Day 238: Melfort to Ardmaddy Bay – Wishing Tree & Injury

Argyllshire - South, Scotland

Kilchoan Bay and Loch Melfort, Argyll, Scotland.

Old quarry track to Bealach Gaoithe and the Ardmaddy Wishing Tree, Argyll, Scotland.

Dun Mor on Seil Island with the peaks of Mull behind, Argyll, Scotland.

Ardmaddy Wishing Tree, Argyll, Scotland.

Date of walk: 20/8/18

Surely Fuck Off would have been more succinct.

For the last three days I’ve had pain in my left shin above and beyond the normal backpacking grumbles and today I was getting intense shooting pain on descents so decided to camp here after a short day and hope a good night’s sleep would sort me out.

The sleep didn’t help and the next morning the leg was worse. With a heavy heart I called a taxi from Oban so I could get some medical attention. It was only two kilometres to the nearest road to meet the taxi but the track off the hill took me a couple of hours as I could only take a handful of steps at a time before the pain was overwhelming. I didn’t know it at the time but the subsequent MRI scan showed I had a stress fracture necessitating nine weeks rest and recovery.

As I could only manage a few steps at a time this track will always be etched in my memory.

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British Architectural & Landscape Photographer.

31 thoughts on “Day 238: Melfort to Ardmaddy Bay – Wishing Tree & Injury”

  1. Winifred Wilson says:

    Oh no, poor you, when you were doing so well! Hope you have recovered now.

  2. Richard Greenwood says:

    Sorry to hear of your injury. Clambering over and around that terrain must be a physical strain. Here’s to a speedy recovery and hope you can soon resume this massive project.

    • it wasn’t that relaxing – I did a lot of assignments so I can buy train tickets and dehydrated food for the future sections!

  3. Mike Jane says:

    Hi Quintin
    I have been following your epic journey with great interest ever since my walking pal Tony and I bumped into you three times on the SW Coast Path. So sorry to hear about your stress fracture- very painful and you must have found it very difficult to stay sane over the 9 week recovery process. You continue to amaze me and I look forward to reading all your progress reports- all power to your elbow!
    Tony and I are now two thirds of the way around our third circumnavigation of the SW Coast Path and continue to walk at least two days a week and we plan to continue doing this until we conk out- hopefully several years away!
    If invited, I would very much look forward to coming to your celebration party at the end of your fantastic journey- What an incredible achievement it will be! I hope you will be able to produce an illustrated book of your experiences- I think it would be well received by everyone in the walking community.
    Very best wishes
    Mike Jane

    • third time around, that’s brilliant! Yes, I’ll definitely have some kind of celebration at the end and will invite anyone that wants to walk the final few miles with me – you are very much invited. Should be in June 2020. I also intend to do the book but as the walk has been harder than expected that will happen after I’ve finished.

  4. Sheila Button says:

    so sorry to hear you have an injury – you have done so well and taken so many wonderful photos – hope you get well soon

  5. That wishing tree sure is impressive…
    but NOOOOOO how are you feeling?!? Get lots of rest, you’re doing awesomely! Maybe your body just needed a break… Hopefully you get better sooner than the 9 weeks and can get right back on track!

    Take care!!

  6. Sorry to hear of your injury and that terrain looks brutal, I can imagine how hard it is (I still have this area to go). 9 weeks and no walking sounds hard!

    I do wonder why people feel the need to press coins into the trunks of trees like that, I find it rather bizarre.

  7. Beth Hope says:

    Oh no! Best wishes for a quick (as possible) recovery. Thank you for taking us on your journey. Wishing you rest . . .

  8. Bob Marshall says:

    Best wishes Quintin and hope you’re back on your way soon. Your emails are one of the few bright moments of my day !!!! Thank you.

  9. Pete Johnstone says:

    Hope you are back on the road again – have really enjoyed your photos from the remote west Coast.

    • It really did. Halfway along I felt I should have tried to get some help. I could take one step and then the pain was so bad it took a few moments to muster up the courage to make another. All better now though 🙂

  10. Hope you are comfortable and have been making a good recovery. Happy Christmas and very best wishes for 2019

  11. This is a really interesting project and I’m really enjoying following your progress but I’m confused – was this walk on 4th December as per the date of the blog post or the 20th August as per the text near the map. I’m assuming the latter given the greenery in the photos! Is Twitter the best place to keep up to date?

    • The scheduling is confusing I’m afraid, the walk was on 20th August – it takes me a few months to edit the photos as a day of walking requires a day of editing which I do at home. Yes twitter is best for the latest from the field but the edited photos get posted here first and subsequently on twitter

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