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]

Friday, 24 April 2015

SUW Day 10 - Blake Muir to Galashiels

Thursday 23 April
Distance: 16.5 miles
Weather: Another clear start, with fluffy clouds building later. Very warm

It was a surprise to look outside this morning and see wall-to-wall sunshine. Having not seen a weather forecast since last Saturday morning, I had convinced myself that the incredible, fine weather would end yesterday. I cannot believe how lucky we are to have enjoyed another day of sunshine.

It was warm again too, which was nice as we could afford ourselves a very leisurely start this morning, in order to be on time for a second-breakfast date in Traquair. It was half an hour later than usual when we got up ... then somehow we managed to be super-efficient and were ready to go by the usual time.
So, we dawdled. What I should have done was switch my phone on; had I done so I would have seen that TVPS (the very same chap who suggested the excellent route east of Moffat to us) had arrived early himself.

A very enjoyable two and a half hours were spent catching up with TVPS over second breakfast and it could so easily have been longer. Eventually, we had to concede with 13.5 miles still ahead of us, and stuff we needed to do once we got to Galashiels, we did need to press on.

Up was the direction out of Traquair, more so than strictly necessary, as this time (unlike the previous two occasions we walked this way) we took the trouble to make the short diversion to the top of Minch Moor - our ninth and final Marilyn of this walk. Up there we found not only fabulous views, but a local couple who had just nipped up there for a picnic during their lunch break. From them I learnt that I've been pronouncing Traquair wrong for years.

Back down to the Way (where we had dropped our bags for the short hop up to the top) we undulated our way along the ridge until the Three Brethren (today's piccie) came into view. It's the third time we've visited these three substantial cairns, and from the third different direction.

Down through the forest, on a path neither of us remembered from 7 years ago, a quantity of height was lost. We weren't done with climbing, however, as there still lay one little lump between us and Galashiels.

Navigating through a town is always trickier than on the open hill, but we only walked past a couple sitting outside of a pub three times in three minutes before we orientated ourselves to find our B&B for the night.

Showers, chores, a (huge!) meal out, shopping, public transport research and the booking of train tickets to get us home then took up the rest of the evening - hence the delay in this post as I chose sleep over tapping away at my keyboard come 10pm last night.

(TVPS - thank you once again for travelling over to meet us - always great to see you.)

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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