Friday, 22 June 2007

Walkerburn to Edinburgh, 4 bobble hats,3 bottles, 2 local residents and 1 little white bull

After an hours walk from Walkerburn to Innerleithen by the riverside, we stopped off for a"quick" cup of tea in the local cafe. An hour later, and we were a cashmere jumper, a father's day present, a £ 7.00 donation from the local charity shop, three bottles of water and four bobble hats that Granny thought might come in useful, heavier.

3 Bottles

We left Innerleithen with just over 7 miles to go to Peebles, where we were stopping off for lunch. After puzzling over the map for a while, we decided the easiest route was to follow the dismantled railway. The weather was good, and most of the time, too warm for coats. I was just glad it wasn't raining, although the ground was wet underfoot. As we walked through the Golf Course, we decided to play a game. "Songs that include the weather which start with every letter of the alphabet" I think we did quite well, four walkers starting from AAAA to two at WW. We all struggled with a few, including F & X, so if anyone can think of any such songs, please let us know, because I don't think Mum's contribution of "Oh what a fantastic morning" counted.

2 Local residents who quite clearly hated walkers

Ah yes, this could also be titled as "People who like to put up signs just to taunt those who are walking along busy roads" So, here we are, walking along a main road, the A something or other, hating the sound of traffic whizzing past, when we reach a sign that claims there is a footpath running paralell to the road. We clamber down some steps and reach the footpath. There is no sound of cars here, so we are quite happy with our discovery...until we reach a gate. "No Entry". It would appear that someone lives at a house, and the footpath goes through their garden, so they have blocked the way and not created a diversion. We either had to go back on ourselves or struggle up the slope. Struggle up the slope it was. Not the easiest of jobs, as we had two small dogs with us but it was. We only had to road walk for another half a mile until we reached the bridge and another footpath that took us to Peebles. I asked several times how far away we were, I believe we were 6 and a half miles away for about 3 miles.

The next local resident that hated walkers came after lunch. According to our map, there should have been an entrance between two houses, but all we could spot was a driveway. A farmer with a tractor and two sheepdogs pulled up and pointed us in the right direction. He also pointed out how the residents shouldn't have been allowed to block the entrance.

The abandoned railway was the quickest route to Eddlestone but it certainly wasn't the easiest. With long grass coming up to my knees (and Mum's thighs) it wasn't long before our trousers were soaked. It wasn't raining, thank God, but it was wet. We decided to stop at Eddlestone as Carol was able to wring her socks and get enough water out for a cup of tea. Also, from Eddlestone to Leadburn was all road walking, not the most attractive route.

1 Little white Bull

Simply because there is no song with the lyrics 'Fat, old white bull that couldn't care less that we were traipsing through his field' As we'd decided to follow the abandoned railway.,and it was a simple matter of of reaching a yellow road, or something. I wasn't really listening, just following. Simple? There was a small burn in the way, so we hopped over a fence/gate thing into a field of cows. It was only when we got half way across that we realised one of the cows was in fact a rather large bull. And Mum was wearing a hot pink coat you could probably see in the dark. Scared glances were shared between the three of us so we ducked under another fence, into the next fence, in great LEJOG tradition, as Carol had told us that Emma Cottrell tried a similar tactic to try and avoid being attacked by a bull.

The next morning Carol woke up at 6 for a 7am start. I however, woke up at 9 for what we thought would be an 11.30ish start, as we were meeting Carol at Penecuik. In fact, we had under estimated Carol's speed and at 10, she had rung Granny to tell her she was only a mile away from the meeting place. As the pub didn't open until 11.30, we decided to the opposite way from the outskirts of Edinburgh to the pub, so we could rest and have lunch there. It was only 3.5 miles compared to the 14 miles we did yesterday, as Carol had managed to do at least 7 miles between Eddlestone and Penecuik. The weather was fantastic and we were all just in out t-shirts. The route we took was a tourist one, so unlike yesterday, we were not the only walkers. We walked up some huge hill with lovely views of Edinburgh and managed to spot the Zoo and the Castle. As my Grandad reminded Carol of her own Dad, we talked about that for most of the way. She told us about his childhood, and I reminisced about when Sophie and 'Stuffnee' and I taught him Badminton one summer. It was an easy enough walk, apart from when Angus's natural dog instincts kicked in and he chased some sheep. He spent the rest of the walk in disgrace.

We reached the pub about 2ish, I think, and ordered food. We didn't really want to leave, because when we did it would mean living Carol too, once we had given her a lift back to the place we started, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, so she could continue up the canal into the city.

It had to come sooner or later though, so a few hours later, after the last chip had been eaten, we all squeezed into the car, drove back to where the other car was parked and hugged Carol goodbye and wished her good luck for the next leg of her journey.

Posted by Emma - Sophie's friend

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