Day 38 Mon 06-06-2005
Kelty to Pitcairngreen
I'm walking towards Kinross by 7:30, after Mrs Mathie's lovely breakfast. It's all roads, but I get to look at Loch Leven on my right. At Kinross I use the cashpoint and Post Office, and have a mid morning coffee.
From Kinross, I wanted to head towards Perth. There are quieter lanes, then a section of about five miles of paths over hills. The weather was sunny, which always put a gloss on the surroundings, and I plodded on happily, with "March of the Toreadors" running through my head. Although I knew I was headed in the right direction, the path was not easy to follow, and at on point I tried to climb a barbed wire fence. The wire was very taught, and high, I could easily have removed my back-pack and crawled under, but I didn't. The inevitable happened, I slipped, and found myself with one leg either side of the barbs, weighed down by my pack, and both feet off the ground. How I never damaged my (...ahem) equipment, I'll never know, but somehow I removed my pack, and extricated myself. An intimate examination revealed some scratches on my leg, rips in my trousers, but no lasting damage. Cursing Joseph Glidden, I limped on.
Just south of Perth lies Bridge of Earn, and I retired for a lunchtime beer. The locals are, how shall I say, colourful. Mostly male, they were recounting stories about absent partners using the most foul language imaginable, in a thick "See you, Jimmy!" accent. I bet they wouldn't be so bold if their wives were present. The barmaid seemed to be used to it, and I sat quietly and took it all in. About two words in three, anyway.
I hit Perth in the early afternoon. too early to stop for the day. I made my way around the western outskirts, through never ending suburban streets. I'm sure Perth is wonderful, but I just wanted to be in the countryside again. Eventually, I walked along a busy ring road, and escaped.
Time was passing, and I needed food. I found a shop in Almondbank, got my usual digestives and cheese, and enquired about accommodation. No luck. I walked on to Pitcairngreen, the last hope for the day. There was a pub, but it was closed. There was someone sat in the garden, who pointed across the village green (very unusual for Scotland, I'm told), to a lovely big Georgian house, where I might find a bed for the night.
The door is opened by Shonagh, who has a room, and makes me most welcome, with coffee, scones and cake. The room is marvellous, and I had a phone call from Steve, an old mate who lives in Shropshire, asking how I was doing and offering the chance of a lift home when I get to John O'Groats.