I awoke to lovely views and a slightly damp tent but by seven o’clock in the morning the warmth of the sun had dried everything out nicely. It was a pleasant eight or so mile stroll into Selkirk on the Border Abbeys’ Way watching deer and foxes doing their early morning thing. I didn’t meet a soul until around 10am when a few day-walkers started to appear.
I stocked up with supplies in Selkirk including GPS batteries as none of the shops had OS maps. Yesterday I managed to obtain a local guide book map that was better than nothing but from Selkirk onwards I have been reliant on the GPS and way-mark signs.
It was a steep climb up to The Three Brethren, a local landmark hill capped by three stone cairns. As I lugged myself up to the top I was met by a lovely young (by my standards) couple who obviously noticed my waning energy and offered me a Mars bar. ‘Actually you may as well take them all’, he said, handing me five bars and a bottle of Lucozade. He then produced a Southern Upland Way pin and presented it to me, ‘in recognition of my long walk’. The pin is now proudly attached to my rucksack next to the Santiago de Compostela badge. I will treasure that gift.
What nice people there are around here. I walked away from the Three Brethren refreshed and full of energy partly from the sugar hit but mainly from the encouragement, generosity and conviviality of the locals. Thanks guys!
I spoke to several other walkers this afternoon – everybody upheld the fine tradition of being helpful and courteous to fellow walkers.
I must put the Southern Lowlands Way on my wish list and come back and walk all of it.
My tent is now pitched by some trees in Minch Moor and I have just found a rather nice lizard trying to get into my rucksack.