This is a personal blog mainly to do with hillwalking things but with other stuff as well.....maybe the odd rant..
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Border Walk Day 2 Longtown to Newcastleton
The word for today was WET. The other word was COCKUP It started well with a very nice double English walkers breakfast. You have to sign a disclaimer to receive this and they alert the local first responders just in case the arteries pack in half way through the sausage. Three ladies on another breakfast table were discussing erections. I trust they were engineers of some sort. I left Longtown well, albeit in the wrong direction, having decided that the path by the River Esk looked very attractive. I climbed over a small fence and down some derelict stone steps to the bridge footings and followed a vague path along the riverbank. This soon disappeared and some sheep took refuge on an island. I checked the map. I wasn’t on the path whioch was further over there….<------ Bugger. I persevered and the path joined my general line near a tea van on the A7. More persevering brought me to a bastle house, an unusual church and a wobbly suspension bridge which even in 1906, according to a warning notice, was limited to one person at a time. I wobbled across and checked the map again. This was all wrong. This way lead into the grounds of Lord and Lady Wekillwalkers, barely civilised but very posh with a long line of cattle stealing, murder, kidnap and double parking. I rewobbled across the bridge and, braving some timid but frisky beef, I joined the A7. Luckily, membership of the A7 is free. I hobbled into Scotland in a rain storm. I hobbled through Canonbie as the rain pelted down in damn great hairy Borders lumps to the tune of the 1812 Overture with just the cannon and a bit of flashing. As I hobbled through the deserted street of Rowanburn, the rain was merely heavy and only became torrential as I crossed back into England over the Liddel Water. Bugger. Later, it rained some more as I finally left the roadwalking to join a bridleway and entered no maps land. No maps land is the two or three kilometre space where my improvised “route” (and I use the word sarcastically) fell off the end of the Carlisle map before entering the Hawick and Eskdale map. Thus, the Haltwhistle and Stevenage map or whatever it was, was at home snuggling up to all my other maps. Nice and warm and dry. I did the only thing could do in such circumstances. I got lost. This was resolved by sneaking through somebody’s garden and scuttering up by a plantation and through an extremely wet hayfield. I regained a position on a map which I had in my possession and plodded on towards Newcastleton, crossing back into Scotland on the way. At some point the sun came out and, as I stood there gently steaming, a car pulled up and an old chap with a Londonesque accent said “What are you doing. You’re too fucking old to be doing that.” “I’m walking to Berwick,” I evaporated.
“You silly bugger” said the man. “You won’t get there today”
“Yes I know”
“Well, as long as you’re all right” he said and roared off. Eventually, I arrived in Newcastleton and found the caravan site which let me camp for ten quid. The scoff at the Liddesdale Hotel was Rack of lamb and it were actually quite fab. I stayed for a while then went back to the tent for a bit of a sleep. The landlord insited on calling me “Young man”. they do a nice line in irony in the Borders I quite like Newcastleton. Its real name is Copsawholme and the locals just call it “Holme”. I expect this casues no end of jollity in the Borders Police force. “Where do you live, sonny?”
“Holme” Ossifer. “Tha’ll do laddie, now where do you live?” I did 19 miles 1400 feet of upness and my feet were sore. If you ever walk the Border, there’s better ways than this one.
I am a retired NHS Personnel person. All I do nowadays is walk about.
I used to have my pet dog Bruno with me (in the front page pic). he was Superdawg but he died. Now I have Lucky the pup. He's a bit like Bruno, only smaller and more suspicious.