29th May 2018
Weather: Mist and fog the predominant feature of the day. Briefly clearing to give me a view of The Cheviot around 11:00, but descending shortly after. Clearing from 3pm to give a sunny evening.
I kissed my (clean) pants at 06:25, in the joy of finding them on the end of the bed, rather than the breakfast-fear of having left them in the (locked) drying room & needing to wait until 8am
Set off 06:40 to mist-covered tops. A sharp ascent onto Byrness Hill to find Andy at his camping spot. He’d had an entertaining evening with midges. We wished each other well, an echo of last night’s camaraderie. The mist enveloped the ground around me, my boots getting their first taste of proper wetness on this trip, but from the grass. Water condensing on my hair dripped onto my glasses.
Just before 9am, near Ogre Hill, I stopped to watch a leaping, dancing fox playing with his breakfast. A couple of agitated grouse running around him.
I resisted the temptation to explore the lumps & bumps of the Roman Camp at Chew Green, knowing there were many miles ahead.
On leaving the Pennine Way, at the Scottish border 12.2 km from the start, I bid it a fond farewell for the unforgettable, enjoyable experience. The amazing weather, but also the pleasant company I’d had.
I followed the old Roman Road of Dere Street which went on for miles from the high moorland to modern road to wooded tracks. Coming up from Tow Ford was a most cheerful pair: Mary Crosby carrying a twisted wood staff, topped by an abalone shell that was made by her accompanying brother Dick Poulson. Mary lives in Kirk Yetholm & enjoys her water “straight from the burn on the hillside”.
Dere Street hit a road at 23.7km, with a seat, so I made that the second rest stop of the day. I was shortly joined by Yvonne & Claire, with ponies, on their first day of a 6-day trek to Peebles. They wanted to be sure they were on Dere Street & somehow trusted a strange walker to reassure them of same. The ponies munched grass as we chatted & I watched them walk off into the mist marvelling at the pleasure we get from the odd quests we set ourselves.
I was most pleased to finish walking by 5pm at a let-yourself-in Airbnb for the night, vindicating the early start for such a long way. A walk downhill into Jedburgh on a lovely sunny evening, but I took a taxi back uphill, saving my energy for tomorrow.
Andy’s camping spot (I didn’t recognise him without sunglasses)
Stone slabs & cotton grass in the mist
At the Scottish border saying goodbye to the PW
Boots made for walking
Roman Road in the mist
Brother & sister Dick & Mary out for a walk
“5 Stones Stone Circle”. Quite
Yvonne & Claire (the phone message is “a walker tells us we’ve found Dere Street”)
Riding off into the mist
Dere Street goes woodland (the logo is supposed to represent a Roman helmet btw)
My b&b host for the night (really: no humans present)
Jedburgh Abbey evening light
A further 2km walked into the town afterwards