Friday, 15 July 2011

Day 23- Kilsyth to Linlithgow

Had a brilliant sleep and managed to get up on time as well! By 7:15 we were up and sat around the table enjoying tea and toast! By 7:30 we were in the car and Bob dropped us back off in Kilsyth to the spot where he had picked us up the night before. Our earliest start so far!! We got out of the car and waved goodbye to Bob and then just stood in the car park.... as usual, it was raining. Neither of us could really be bothered to move but we knew we had to so after a few minutes we pulled ourselves together, got rucksacks on and first job was to find a food shop to get some supplies.

We found a co-op and then got directions to the forth and clyde canal. It took us a while to find the canal and in Jades words it was like "trying to find a needle in a haystack!" From where we joined the forth and clyde canal it was rougly 10 miles to the Falkirk wheel where we would then meet the union canal which would eventually lead us all the way into Edinburgh. It rained pretty much all the way to the Falkirk wheel but i quite enjoyed the walk. There were hundreds of tiny little frogs everywhere which were sooooo cute!!! At first we tried to tip- toe along so we didn't squash any but it took so long we just had to hope they had quick reactions!!

We reached the wheel before midday and stop for a cup of tea and ice cream in the cafe there. We were absolutly bursting for a wee, very annoyingly we had walked 10 miles and there was not 1 wee spot the whole way! The most simple of human needs, and yet not allowed to go, Walking past a canal and the rain didn't seem to help the toilet situation either. We left bags in the Falkirk cafe and had a bit of an explore around, we didn't understand how the wheel worked at first but we watched and it soon made sense. Was very clever! There was a tourist information centre here so before we left we asked if they knew if there were any campsites in the linlithgow area, the lady was very helpful and found us one and printed us off some info. Unfortunatly the campsite was about 3 miles south of Linlithgow which meant 3 miles off route, but a hot shower was enough to make us plod on.

The afternoons walk seemed very long and was again described by Jade as 'a mind numbingly boring canal."  However, the first mile or so after Falkirk i did actually quite like, there were some mega scary tunnels! One was about 600m long and it was pitch black! Me and Becks had a bit of a photo shoot in there finding everything whihc was glow in the dark and reflective absolutely amazing! I would like to know how many people fall in the canal as the footpath sloped towards the water and was really slippy, the handrail wasn't up to scratch either and the water trickling down from the top of the tunneldown on to us made it extra spooky, Becks thought it would be funny to hide in the alcove and jump out at me, luckily she was too large to fit in the gap!

The afternoon seemed to drag as today was a 20 miler and we had spent nearly 2 hours at the wheel lafarging and generally just getting out of the rain, however before long we saw the sign for Linlithgow which is always a victorious moment at the end of the day after repeating in your head all day where you want to go. We started the 3 mile detour to the campsite when a guy pulled over and asked if we wanted a lift, the lift was allowed as it did not count towards our actual route, we didn't even hesitate and just got in the car! Becks said we could trust him as he had a large family car and it was really clean, however i thought it was too clean....... as in hiding the evidence clean, and the family car could have just been a ploy! However it was too late and i'm sure the doors were locked. Luckily he did stop at the campsite and did unlock the doors, not much to be said about the customer service at the campsite though!
The lady took 10 minutes to get to reception and just like the Glen Nevis lady like circling things on the map with an over sized pen, as usual the camping area was the furthest away from the enterence we thought they were trying to hide the rif-raf. Us.

We were given a silly code for the toilet block and then had to pay £20 deposit for a key, she said we couldn't get in to the site without it...... We realized further down the road it was a key to allow cars in to the enterence, the silly woman must have thought we drove! Why on earth would we be soaking wet, limping and carrying huge bags IF WE HAD A CAR! She also gave us the wrong code for the toilets so we had to walk the 10 miles back up to reception, i then asked for the £20 refund from the key, such a money making scam as if we had lost it we would have lost the £20! Back in the comfort and safety of our tent a fellow camper 'knocked' on the tent door and shown us a mangled Tupperware box, she said a fox had managed to bite through it and eat her sandwiches so we should keep all food and rubbish inside the tent with us and not the porch, just as Becks was writing in her diary that she was about to bring the food in, she unzipped the tent and shouted 'JADE, THERES A FOX IN THE TENT! DO SOMETHING!' The cheeky little thing was in the porch eyeing up the maderia cake! I don't know what she expected me to do, i was on the other side of the tent!

So she shooed it away.....the fox looked at us like we were idiots, just before it ran away it grabbed something, it was too quick for us to see what it was! Luckily it wasn't worst case scenario, for all those who were wondering, Yes the maderia cake survived the ordeal, however it was touch and go. I'm sure we would find out what it stole in the morning.

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