of course he could only have diet Coke.  He seemed to enjoy the noise and hustles of the night, I was actually very sleepy.  We then walked along the main streets after the pub closed at 0200 hour.  There were loads of rubbish and food remains lying on the streets, seagulls were virtually walking on roads and pavement for food.  We returned to the Station Hotel which kindly allowed us to sit in the lounge area.  I dozed for awhile, then was awakened by the thundery snores of Chanx for he had already removed his shoes and socks!  There were a few guests having breakfast as early as 0500 hour.  I was so embarrassed that I woke Chanx up so we could have some fresh air walking to the desolated and locked up Train Terminus.   At the Station cafe, I had a cup fo tea, but Chanx did not have anything.  His train was at around 0800 hour, I bid him farewell and walked my way to the beach.  

第六日: 二零零七年六月十三日 (星期三)   Alness 至 Dingwall 至 Inverness 至 Aberdeen, 晴天

腿有點軟,還是行了不短路程。經過繁忙的A9公路,心想就不要過 Cromarty Firth 大橋,轉入A862一定會稍為舒服。誰料到 Dingwall 的這一段路偏偏重型車多路窄。Dingwall 市還算不錯,看過博物館,就沒有勾留的打算。剛好有巴士到 Inverness,不客氣地上了車。在 Inverness 巴士總站下車,便看到鴨巴甸的305號巴士,下午四時半開車,九時十分抵達。這是我一直想去的地方,亳不思索上了車,放假一天去了。






Day 7: 14th June 2007 (Thursday)   Aberdeen to Inverness, Sunny

Strolled leisurely at the tranquil and calm Aberdeen beach, liners were moving slowly into port from a distance.  I was thinking where to have an Angus steak in the early morning!   Went through the shopping centers and bought a lip stick at Boots!  Got the 1100 hour No. 10 bus service to Inverness this time going through the glens and hill top towns.  The green green journey still took 4 hours. 

Stayed at Room No. 7 at the Ardlair B & B at 53 Fairfield Road, the owner Mr. McDonald had been serving in the Army stationed in Singapore for 3 years in 1949!  The pleasant double room costed £30.  Dinner at the John Foxes Pub and Reatuarnt on the River having Salmon catch of the Day, and of course couple pints of Guinness.  There is the Jimmy Chung Buffet next to the Pub, and I found this famous brand name in the prime sites in Aberdeen and Edinburgh train station.

This would be the most relaxing day of sight seeing and good food, and good early rest!

第七日: 二零零七年六月十四日 (星期四)   Aberdeen 至 Inverness, 晴天


在商場混混,在 Boots 買了最廉價的閏脣膏。乘搭1100點班次的十號巴士回 Inverness.  這條路線不沿海走,卻從高原綠地直跑尼斯湖;也要四個小時才跑它110哩。

在河邊遊客众多的約翰狐酒吧吃當日落網的三文魚,配黑啤也不俗。酒吧旁邊是 Jimmy Chung 的自助餐廳;這位鍾先生的生意經看來不俗,不單在愛丁堡火車站前有,鴨巴甸也有分號,可能還有開在其它地方的。



Day 8: 15th June 2007 (Friday)   Inverness to Tomatin, Sunny

I asked to have breakfast at 0830 hour.  However, I switched off the mobile phone alarm at 0755 hour and went back to sleep, springing up at gentle knocks on the door.

This section of the National Cycle Route No. 7 was a good walk.  Started at 1000 hour, as I passed the River Nairn and joined the straight B9154 down the hill from Craggie, a spaniel ran from the field following me for 5 miles.   As the spaniel had no intention of leaving me alone, after passing May Hall, I found a lady just unloading stuff from her car and 2 kids were playing in the large garden.  I asked the lady to look after the dog and looked for its owner, the lady kindly shut the gate and kept the dog while she was still busy with her chores.  However, I knew that the dog would run away from the garden and continue to follow me, but I am no Dick Whittington, I can’t even look after myself and in no way can I keep a pet dog!  Within a couple of minutes, the kind lady drove with the 2 kinds to collect the dog, there was a collar plate on the dog but unfortunately without contact details.  She got the dog in the car and would send it to the police.

Rested at the beautiful timber railway bridge at Moy viaduct.

Passed the Tomatin Whisky Distillery.  Stayed at the only B & B.  The owner Lin’s husband and son were running in the annual sponsored Tomatin Run.  The lady who looked after the stray dog probably was a teacher of the nearby school, for she was coordinating the run and told me that the police had put the dog to the kennel.

Dinner at the busy local pub, had steak and tried the Tomatin single malt. 

第八日: 二零零七年六月十五日 (星期五)  Inverness 至 Tomatin, 晴天

昨夜一定睡得很甜。0755點將鬧鐘按停,0830就不知道起床;聽到敲門聲才霍然起立。十時起行,行錯路自然不在話下,今次錯有錯著,行程縮短了幾哩路。橫過 Nairn River 河,上山下山;這一段全國第七路單車徑頗為優美。從 Craggie 山上往下走,轉入B9154公路時,一隻醒目的垂耳狗從田野跑過來;一直跟著我五哩路。眼見勢色不對,經過梅廬後,見到一名女士剛泊好車,花園內有二名小孩和狗隻;只有央求女士收留頑皮犬。她關上花園鐵閘,滿以為大功告成。但我行不過十步,小狗又神出鬼沒地走在前頭。幾分鐘后,那位好心女士連同兩名小孩,駕車來將小狗逮捕,將它送到警察局去。



村內唯一酒吧餐館星期五晚頗熱鬧,吃牛排喝黑啤,淺嚐 Tomatin 威士忌,不過爾爾。

Day 9: 16th June 2007 (Saturday)   Tomatin to Aviemore, Gloomy

It rained hard last night.  Hope there would not be serious floodings in the Mid-lands and other areas.  I tried to stick to the cycle route as the heaven was opened all day long.  At Carrbridge met Ross Aitken from Glasgow who was doing his End to End Walk into the 7 weeks and 1 day.  A property management consultant who was walking for personal pleasure.  He camped most of the time and just came down from the mountains because of wet weather.  Hadn’t met another End to Ender on the way, he was excited to take picture with me and donated £10 towards the charity walk.

Boat of Garten is also a greenish town.  Aviemore is fantastic for it aura.  Staying at an ensuite single room at the Ravenscraign Guest House, Grampian Road PH22 1RP for £28, a very pleasant room.  At last tried black rock dinner with Angus steak, Best Haven beer at the Cairngorm Hotel, the dinner was very nice.

Heathers could be found beginning to bloom in the mountain high, the glorious honey suckle was crawling all over the window of the guest house.  Very pleased to learn that Meeling Ng had been awarded OBE for services to the Chinese community, an honour well deserved and overdue for an unsung hero.

第九日: 二零零七年六月十六日 (星期六)   Tomatin 至 Aviemore, 一天大雨

昨夜濠沱大雨,希望不會導致更多地方水浸。只好乖乖依單車路線走,恐怕其它山徑難走難認。Carrbridge 那條古橋還在,遇上格拉斯哥來的 Ross Aitken, 也是天涯海角步行者,從康禾郡行了七星期另一天;住宿山野,只因雲霧太低才下山。從事地產實業買賣的個體戶,步行只是他的樂趣。途中還未碰到一個像他這樣的行者;不單和我合照,還樂捐了£10。

途經綠意盎然的 Boat of Garten,Aviemore 就更加氣象萬千。晚宿寬敞的單人套間,Ravenscraign 小旅館金銀花盛放;不似高山之顛的石南花,忸怩地只露數點粉紫。終於在同街的 Cairngorm 酒店,吃到了黑石烹製的鴨巴甸安吉斯牛排,蘇格蘭 Best Haven 啤酒也不俗;吃的愉快,睡的安穩。

Day 10: 17th June 2007 (Sunday)   Aviemore to Cairngorm to Newtonmore, Misty

Had Scottish breakfast with light porridge, egg and bacon on beans for a change.  To start a gloomy day to the Cairngorm,  the 6th highest mountain in UK.  Got on the 1016 bus from Aviemore to Cairngorm, then the funicular railway to the top.  Enjoyed a cup of Cairngorm cholocate at the hill top restaurant surrounded by thick mist.  At least you had been there, the pictures posted on the wall demonstrated spectacular and panoramic views when the sun was shining.

Arrived Newtonmore quite early by bus, all the B & B were full.  Booked into the 50 rooms Balavie Sport Hotel, the antiquated hotel charged £79 per night and £87 for bed and breakfast.  The senile owner Bill was at the reception, it was negotiated down to £30 a night with breakfast.  The 3 courses dinner at the hotel costed £16.50 in which the mushroom starter was okay, the salmon was below average…………  Had a walk to the top of the Black Cat Walk, the town was not very impressive. 

第十日: 二零零七年六月十七日 (星期日)   Aviemore 至 Cairngrom 至 Newtonmore , 一天迷濛

天氣預測大雨,山上視野迷糊。來到這里,不去英國第六最高山,最大最新國家公園白不去。吃過蘇格蘭早餐,有麥片,還有蛋醃肉黄豆等,稍改口味真是好。乘1016點巴士到山腰,轉搭纜車到山頂;迷霧一片,為了安全和保護山嶺,山上許亂闖。喝一杯 Cairngorm 朱古力,欣賞四周涼霧,樂得一片閑靜。周遭圖片展示晴天時一覽众山小凌雲氣魄,指點江山,勝概豪情;一一歸於平淡空濛。萬物靜觀皆自得,四時佳景與人同,還要忙和趕些甚麼?

搭巴士老早到了下一站 Newtonmore, 沒甚麼看頭,沿山的黑貓徑也沒甚麼。奇怪就是小旅館都客滿,不知是那裏來的遊人。找到又大又殘的 Balavie 酒店,老板威廉兼侍應經理,價錢是£87一夜,不包早餐也要£79。正在維修的酒店,人事兩閑,經驗告訴我是毫無道理這麼昂貴的;細細地磨,終於議價至£30連早餐。看他這麼好老板,於是步行后光顧了酒店的三道菜晚餐;物無所值,徒呼奈何。


Day 11: 18th June 2007 (Monday)   Newtonmore to Dalwhinnie to Pitlochry, Sunny & 20C

Heard my snores!  Started walking at 1000 hour leisurely towards Dalwhinnie, the small and grey whisky town.  Train station was not manned and services were infrequent, the small B & B did not look in business at all.  The path was then uphill towards Drumochter Pass, and it was not within walking distance to the next town for accommodation.  I asked the not too busy Post Office Submaster and he pointed to me the bus stop more than a mile away on the A9 main road.  Fortunately I still have about 30 minutes rushing to the main motorway to catch the 1538 hour coach No. M91 to Pitlochry.  It costed £7.40 for the short single journery.

Pitlochry was amazing, it has been a tourist spot since the 2nd World War.  I settled in the Youth Hostel at Knockard Road for £14.40, a nice Victorian house overlooking the town and spires and far away mountains.  Dorm No. 10 had 4 bunks, but Managress Linda let me stay on my own as I was an exhausted walker.  She told me a gorup of 44 American young students just left in the morning, and more American groups are coming in couple days of time. I was being lucky filling in the gap!

Strolled around the Salmon Ladder, the beautiful swing bridge built in 1913.  Dinner at the Victoria’s Restaruant recommended by Linda, tried the tasty Scottish mussels and beer. 

Wind pipe music was audible from the hill top Youth Hostel, which was the best lullaby. 

第十一日: 二零零七年六月十八日 (星期一)   Newtonmore 至 Dalwhinnie 至 Pitlochry, 陽光燦爛,氣温攝氏二十度

鼾聲如雷,醒而一笑。十時起程向着 Dalwhinnie 緩緩而行,除了威士忌酒廠外,小鎮無甚可觀。火車站無人看守,班次異常稀疏;小旅館似乎尚未營業。那位郵局局長有點煩地說長途汽車站在公路上,並無多餘解釋。其實巴士站在小鎮以外一哩多的山上公路,若非剛好還有點時間,急行軍般才趕上了1538點到格拉斯哥的長途車,至 Pitlochry 單程票價是£7.40。如果不趕車,就有前不見村,后不見店之虞。

Pitlochry 確是一見鍾情地迷人,原來二戰時經已是渡假勝地。山上的維多利亞年代青年旅舍憑高望遠,山巒環繞,塔尖遠近俯仰,盡得形勝之美。舍監蓮達說早上才走了44名美國小學生,明后天又有美國學生團接踵而來;遇到空閑是我的幸運。她說我是行者,讓我一個人住平靜的十號倉,內有碌架床四張,連廁所、浴室;每晚收費£14.50。



Day 12: 19th June 2007 (Tuesday)   Pitlochry to Killin, Wet

Walked through the mountain to Strathtay, however, after 2 hours I was back to square one approaching the Pitlochry Power Station.  Very fustrated.  Had soup of day at a busy cafe, then took a bus to Aberfeldy, then changed bus to Killin.  It was 5pm when arriving Killin.

The villiage looked calm and comfortable at the far end on River Lockhay.  I got off the bus at the village center and checked in the Craigbuie Guest House, the first one I walked in, at Room 5 for £27.  The ladyowner recommeded me to the family run Shutters Restaurant for dinner.  I was stucked to a small table facing the corner while there were other tables unoccupied.  A fat guy occupied a table for 4 next to the window.   The restaurant did not sell beer, Guinness, etc.  I ordered a steak at £11.95 and a quarter size Chilean red wine at £2.80.  Paid by credit card and did not leave any tips.

Walked to the river and the Youth Hostel.  The Youth Hostel did not look busy, talking to a guy from Glasgow who was on holiday.  But after last night I would prefer to have my own room, although it was not ensuite.   

第十二日: 二零零七年六月十九日 (星期二)   Pitlochry 至 Killin, 濕

一位來自德國的退休男英語教師請食德國甜蛋糕。他駕車來回米蘭至 Orkney 十多次,因為認識石廠東主,讓他可以搜集化石;每次來都裝滿了自用食物。為人單純熱情。

計劃穿過高山橫行至 Strathtay, 孰料行了兩個多小時,又走回了 Pitlochry 發電廠,真係冇氣。在市中心繁忙咖啡室喝一個例湯,便乘巴士到 Aberfeldy, 再轉到 Killin。近河的酒店酒吧看來相當不錯;在市中心下車時 (其實都是同一條直直的街),我走進了第一家旅館。£27一夜也算了;女主人介紹我對街的家庭式餐館 Shutters,我也去了。不算忙碌的餐館,把我安排面壁對三角牆而坐小檯,而一名肥佬旅客卻獨占窗前四人圓檯。又沒有啤酒,只售紅酒白酒,一瓶75cl自然嫌多;要喝啤酒除了開懷灌溉之外,實在是補充水份。這樣氣氛的牛排也不會好得到那里,18.75cl智利紅酒也喝不出所以然。信用咭付帳外更不予小費。


Day 13: 20th June 2007 (Wednesday)   Killin to Callander, Rain & rain till late afternoon

A good night sleep and woked up at 0820 hour.  Walked in the rain for the wrong way for 1 and half miles to Cuildochart and returned.  Still raining amidst taking a bus going to Callandar.  Another tourist town, a few B & B charged £25 + £10 single occupancy for a room, many others were full.  Jacquline the Managress of the Dreadnought Hotel, part of the Oxford Hotels & Inns, learnt that I was a charity walker, reduced the tariff from £35 to £25.

After checking in the hotel, I walked all the way to the Callandar Craig, took a pictur of the 1897 Quuen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Cairn.  All they way there were a lot of flies and mosquitoes.  Then I wandered futher to the waterfall on the River Blackeriff, and adventured into the huge forest along the bank of the river valley.  After three quarters of an hour soldiering forward creating my own path, the muddy soil and fallen trees were becoming more treacherous.   It was approaching 1800 hour with plenty of light for another couple of hours, but it would not be nice lost in the woods without the usual gears, for I took this as a leisure walk and carried nothing except water and the mobile phone which had no reception in the dense forest.  I returned the same way back to the wooden bridge and found a local lumberjack wearing a blue Scottish Cross T-shirt sitting there waiting for his mate.  He told me my lost path would lead to the top of another mountain forest many miles away.  I realized I had a lucky escape of staying a night in the pine forest.

To start with, the 2 waitresses at the Old Bank Restaurant kept me standing for 10 minutes before ushering me to the table where I was waiting.   The Guinness was canned which tasted banal, though the salmon was good; again paying by credit card and left no tips.     

第十三日: 二零零七年六月二十日 (星期三)   Killin 至 Callandar, 雨午後轉晴

雨中走錯路其實不算錯,來回不過三哩,真的豈有此理。大雨中巴士到,一路到了 Callandar 另一旅遊勝地。較好的小旅館早掛客滿牌,其它的要收單人附加費£10,由£25變成£35。不服氣下,找到了巴士總站前的 Dreadnought 大酒店,也是£35包早餐。女經理積琪蓮知道我是善步行者,自動減至£25。



Day 14: 21st June 2007 (Thursday)   Callander to Aberfoyle, Cloudy, Sunny & Warm

Rained heavily overnight, cloudy to start the day, sunny and warm all day.  A most pleasant walk of about 15 miles through the meandering glens and lochs to the land of fairies – Aberfoyle .  After 6 hours of liesure walk with mini breaks, I know I should be approaching the destination in due course.  At the last twist a road sign pointed sideward going up the hill, and I ventured with suspicion.  I did consult my compass, for I only know I should be going more or less southterly most of the time.  As I returned from the top of the hill, I encountered a couple walking their dogs thus confirmed my suspicion.  I checked the road sign and discovered that someone had put the loose sign post back to its anchorage in the wrong direction.  After putting the sign post back to the right position, I descended to the Fall of Little Fawn in Aberfoyle.

Stayed in a triple room at the Craigmore Guest House looking over the meadow and the river.  The young owner Teresa was very warm and asked me to use the single bed only.  Salmon dinner at the Forth Inn and tried 3 brands of Besthaven beer.  The salmon was as good as last night’s, but the presentation was better although it was a couple of pounds more expensive.  All in all, I loved the pub for its causual and relax atmosphere.  Although the Inn was busy, the staff coped very well. 

第十四日: 二零零七年六月二十一日 (星期四)   Callandar 至 Aberfoyle, 晴天多雲炎熱

一夜大雨,早上多雲,陽光普照時炎熱可人。走十五哩迂迴山嵐湖泊路程到神仙之地,賞心樂事,這一段六小時閑庭信步,來得不易。過了郊野公園,將要扺達 Aberfoyle 時,最后一個路標指向東面上山,雖然我看指南針只懂南北,也知道目的地是偏西。內心存疑,反正不會走多遠,一於上山多看一個景點。有時因著伐木或其他工程,改道也是有的;但這一大段觀光車路,都是只准向前駛。從山中轉悠回來時,剛好遇上一對男女陪狗散步,証明了我走錯了方向。


住在 Craigmore 小旅館三人房,年輕的主人杜麗莎請我只睡單人床,樂於從命。房間窗戶對著青蔥山坡和小河;晚上幾哩路外山上的酒店燈火璀燦,黑幕上掛著錠錠黃金。租金又廉宜。

晚到熱鬧的 Forth Inn 酒吧吃三文魚,和昨天晚上的一般美味,但出菜更具心思;配三種不同的 Besthaven 啤酒,別饒風味。自由灑脫的酒吧風情,正合心意,吃得特別過癮。酒吧雖忙,但打理得不疾不徐,大概是酒香四溢的緣故吧。

Day 15: 22nd June 2007 (Friday)   Aberfoyle to Drymen to Dumbarton to Glasglow, Mixed weather

Teresa asked me to eat as much as possible for the Continental breakfast.  Afterwards I walked about  13 miles to Drymen, then took a bus to Balloch.  Looked around the peaceful Loch Lomond, then took a bus to Dumbarton for £1.45 intended staying for the night.  It was cheap to travel between Loch Lomond and Glasgow for a Day ticket of £3, but I did not purchase the Day ticket because on the map it clearly showed there were accommodation in Dumbarton.   Indeed Dumbarton was a degenerating town with very little going on.  The only problem was the incapability to locate the few B & B in the town, they simply disappered.  I walked for 2 miles without finding one, and the roadside hotel would charge over £55 for room only, and that the Travelodge was full.   Very discouraged I then waited for a bus to Glasgow, and a gentleman told me it only costed £1.30 from there to Glasgow.  For I only have spare change of £1.50 in my pocket and I thought this must be enough for a single journey.  The bus came but the single fare was £2 and I was stucked.  The driver was indifferent although I told him my story, he simply said £1.50 could get me as far as to Renfrew.  He would not do the change for a £10 note, but I was reluctant to alight at unfamiliar places.  Fortunately a kind lady chipped in 45p for my fare and asked why did not I purchase a Day ticket in the first place.  She left at Clydebank which was birthplace of the Singer sewing machine.  I could not get change of the £10 note to repay her, she said that I could leave that for other charitable deeds.

It rained in Glasgow.  The Holiday Inn Express would charge £68 for a single room, the Chinese lady at the reception kindly showed me the way to the Euro Hostel at Jamaica Road.  It costed £14.95 for a bunk bed in a dorm of 14 beds.  the expereince was not bad for all of the travellers and backpackers were behaving themselves and did not really smell.

Most of the pubs did not do food after 1945 hour in Glasgow City.  I ended up  at a window seat at the Drum & Monkey looking out the bustling Renfrew Street & St. Vincent Street.  A steak was a steak when you had an itinerant day.

Got rashes of 3 in a row at the neck and the right wrist, later on the left arm.  Were these stress related?  One thing for sure was that I am a person culpable to embarrassment. 

第十五日: 二零零七年六月二十二日 (星期五)   Aberfoyle 至 Drymen 至 Balloch 至 Glasgow, 天氣變幻莫測

女主人盛意拳拳要我吃飽才上路。 步行十三哩到 Drymen 山城,轉乘巴士到 Balloch。 露紋湖又大又漂亮,徘徊良久才轉乘巴士到 Dumbarton,打算停留一夜。日票無限次數來回不過是£3,單程票價經已是£1.45。 登巴頓像一個沒落的城市,無精打采;一邊問人一路找了兩哩路都不見小旅館,一間酒店收費八十多鎊一晚;稍為合理的旅客酒店也要£55,還全滿。來回走在大路,唯一選擇是南下到格拉斯哥。

一同候車的老人說到格拉斯哥收費£1.30,我袋中尚有碎銀£1.50;一心以為到了大城市再算。一小時一班的巴士到了;司機說單程票價是£2,我的錢只夠到 Renfrew。面臨無房可捿的我,人地生疏,怎敢隨意下車。我說£10紙幣可否找贖,司機的撲克臉孔全無反應。僵持不下之際,有兩名女士開腔問尚欠多少?其中一位爽快地給了我45便士。我向她解釋沒有購買日票,原本是打算留在登巴頓過夜。又沒有人可以兌換十鎊紙幣,她說留著幫助別些有急用人士好了。好心女子在 Clydebank 下車,那是勝家縫紉機的發源地。


酒吧七時四十五分后就不賣食物!幾經波折,才坐在猴子與大鼓酒吧,臨窗溜覽雨中 Renfrew 街和聖雲遜街景。這時的牛排真像牛排;經過整日一番折騰,還想要求甚麼?


Day 16: 23rd June 2007 (Saturday)   Glasglow to Falkirk to Edinburgh, Sun & Rain

Some did snore, some slept naked.  Most of them did not have a shower.  Curtain was pulled, torch was used.   In early morning, the canteen was full of travllers from all corners of the World. 

Went to the Tourist Information Office and got a booklet on the Forth & Clyde Canal and the Union Canal; then took a train to visit the wonderful Falkrik Wheel at the juction of the 2 Canals.  Have a jumbo hotdog and chocolate under the giant wheel.  Then walked along the scenic Union Canal from Falkirk to beautiful Linlithgow where I could stay for the night.

The Strawberrybank B & B clearly put up a notice of no vacancies, but I still had to try my luck.  The gentelman owner was having dinner with his family, he said these 2 days are the Festival of the Highland Show in Edinburgh, the busiest time in the year.  He tried all the hotels and B & B in the area, as far as Falkirk and Edinburgh with no avail.  His advice was to get a train to Edinburgh and tried my luck.  Therefore I may end up with the Glaswegian experience the night before in Edinburgh.

The train journey took only 30 minutes.  Not without difficulties I ended up at the Belford Hotstel which still maintained largely the original church fixtures.  This time it was a mixed dorm for 6 people.   Have dinner at the Ryan’s Restaurant at the beginning of West End.  Andrew & Avril Sweeny from Fife was on a day holiday, sitting next to me, said they planned a walking week to Fort Williams next month.  They owned a mini cab service in Fife, upon learning about my charity Walk, donated £5.

第十六日: 二零零七年六月二十三日 (星期六)   Glasgow 至 Falkirk 至 Edinburgh, 陰晴無定

一宿無話,有打鼾、有裸睡。早餐人頭湧湧,來自五湖四海好不熱鬧。到旅遊諮詢中心拿到了運河地圖,可以從格拉斯哥沿河行到愛丁堡。先搭火車到兩條運河滙聚點高地,順道參觀 Falkirk 的巨輪,可將整條船連河水搬高數百呎,不用傳統水閘就可以調轉航道。巨輪下吃珍寶熱狗和熱朱古力。

沿於仁運河向東行約十三哩,到了美麗的 Linlithgow,找到了由一位本地牛津畢業老師介紹的士多啤梨岸小旅館,真的別緻;誰知卻掛了客滿的牌子。經已下午五時多,唯有硬着頭皮敲門,請求指點迷津。正在和家人用膳的男主人,見我是無車無錢的行者,打電話尋遍了城裏城外的旅館,也找不到一張床。他說這兩天正值愛丁堡舉行每年一度最盛大的高地節,他的旅館早就滿了。折返格拉斯哥不是辦法,他勸我趕快趕火車到愛丁堡碰運氣好了。

火車便宜,不消三十分鐘到了愛丁堡。拿着26日的倫敦火車票去問換票手續,才知道非常昂貴;暫且打住,先待一晚再算。歷盡艱辛才找到了不近的 Belford 青年旅舍,教堂的規模和裝飾仍在;今次住的是六人男女同倉。

走回近市中心的 Ryan’s 餐館吃餐。旁邊坐了一對從快富來渡假的安德老和阿苗,他們經營出租車生意,下個月計劃步行一百哩橫跨蘇格蘭。他們知悉我是樂行者後,從結帳後的盤子拿給我五鎊。

Day 17: 24th June 2007 (Sunday)   Edinburgh to Londom, Miserable weather

Had a cup of tea and 2 toasts for £1 at the canteen.  The Brazilian girl at the counter was very nice.  However, noone seemed to know the way walking back to Linlithgow from the West End.

I tried to negotiate the way back in the rain to the Union Canal without luck.  It was Sunday, the bus driver told me there was no bus service near to Linlithgow.  My fancy idea of returning to the Strawbeery B & B was not sustainable.  Eventually I walked back to the Waverley Station with my return train ticket to London dated 26 June 2007 at 1300 hour costed £25.  The Booking office said the cheap ticket was not of much use and a single train ticket to London would be very expensive, even a Sleeper train with seat only would cost £86.  Then I went to the Coach Station, an experienced lady told me the overnight coach starting at 2200 hour would cost £26.50, and for a senior traveller the ticket would be reduced to £15.50.  I immediately bought a ticket for the evening and left the train ticket to her for good use for other people.

Much relaxed knowing that I could sleep in my own bed 24 hours later, I bought a day bus ticket for £2.50 and got on the No. 16 bus to Colinton, then returned and had a quick Sunday Turkey Roast at Ryan’s with couple pints of M’Ewan.  At 1440 hour got on No. 44 bus to Musselburgh in the East Lothians, the place where the next Prime Minister attended secondary education.  From there returned to Balerno past the Pentlands.  Then took the No. 34 bus to Ocean Terminal where the Scottish Executives was.  Later on changed to bus No. 16 to Silverknowles for the western harbour development.  The bus journeys traversed through the City and suburbs of Edinburgh for a cost of £2.50, it was really an eye opener in which it would take many days and weeks to walk.  It was comforatble sitting at the front on the higher deck of a double decker wandering aimlessly in a rainy day.

The overnight coach was packed.  The Chinese girl sat next to me put on an eye pad and slept all the way with saying a word.  The coach arrived London Vcitoria before 0600 hour in a sweet morning.     

第十七日: 二零零七年六月二十四日 (星期日)   Edinburgh 至 London, 風雨滿城

花一鎊在餐廳吃奶茶多士早餐,看檔的巴西女孩很友善;但不知道於仁運河在那裏。風雨裏找來找去都無所得。等到巴士時,司機說星期日沒車到 Linlithgow;我一心一意想走回頭,多謝那位士多啤梨岸旅館主人,住一夜,再從那裏起步行回愛丁堡,剛好二日日程。算了。


放下心中重擔后,我知道自己最喜歡做的事;買一張£2.50的巴士日票,坐在雙層巴士上層最前位置,好好地看這個城市。首先坐上16號到 Colinton,回來后在昨夜的餐廳吃星期天烤火雞,喝當地啤酒。午后1440點速速坐上44號巴士到 Musselburgh, 那是繼貝理雅后做英國首相的布朗成長的東方海岸。再回程去到西便高山的 Balerno。這時我才明白要找那一段的運河其實不易;又搭34號巴士到海運中心,那是蘇格蘭議會所在地。再乘16號去看西邊海港建設的 Silverknowles.


When will the Ends meet?  May be next year!

天涯何時才遇上海角?  一生一世的追朌! 


15 Comments so far
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Comment by Sleep

我相信’Sleep’君一定好捧你塲, 或是你的 Blog 迷?? 你的遊記, 他 (她)一定由頭睇到尾, so much so 令他(她)入睡, 故號 ‘SLEEP’, not surprised!!! ‘Sleep’ 君看來真是你的Blog Fan, 到處都用心送上留言, 佩服, 佩服!! 可惜本人不懂新詩, 不可共嗚, 可惜, 可惜!!!!

你的遊記, 好長呀! 也有令我去 sleep 的感覺!!!!!!

好吧, let’s sleep now. Tomorrow is another day!!!

Comment by Who Cares





Comment by Sleep


I Do


Comment by Sleep

Dear “Sleep” 君,

我相信你要改名, 不要簽名”Sleep”, 你應該叫自己”DON’T SLEEP”, 看你的comment 是 4.26am 及 4.29am 寫下, 你怎會是 “sleep” 之人呢? 應睡時間不睡, 怪吳得你 “眼近視又老花” ! 既然有此毛病, 你究竟睇吳睇見你寫下的新詩??? 定還是靠’估’???? 有此disadvantage 仍有如此佳作, 真是了不起! (雖然本人簡直明 閣下寫 mud 東西)!!! 再世盲俠, 佩服, 佩服! 話你係 Stephen Ng 嘅 忠實 Blog Fan, 真係毋形容錯!!!!!!!! SLEEP WELL!!!!

PS 記住有時間要多点Sleep 之外, 記住去驗眼及佩番對眼鏡. 否則 閣下便睇我的comment 睇到蒙查查就太累了, 何必咁辛苦呢!!!!!

Comment by Who Cares


Comment by Sleep

Dear Sleep 君,

既然你零晨四点幾要趕住番(返)工, 都怱怱忙忙要留言在Mr Ng 的 Blog, 所以話你係佢嘅 Blog Fan, 毋講錯呢! By the way, 這些 odd hour 上班, 容許我估估 閣下做 mud 野工作 – 送牛奶? 掃街? 派早報? 揸頭班巴士,地鐵? 倫敦又毋早茶飲, 更毋 “倒” 夜香, 咁 閣下其實做 “盛行”, 容許本人這麽 “八”!

Oh, by the way, 本人又睇吳明 閣下於 1.08am 的留言! 甚麽是 ^T^??? 你捧讀的羅素是 mud 東西? 為什麽在 Woodgreen 泣不成聲, 淚流滿淚? 出了什麽事? 点解在Woodgreen??? 閣下住在那處? 或是路過當地? 閣下當時淚下, 有無人扮同情給 閣下紙巾? 噢, 本人可以想像 閣下當時的情况, 必定嚇到其它人雞飛狗走吧!!!!本人估 閣下一定吳會係男性, 男性好少當眾 “泣不成声, 淚留滿面” 吧! 下次吳好咁衝動啦, 咁大個人要懂得 “自制”!!!!

好了, 本人要 SLEEP 了!!! 告辭!!!!!

Comment by Who Cares


Comment by Sleep

Sleep 君,

為何 閣下不向本人 10.26pm 的留言作回應???? 跟 Mr Ng 是同胞與否, 我不明 閣下的意思???

Comment by Who Cares

nice blog …i love it..
you might interest my blog too

Comment by anson

吳兄未曾过 Fort william, 可惜!

当日黄昏, 可是万籁无声, 只有几处闲鸥遙号, 船, 是静止的, 岸的影子, 也是静止的; 盖天上没一点秋风, 英国來说是少有的, 那 洛水 (water in the Loch)就一点水波都无…

我与小女几呆呆对着一片澄金, 各怨恨未携照相机, 我们都是摄影大发烧, 竟不帶相机? 该打!

不知那里掉來一个小石子, 东的一声! 天呀! 这一淌黄金平面竟自一个一个圈子, 金色滚黑色的水波慢慢伸延, 一直圈到了岸边, 圈过了船旁, 又回应的圈子, 同大圈子交织成奇型图案, 太好了! 夢中也曾回去看了好几次!



巫雪云 say hello! Hi!

20th Aug 2007 5:40PM


Fort William 去過了,英倫三島美妙的地方還有不少呢!有巫氏的地方,就有詩情畫意,豪情勝概,指點江山………

Comment by stephencanwalk

那又未必, 我曾给姓巫的气过半死!!

he he he he…

“在商場混混,在 Boots 買了最廉價的閏脣膏”

多是你的”讲价”术 高明!


後學剛從中國到York 唸書,請問法會何事,York 有佛堂嗎?

contact 後學by e-mail , thanks

Comment by Pat

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