I knew I had to be up early, so I think that’s why I kept waking up during the night to see if it was time yet. By around 5:45 I was sitting up in bed having a cuppa. Usually I am only aware of there being one 5:45 in the day, but I quite like getting up with the sun when I am camping. This is made a lot easier if you go to bed at 8pm, like we had.
We were walking by 7:25 and started by going through the adjacent field containing ewes and their lambs. Most of the lambs were anxious to stay by their mother’s side as we walked past, but there was one little chap sitting on his own who just watched us. Eventually he staggered to his feet and we saw the umbilical cord was still attached; presumably s/he’d been born overnight. We didn’t linger to take photos as a concerned-looking ewe was heading our way. (None of the sheep would stand still, hence the blurry photo.)
Mike had altered his original plan to improve our chances of arriving at Peebles in time for the buses back to various far-flung Northern outposts. The plan was now “We’ll probably be alright until we get to the forest”, and he was right. The climb through the Bught Rig / Brakehope Rig forest was quite tough in places. I left the navigation up to Mike and Alan whilst I concentrated on trying to keep my feet dry and not getting stuck in the gloopy bog; I failed. The forest had obviously changed since the map had been published and it was easy to place our faith in a sign offering hope. Eventually we reached daylight again and there was much rejoicing.
For most of the walk, Mike had arranged for a handrail to be erected to aid navigation so we, again, followed the fence across Stake Law. This was the sort of terrain where you need to watch your feet all the time to avoid tripping over the heather or sinking into a bog. Birkscairn Hill was bypassed as we veered left and headed down the heathery hill to Glensax where we had some lunch. I really enjoyed the lunchstops on this walk; I forget to eat when I’m on my own, and it made a pleasant change to have a rest and recharge my batteries.
The track alongside the Glensax Burn gave mostly easy walking, and we were now motoring along, although Peebles didn’t seem to be getting any nearer for ages. On the outskirts of the town we passed some nice houses with lovely flat lawns suitable for camping and I realised that I’m not the only one who views every patch of flat ground as a potential pitch.
We reached Peebles with enough time for a coffee before Laura and Louise had to catch their bus, so the early start had worked out well. Mike took Alan and me back to Moffat for our cars and, after a pasty and beans at the Rumblin Tum, I drove home.
This was a very enjoyable walk with a good balance of ups, downs and flat bits. We couldn’t have asked for better weather and I enjoyed everyone’s company very much. Thanks to Mike for organising everything.