Day 55: 17 May 2014; Lanark to Strathclyde Country Park

Day 55: 17 May 2014; Lanark to Strathclyde Country Park
Walk descriptor LEJOG2014 Day 55
Date Sat 17 May 2014 Start to end time 07h 29m
Start point Lanark End point Strathclyde Country Park
Miles today 18.37 Cu miles 1,031.85
Ft today 1,338 Cu ft 138,306
Route miles left 457.36 Route ft left 60,331
Today’s weather Overcast all day. Very little wind. Occasiona light rain in afternoon. About 15C
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Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

“Every day on this walk, it seems, has its unexpected moments. Today was no different! Basically, the route entailed a very straightforward plod down the river Clyde, following the Walkway along the riverbank from Lanark to the Strathclyde Country Park. I was quite looking forward to it, as I knew that the path would be essentially downhill all the way, and, based on yesterday’s experience, would be well maintained and easy to follow.

All these things were true. I’ve really enjoyed the Clyde Walkway – to me it’s been a bit of a hidden gem. The path – so far at least – is in excellent condition and in many places has boardwalks, wooden steps and bridges over the potentially trickier sections. And scenically, it’s first rate – running along the banks of the river, diving from high up on the cliffs, down to the riverbank itself, and with good views along the way. Wildlife was, however (at least to my pretty unobservant eye), not in abundance though the purple comfrey plants which lined the pathside made a spectacular and unusual display. As did the strange red and yellow cows which I spotted “grazing” in a nearby field just outside Lanark.

The surprise of the day came when I got a message on this website from a friend of a relative of a friend whose son was at Scouts with one of our sons (got it??) who had been following my progress using my tracker beacon, and realised that I was only a mile from her home. We met up in a café (I won’t disclose what I had to eat..) and I really enjoyed the chance to meet someone from the vicinity and learn about the local history. The café we were sitting in for example had been a former banana ripening factory.

After that chance, enjoyable, encounter I continued on down the riverside path, enjoying the easy navigation and forgiving terrain. I passed about a mile from the birthplace of General William Roy, who created the Ordnance Survey in 1791. I feel I owe him a big favour, as it’s these “OS” maps that I’ve been using to navigate my way along the LEJOG route. Though I suspect he would struggle to comprehend the electronic wizardry that goes with it these days.

I soon arrived at Strathclyde Country Park, where there is a large Loch popular with leisure sailors and rowers, and the new campsite at the Northern end. It’s a very modern campsite with lots of facilities. Though the receptionist admitted that they were more set up for caravans than tents and in fact I was only the second tent they’d ever had. It did show, slightly, as she needed to know how many axles I had as the computer wouldn’t accept my booking without this vital piece of information. I said two, just to keep it happy.

Now I’m off to find something to eat and to do a bit more route-planning for the section from Fort William to the North!”

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
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On the Clyde Walkway – a really enjoyable walk, especially if you do it the way I am as it’s all downhill! This tree seemed to be suffering from an infestation of caterpillars. I just hope they aren’t contagious…
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I managed to convince myself that this was an otter standing on its rear legs. But it stood awfully still, for an awfully long time.. If there is 50% off these kilts, I’d have thought that there could be a serious danger of accidentally discovering what Scotsmen really do wear underneath them
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Purple comfrey plants were in abundance along the river banks Fly fishing (I think) in the Clyde. Seems to involve standing motionless in cold water up to your waist for as long as possible while nothing happens
The old bridge at Lanark. An impressive structure
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
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