Today was lengthy, uplifting, tiring, humorous and fast moving. After an amazing night camping in the garden of the forest view inn sharing war stories with fellow campers, we chow down a brief continental breakfast followed by a mighty full English. 2 stones later we depart with high spirits, delighted once again with the hospitality received last night and this morning. The sun is in full effect today and the only way to describe the ramble up Byrnes hill is like a dehydrated camel getting pulled up a vertical ledge.
When reaching the top, its across the green Cheviot Hills, and what a love it is to walk these hills into Scotland, windows of pure joy are felt through this serene environment. Beautiful they are, but beyond , where the infinite is found there really are no words but laughter, laughing at what, we do not know. Neither does it matter…
5 miles on walking ‘the walkers trance’ we say farewell to the pennine way, and follow the old roman road (dere street) towards Jedburgh. We find our way quite easily, across hills until we reach a stream to freshen up. We decide to take the long concrete road into Jedburgh. Even though a quiet walk, any walker knows not to walk concrete. It is the most demanding terrain (in my opinion ofcourse), and for the 7 miles, its not easy feeling like a punctured tyre rolling on the hot floor being gentley pushed by the wind. Only our humour kept us going at this stage. Blistered feet , aching shoulders and worn hips are prevalent, but the pain is ignored as I’m on a mission. Staying focused is crucial, as on hard days like this motivations can be lost easily.
We are relieved tomorrow we rest in Jedburgh with its beautiful abbey and Mary Queen of Scots had her or a house here..
I soon fall in love with Jedburgh, and Im sad to leave.
Todays walk was an odd one, and my relationship with the pennine way holds mixed emotions, especially after today.
A strong start up into the moors and to be fair the moors north of Bellingham are well marked and easy to walk. Our peaceful walking is disturbed by the artillery range at nearby Otterburn.
Sun is beaming down once again, it has been since the start of the journey. Walking in the sun is lovely but the heat makes our movements a bit slower, not to mention what it does to our heads. I’m sure you’ll agree The english sun does funny things to the english man.
After climbing a monstrous hill, we sit by a wall and decide for some lunch. And we must be there for a good hour passed by fellow pennine wayers. Conversation lifts spirits we put our boots back on to walk once again on an asphalt forest road. This doesnt help my blistered feet. The end of this walk seems to take a long time and we are both tired….
However, upon reaching Byrness things change, and smiles hit our faces. This small village has a row of Houses, a phone box and a place called the forest view inn. Now upon seeing the sign we are confused…
So with confused looks we come across this forest view inn and meet the owner who is sitting outside. We mention, we need somewhere to camp and he says you can camp in my garden. We’ll do you a 2 course meal and breakfast also.. all for £21. We walk into the garden and relax at this lovely little homely b & b which also has a 24 tuck shop on site. Many walkers are staying here, so we share dinner together and have a crack.. I also make a new friend… Bracken is his name
Good times, good people, and good sleep, we couldnt have asked for much more after a tough day.