Hooray I arrived in Scotland today.
I dipped my toe into Scotland yesterday but I’m well and truly across the border now.
I had to cut across country this morning; there were no footpaths, just a few mountain tracks, and lots of nothing. But thankfully my navigation was on form and after an hour or so I wandered off the slopes onto a farmer’s track that led me through the farm
Whilst I know that there are no trespass laws here I was a tad nervous as I proceeded. Within moments of my climbing over the gate a woman appeared from nowhere and, standing by her car, shouted ‘want a lift?’ I politely declined but was relieved that it wasn’t a ‘get off my land’ shout.
Moments later, a chap approached and asked me where I had walked from. We got chatting and I filled my water bottle from his outdoor tap: ‘fresh spring water’, he said. I tasted it and it was lovely. ‘You’d better take these for you lunch’, he said, ‘half a dozen bantam eggs, they’ll be nice scrambled’. So within an hour of being in Scotland I had been offered a lift and given 6 eggs – and I had only met two people.
Interestingly, the farmer told me that he met a woman last year who was doing LeJog but in B&Bs so I must have picked a route that others use. This was confirmed later when walking to my B&B in Jedbrough I met another LeJoger, Richard has been catching up with me for a few weeks. He is pre-booking B&Bs and averaging around 20 miles a day.
The farmer was most amused that I had stayed in the mountain refuge hut. ‘Wasn’t it bloody cold?’ ‘Yes’, was the only honest response I could give.
There is a tradition amongst walkers who use bothies that you leave any surplus items in your rucksack for others. In the hut last night there was a partly used gas bottle, several batteries, and an emergency blanket. I had nothing to leave so I gave the hut a clean and sang it a song. I have done this with all of my Bothy stays. It leaves a nice atmosphere. This morning’s song was the traditional folk song The Immigrant – ‘I’m a stranger in this country’.
I met Richard again in the pub and briefly swapped LeJog stories; he is enjoying every inch of his walk and doing very well. There is a good chance that we’ll cross paths again in a few days time as he is having a day off tomorrow and he’s travelling about 5 miles a day further than me.
I’m looking forward to having all clean clothes to wear in the morning – my landlady is washing them as we speak…….
The town has run out of OS explorer 338 maps so tomorrow I will be walking mapless – l have spare batteries for the GPS.