Day 35 Fri 03-06-2005
Jedburgh to Innerleithen
At breakfast I ate haggis - and very nice it was too. Another first. By 8:00 I am walking, a couple of miles north in the company of the River Teviot, then back on Dere Street which goes dead straight to the north west. By mid morning the scenery was much less bleak, I passed through the villages of St Boswells, and Newton St Boswells, and through Melrose and Galashiels around lunchtime. It is good to see places which up to now had only featured in the football results at five on a Saturday afternoon.
Melrose had no maps, but in Galashiels W H Smiths had every one I needed to get me to John O'Groats - bar one. And they were on a three for two offer - result! I celebrated with a pint of Guinness for lunch.
I hoped to reach Innerleithen by evening, where the map showed a campsite, and there was a promising cycle route on the map. The only problem was that I had to walk three miles on a main road before hitting the cycle route. Drivers in Scotland go just as fast as in Basingstoke, and Bernie chose the busiest section with no footpath or verge to call me and update me on our learner's progress. I was pleased to hear how many had passed their test, while dodging the traffic and refusing a lift from a helpful guy in a beat up old car who must have seen me on the phone and thought I was lost.
Eventually I reached the cycle path, and spent the rest of the afternoon walking along pleasant lanes next to a forest, until I reached Innerleithen, a remote little town on the River Tweed.
The campsite was mainly for caravans, but had a cosy corner for tents, and I walked into town for a bite to eat and a beer. I should have known that friday night in a campsite would guarantee a poor night's sleep - in the neighbouring tent were two guys and a girl (?) who spent most of the night chatting. Not in any way bad behaviour, just enough noise to stop me dropping off. Oh well, I was young once. I think.