Hats off to anyone who has read so far! ..... it is, after all, mainly for my own benefit.
09 May 2004 To Bellingham (day 46 - 43 walking): Misty start to the day - it had rained overnight. Cleared up but remained cloudy. At least it stayed dry. Met and had along chat with Ian who was on JOGL - 20 days so far, but came straight down East side. Got to Bellingham. A fairly easy day compared to the last two. camp fees waived again. Barbara not well, it lots of pain - don't like it!
Had good meal - steak in ale pie - again.
10 May 2004 To Byrness (day 47 - 44 walking): Misty start but got warm and bright quickly. Dry day. saw first adder on path near Paddon Hill. Decided to B & B at Byness campsite - £23.
Barbara had steroid injection at hospital. If not improvement, then will go in Thursday. Had good meal and good night's sleep. Thundery on way to Hotel and heavy rain when inside - but was dry for return.
11 May 2004 To Jedburgh (day 48 - 45 walking): Damp, misty start with fine drizzle - but got dry as day went on. Left Pennine Way at Dere Street and got to Jedburgh campsite at 1730. They waived fees. Did not meet or speak to anyone until campsite - walk was so remote. Long walk to pub, but had good meal.
12 May 2004 To Melrose (day 49 - 46 walking): Dry start and tent was dry. Good warm day with some sun. Over to Melrose. A caravan park, but I was allowed to camp here. Some rich pensioners! Washing in - looking forward to a shower and clean clothes.
13 May 2004 To Peebles (day 50 - 47 walking): Mainly sunny, very good visability coming over Minchmuir drove road. Long road walk in to Peebles. Camped at Rosetta campsite - fees waived. brief shower as I entered Peebles, but still warm. Had good Indian curry. Back to bar at campsite. Matthew and Kate had a chat. Matthew bought me 2 pints and George, who ran the site gave me £3. Total to date £77.35. rained overnight, but stopped in the morning.
14 May 2004 To Carlops (day 51 - 48 walking): Packed and off by 0820. Route finding was easy and I took a forest track to avoid lots of road walking - there was still a lot! Got to Alan Ramsey Hotel in carlops. £30 B & B - but v good - menu looks good. Arrived at 1400.
Stayed dry although the air was damp.
Met Trevor who is also on LEJOG but B & B all the way - ouch! He got talking to folk in the bar and they pointed me out to him. He left LE on 26 March but came up through the centre rather than the coast start I had. Got talking to Ray who gave me £10. Total to date £87.35. Meal was great. Ray, Jim Mike and Rainbow were great company. The landlord was David.
A good night.
15 May 2004 To Linlithgow (day 52 - 49 walking): Dry, mainly sunny day. Over Pentland Hills and down Union canal - then along to Linlithgow. Camped between two caravans - no one in them. Long day - about 24 miles. Fantastic evening in the Four Marys pub. I'd had an Indian - good. Then met Gordon and Rosemary + Eric and Margaret. had a great chat with them. They gave me £10. Gordon was a Rugby club secretary and undertaker. Eric was into amatuer dramatics and was ex-police - 41 club too (??).
16 May 2004 Sunday To Kilsyth (day 53 - 50 walking): Beautiful clear blue sky morning. I do not like the canal side tracks. On thru Falkirk and saw the Falkirk Wheel - superb! trudge to Kilsyth where Colin picked me up. (Colin was a friend from college days in Aberdeen. I thought he was living nearby - but he'd driven well over an hour to pick me up! My geography was a bit lacking here!). Had a great lamb meal at his house. Good to see him and Rosellen. Weather stayed sunny and dry. Over to the pub until midnight.
17 may 2004 To Blanefield (day 54 - 51 walking): Firstly, back to Kilsyth. A long way! A light weight day. Kilsyth to Blanefield along old railway from Kirkintiloch. Brief shower in morning. Windy, but the rest of the day was dry. Took wrong turning at Strathblaine, but, got to Blanefield ok. Route is only just up th eroad. Rosellen picked me up and I had a great evening with Colin as his guest at his Rotary club meeting - then drinks in pub.
18 May 2004 Rest day (day 55 - 51 walking): Total rest day at Colin and Rosellen's. Superb meal - pasta. In pub, met David Smith - a headteacher and Mike, from Canada. Gave me £20 for Hospice. I booked my return train from Wick to Tamworth + hotel in JOG.
19 May 2004 To Rowardennan (day 56 - 52 walking): Colin dropped me back to Blanefield. Then a bit of road walking until I joined the West Highland Way. Excellent views. Had a good dry day - but for one brief shower. Camp spot at Rowardennan has no facilities. Had meal in Hotel. Prices hiked up! Later got talking to a group of soldiers from N. Ireland. Glen, Neil, Jim, Mike. They invited me to join them for a chilli tomorrow night. Rained overnight. Woke up to midges - the little bastards! Packed up in a cloud of them!
20 May 2004 To Beinglas Farm (day 57 - 53 walking): Midges don't like it when you pack up. They die! - when tent is packed up. There is something satisfying about emptying them out when unpacking the tent! Few brief showers in morning - no need for waterproofs. otherwise mainly sunny and superb views. Got to Beinglas Farm campsite. had shower and washed clothes. Got here at 1345!
Met the Army guys and had chilli with them. It was very good. Although they were walking the WHW they had a support van. Massive cook pots etc., The site has a bar and I drank with them until 2230 - then bed. Good nights sleep. No midges!
21 May 2004 Friday To Bridge of Orchy (day 58 - 54 walking): Dry night and morning. A few midges around in the morning. A couple of showers - no waterproofs needed. Otherwise dry, sunnyish. Great walk thru Tyndrum and on to Bridge of Orchy. Stayed in the Hotel bunkhouse - £10. Shared a room with Kim from Denmark who said he was going to get up at 0500!
Had six oysters to start meal. Then Cumberland sausage - excellent. Good beer.
Then Trevor - the other LEJOG guy I met, days ago, turned up. He was in another bunkhouse sharing with 5 others. We chatted and it was a late night.
22 May 2004 To Kinlochleven (day 59 - 55 walking): Kim was gone when I woke up. Didn't hear him go! Had full English breakfast in hotel for £6. V good!. Beautiful day - sunny and warm and had fantastic walk over Rannoch Mor and thru Glencoe. Devil's staircase and down to Kinlochleven. V good campsite £4. Pub not too far. had shower. Also changed hostel booking from Tuesday to Monday (??) Good pub - Tailrace - good beer and food.