Approaching Berwick

Day 63 Scotland!

FROM SCREMERSTON IN NORTHUMBERLAND TO COLDINGHAM IN SCOTLAND

So today completed 9 weeks on the road and 955 miles walked. It was also the day I reached Scotland. This was a very magical and emotional moment for me, which I have described in a separate post. I figured it was worthy of a post of its own.

I said goodbye to Alan and Carole at the Old School B and B after a very pleasant stay in very good company and walked a mile or so down country lanes on a gorgeously sunny morning until I found the coastal path that runs along the cliffs into Spittal.

From Spittal I skirted the river Tweed until I found the ancient stone foot bridge into the walled city of Berwick.

Berwick is a delightful and pleasant town, steeped in history and resting contentedly in the reassuring embrace of its stout walks. The walls presumably were to keep the Scots out, or the English. Probably both, at which they failed on both counts.

I really liked Berwick. I detoured there a while to buy insoles for my boots at Ye Olde Sports Direct store in the town centre. The boots were making my feet sore and felt a bit loose so I figured insoles would help – which they have done quite considerably.

Then I went to Holland and Barratt to buy more Devils Claw and aloe vera oil for my feet. Strange how so much importance focuses on my feet these days.

I then continued my journey after briefly getting lost in the town centre and walking half a mile up the wrong road. The walk thus far had been a pleasant one in the morning sunshine through lovely scenery. It then took a turn for the worse as much of the rest of the day was spent toiling up more of the dreaded A1 that skirts the coast and the A1107 which is not a massive improvement on the A1.

Incidentally, here is an intriguing factoid. I have had occasion these past weeks to notice very intimately the variety of bits and bobs and odds and ends that wind up discarded beside busy main roads, and not so busy roads for that matter. I have seen enough bits of cars and trucks, for example, to build my own vehicle and could easily have assembled a very fine Nitsaultoymerfordai.

But do you know what is by FAR the most common item to be found lying forlornly and forgotten beside a main road?

It is gloves for some reason. All manner of gloves: men’s, women’s, kids’, gardeners’, industrial, surgical, you name it. And always just one glove. I have seen THOUSANDS of solitary gloves lying in the verges.

And the odd thing is, it is always a left glove. What is that all about? I imagine that there exists somewhere a alternative universe, such as France, where the roads are strewn with right gloves or maybe socks (which would explain the inexplicable disappearance of odd socks from your laundry)

Anyway, leaving philosophy aside, I reached Coldingham about 8pm and am staying at the Glenlea guest house on The Bow. I have been warmly welcomed by Elsa and given an absolutely lovely room. It was raining by the time I got here, Scotland having decided to have nothing to do with the heat wave making the Sassenachs sweat south of the border, and am very very grateful for Elsa’s kindness and hospitality that has spared me a grim night in a tent. Did I mention that I hate camping?

So a good night’s rest, a hearty breakfast and I will be up for another day of relentless purgatory as I head towards Edinburgh.

See you on the road!

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