What I learned from walking 100 days during lockdown

After the announcement we were going back into lockdown again in January I decided to set myself a challenge to walk every day of the month.

Giving me something to focus on, and a drive to get me through a dark and dreary month. Little did I know how much I would enjoy my daily chore, walking 200 miles in all weather’s over the 31 days, consequently with lockdown extended again I increased January’s challenge to 100 days.

Born and raised in Oban, I am very much a local, yet having the time to explore so much of the area on foot, I’ve discovered places I never knew existed. Opening my eyes to the history and beauty in and around our wee town, understanding now why people travel hundreds of miles to holiday here. 

While walking through town on my almost daily walk to the war memorial, every walk has been different. I have been lucky to catch sight of a sea eagle heading over to Kerrera, watched an otter in the bay below Dunollie Castle, red deer most mornings at Glenshallach, woodpeckers in Dunollie woods, and a red squirrel crossing my path.

Mornings started off in the dark with a chance to catch the sunrise, now it is completely light before I leave the house. Sunsets, though, are what brings the locals out, day after day, with the esplanade lined with us all taking photos like the tourists in the summer, capturing the ever changing sight. 

Walking out of town has led to the discovery of:

  • Old Settlements; Tigh Cuil in Kilniver, Blar nan-Laogh in Appin.
  • Forts; Dun Caisteal Suidhe Cheannaidh in Kilchrenan, Dun Uabairtich in Gallanach, Dun Mhic Raonuill in Kilniver, to name just a few.
  • Drovers paths; Loch Scammadale to Loch Avich, Musdale to Kilchrenan, Pulpit hill to Kerrera ferry.
  • An old burial ground at Cregan in Appin and many nooks and crannies along our shoreline, at Lerags, Barnacarry Bay, Feochan and Kerrera. 

My favourite walks though have got to be to the many ordnance survey trig points. They have become a bit of an obsession of mine since the first lockdown, with a discovery of 40 pillars so far and counting just in the Argyll area. The views even from the small hills are breathtaking, being so close to the sea, the panorama can be enjoyed for miles.

Maol Mhor in Kilchrenan, Carn Breugach I’m Kerrera, Beinn Sgluich in Appin and Beinn Duirinnis in Bonawe to name just a few, have to be on top of my list for both the walk and the views.

It’s an incredible feeling knowing I’ve inspired so many people, of all ages with my photographs and routes, to get outside and enjoy not only the trig points but all of our local surrounding area during this last lockdown. 

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