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]

Tuesday 10 June 2008

Day 57 - Newton St. Boswells to Beyond Broomy Law

10 June
Distance: about 16 miles

Our grocery shopping is usually done in village stores, which vary from tiny independent ones to reasonably large Co-ops.

Today we didn't use the store in Newton St. Boswell, where we arrived back by bus just before 8am, nor did we use the Co-op in Melrose when we passed through for the second time at 9am. Instead we decided to delay the buying of supplies until Galashiels, even though that meant taking a bit of a detour.

What we didn't realise when making that decision was that we would find ourselves in a Tesco Extra the size and nature of a French Carrefour.

Whilst we've not yet failed to find enough suitable food substances in the little local stores to do for our meals, the bonus of a big Tesco was that it offered choice and at low prices.

There is, however, a big minus to choice and that is you have to walk a mile around the store searching for the items you're after.

Whilst I did the searching Mick supped tea and scoffed a bacon roll (well there was no sense both of us walking an extra mile wearing backpacks) in the cafe, which is where he attracted the first donation of the day - £5 from a woman who must have seen our backpacks as we entered.

Incredibly we managed to spend an hour and a half in Tesco (multiple cups of tea were involved) and it was as we were fitting the shopping into our bags that a chap stopped to chat (turned out that he was out in the Cheviots on Sunday too). Before we parted he added another couple of pounds to the Macmillan fund.

Then it was back out onto the Southern Upland Way (SUW), which we'd joined at Melrose having left St. C's Way.

The day had been reasonably unremarkable until we ascended the Three Brethren (anyone know whether there's a story behind the three cairns on the top?), where we left behind the ugly forestry and the views opened out.

We pitched the tent at 4pm, enjoying the fact that now we're in Scotland we can legally camp and thus don't have to wait so late to pitch. Alas, we didn't achieve an idyllic pitch, going instead for practicality - there's rather a stiff wind blowing so shelter was our first priority.

As I usually do, once pitched I started looking at tomorrow's route (tomorrow we get back to the schedule after the re-jigging of distances over the last couple of days). I also dug out the notes that a chap called Ian had sent to us when he very kindly looked at our proposed route through this area. I should, perhaps, have read those notes more thoroughly before, as I now appreciate that my intended route is at best not advisable and at worst not possible. Being thankful that we're already about 5.5 miles into tomorrow's route (or it could have been a jolly long day) I've reconsidered and we have a new plan. Looks like a good one too.

(Personal note: Hello and congratulations to Willie and Fiona. All being well we'll be seeing you a month from now!)

1 comment:

  1. Answering your question, Gayle, according to this site:
    "The Three Brethren stands at 1522 feet. This hill has three large stone cairns and it was the meeting point of the Yair and Philliphaugh districts and Selkirk Burgh. This point is ridden to each year by the Selkirk Standard Bearer and his followers as they ride the town boundaries as part of the Common Riding tradition."