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I completed my walk round Islay's coastline on 6th May 2008 with a ceremonial crossing of the River Laggan. I had wanted to wade across with some friends who had joined me on stages of the walk. However, the tide was in and the water was too deep so there was nothing for it but to use the rope swing bridge - and it swung a lot!
The walk was completed on my 40th birthday. After careful calculations I worked out I walked 120.75 necessary miles, but 196.25 miles in total. This was because many times I had to walk there and back.
It has been almost all enjoyable (a few scary bits) and challenging. Most of it I did alone, but friends joined me at various points and it made a nice change to have company. I never felt alone, however, as there is always wildlife around you when you are out in the wild.
Highlights of the walk have been The Oa where I saw several Golden Eagle, staying in An Claddach bothy last summer and watching Fiona's welly sink in a river on the north-west coast of the island. (She had misjudged when trying to throw her wellies across to welly-less me!) She quickly waded in to rescue it and then we saw a bright orange welly on the beach.
Humorous though this was, it was another reminder of the disgraceful state of some of our beaches. MCS campaigns for clean beaches in many ways and needs your support. I have seen many beautiful beaches during my walk and yet not a single beach escaped at least some evidence of human carelessness; on the less accessible beaches, where community beach cleans are not possible, the debris was shocking. MCS urgently needs your financial support.
So far I have raised about £350, but I'm still not at my target of £500. It's not too late to make a donation. Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to sponsor me: Marine Conservation Society will receive your money faster and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you.
So please sponsor me now!
Many thanks for your support.