The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday, 26 April 2010

Day 35 - Glengaber to Peebles

Monday 26 April
Distance: 12.5 miles (Tot: 592.25 miles)
Number of Trail Angel encounters: 1 :-)

It wasn't until we set out to yomp uphill through heather, moutainous tussocks and bog this morning (there seemed no point in returning to the track and taking two sides of a triangle when we could just take the direct line) that we realised quite how close we'd camped to a house last night. It was marked on the map, but those little squares can be a ruined sheep fold, a ruined house or a house, and the latter is not what we expected. Still, we were out of sight and neither of us disturbed the other, so a good night was had.
The track, once we gained it, was a lovely grassy job that required no thought, other than admiration of our surroundings, as we followed it down to Traquair.

Traquair was where the Proud Scotsman, who features in many an End-to-End trail journal, met us and made our day during our LEJOG, and as we walked down to there this morning (from a different direction this time) we could see a van parked at the side of the road. Passing thought was given as to whether it could be Ian, but as we got closer we could clearly see that it wasn't his camper.

What we didn't know was that Ian has changed his camper van in the last 2 years.

Great big mugs of tea were soon in front of us as we sat in the comfy seats inside, and an hour and a half passed in the blink of an eye.

We did still have a walk to complete, so as nice as it would have been to stay there chatting all day, we had to say farewell and off up the road we toddled.

Our route from Traquair to Peebles was exactly as we walked two years ago, but that didn't stop us dithering at length at the first junction we reached in the forest. We even remembered having the exact same dither before, but couldn't recall the outcome.

I guess we came to the same conclusion on both ocassions, as we ended up in the same place, that being on the edge of the forest looking up at Kailzie Hill. Mick recalled the pull up the hill as being a bit of a 'mare. As usual, my mind had blanked out any difficulty, and so it was a surprise to me when the first little bit was jolly steep as well as rough.

We've hit a better time of year for it, though, as the bracken has not yet grown and the vast nettle beds are only an inch or so high, so a pretty straight line could be taken.

The views from the top made the effort worthwhile and although the wind wanted me to stagger all over the place, the views remained fantastic as we made our way down the old drove road along the spur.

Arriving in Peebles, a bee-line was made for an outdoor shop to buy Tech-Wash and Tx Direct to restore the waterproofness of my jacket, then after a couple more pauses for shopping and lunch, out to the campsite we walked.

We're now pitched next to Ian who is staying here as well tonight so that he can very generously treat us to a home-cooked dinner. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the man is a Star of the First Order!

As for today's weather, there were a couple of showers worthy of note, but both came and went whilst we were supping tea with Ian at Traquair, so the rest of the day was fine and warm. Perfect conditions to enjoy the fine surroundings of this area.
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  1. Well done on your progress to date, and I'm pleased to see that JD Stormtrooper tracked you down (you can't have been in that scary pink underwear or he'd have run away) and no doubt shared his excellent medication with you.

  2. I live in Edinburgh and had hoped to meet up with you at some point but work is mental at the moment and I can't get out. Enjoy the walk through to West Linton and over the Pentlands. I'm loving reading this each day.