Thursday, 25 February 2016

Flat and Fast

Tuesday 23 Feb 2016
Kelso to Jedburgh - 20km
The title of this blog entry by no means refers to myself, but I am by no means fat. My accommodation was everything I wanted except the single bed...hrmpf! My Geordie hosts were very welcoming and had suggested a couple of places to eat the night before, I plumped for The Cobbles. It turned out to be just what the doctor ordered, good friendly company, a roaring log fire, good real ale and gorgeous food. I left a very happy bunny and slightly squiffy despite only having drunk one and a half pints.
I had a reasonable night’s sleep and the first lie in since I had started walking five days ago. My breakfast was a leisurely affair and included vegetarian haggis which Lisa had bought especially for me. I did tell her whatever she wanted she could have but ( thankfully ) no request was forthcoming. After a good hour of eating and chatting about all sorts and everything I excused myself and returned to my room for the final pack. By 9.30 and almost one and a half hours later than I would usually start I was walking out of the door. No sooner had I descended the accommodation steps when Lisa shouted me back and as I turned round my gaiters were thrown over to me…
The route from Kelso Abbey took me across the River Tweed and then over the River Teviot which I then followed passing the ruins of Roxburgh Castle. I passed a brave fisherman standing in the river and we bid each other good morning. I never fail to understand the concept why someone would stand over their waist in freezing cold water trying to catch a fish. Myself, and this is my opinion, I don't think it is a fair sport. Picture the scene.... a large healthy salmon or pike standing in waders in the river with rod in hand trying to catch a passing fisherman....now that would be fair.
I continued along the riverbank with the sun shining on my face to Roxburgh before turning left onto Ferry lane. There is no ferry plying people across the river now but all the signs of that existence are still there. I continued along the river once more, passed under a huge viaduct that crossed the river with a quaint suspension bridge slung from stone piers protruding from the viaduct pillars.
The path eventually took me to and along a disused railway line which I followed for some distance past the hamlet of Nesbit before crossing over the Teviot to continue on the opposite bank. I followed the old railway line again having to negotiate a huge crater that had been gouged out of the bank by the recent floods. All around were the detritus left behind including three large gas canisters, the type that home owners use instead of piped gas. They just lay there like big red beached walruses.
The old railway line led me to the main road into Jedburgh but my path took me again along Dere Street before the final few miles along.....you guessed it ..Tarmac. It was only 2 o'clock when I arrived so I headed to the Abbey book shop cafe for a bowl of delicious homemade soup before heading to a different accommodation and definitely not the previous 'Fawlty Towers' experience I had had a few nights earlier.

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