Distance: 32,6 km (20,3 mi) for a total of 1537,3 km (955,2 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 860 m (2825 ft)
Weather: Cloudy with sunny spells in the morning, more sun in the afternoon and a light breeze
The way out of Peebles along the Cross Borders Drove Road wasn’t exceptionally remarkable. Partly track, partly path with reasonable waymarking and some minor ups and downs it just rolled along. The woodlands are mainly forestry plantations as can be told from the trees in neat rows. But from afar it certainly looks nice.
In West Linton I had to decide how to get on with the day. I had identified a B&B on my route which I thought reachable if I didn’t take a real lunch break. But as they had no vacancies I had to stick to my original plan which allowed me to while away some time in a charming little tearoom.
On my way into West Linton an old man came towards me, and looking at his outfit I knew I was facing a chat. Indeed, I had to answer a lot of questions about my walk and the man was so impressed and deeply moved that he shook my hand several times and wished me luck on my way.
A similar encounter happened later the day. I had already passed the farm at Baddinsgill where some work with the sheep was going on, with hundreds assembled in sheepfolds and complaining loudly about it. I saw a person walking up the hill ahead of me and soon caught up with an elderly lady. After the usual explanations on my plans she literally took her hat off. And she told me that she was nearing her nineties, that she had married the then son of the Laird of Baddinsgill more than 60 years ago and was happy that not all members of the current generation were heading for the city although you won’t get rich with sheep.
I had to walk some other hills to get to Cauldstane Slap. What I often find amazing that you walk in the hills for ages and they seem to be endless and then you get round one and are surprised with a wide open view as I got it on Harperrig Reservoir.
Getting down from the hill was a time-consuming matter as it was muddy and slippery in places and I wasn’t keen to get wet feet that late in the day if I could avoid it. I managed fairly well on that, but on getting further down I realised that a discreet wild pitch somewhere near the reservoir wasn’t possible because it would be right within eyeshot of some houses. So I decided to seek permission to pitch which was granted without problems. Good to be a trustable solo walker. The place wasn’t the most level one but the evening view on the reservoir certainly was nice.
I was told that a couple of days ago another walker with some LEJOG hint on his backpack had passed somewhere near in the pouring rain, I think that must have been Jimmy.
Oh, and I saw the first of my preferred cows, quite willing to pose 🙂