Friday, 24 August 2012

Day 3 Scotland begins


Day 3 Scotland begins

The sound of tractors passing woke me up, but where I lay snuggled into the trees, no-one could see me and the tent from the road. I roused and thanked my lucky stars for such a nice little spot. It hadn't rained from what I could tell, but it may at some point later on. The wind was strong so I hung my clothes and waterproofs out on the tree branches for a while to hope that they might get less damp before I would need them again. Packing away didn't take too long so I was soon ready to hit the highway. I figured the nearest village would be a place called Gifford.

Before too long Gifford was in my sights and I hoped for a brew and something warm to eat. There were a few shops here and a buzz about the place, as I saw a huge marquee being erected on the village green. A flower show was advertised, something common to summertime in many places. I saw a cafe advertising Love Coffee and Love Food, which I do as you will all know, so popped in to find a few of the local people nattering away. I ordered a small breakfast and tea, which was promptly served as I began interacting with the locals and many were keen to know about my aims. I sat chatting with a farmers wife before she needed to rush off to pick a toddler up from the nursery. Mandy the cook and waitress with a sunny disposition was animated and interested also in my travels, wanting to know what I could hope to achieve by such a long walk. I asked if I could possibly get her to fill my water pouch and she offered me some Black currant cordial to add some diversity to the taste, and I thanked her for her thoughtfulness. I do actually love water, especially when walking as it can do more than just hydrate me, it refreshes my parched mouth.

I thanked Mandy and set off again towards the west, hoping to maybe reach Newtongrange this evening. I wouldn't be in time to see that mining museum until the following day but that would be alright as it was only Thursday today. Along the way I felt like sitting to read and write a bit of poetry, as is my custom whilst travelling. I found a gateway and sat on my plastic bag so as to avoid dampness and wrote about the great and wonderful surroundings and my thoughts so far. Creativity is a big part of this journey as is meeting new and kind individuals that are reaffirming my joy of the wonderfulness of humanity.
Yesterday had been a hard slog over the mountains and I wasn't sure I could do anymore than just kick stones along the roads today. I seriously needed a bit of comfort and some clean hot water all over my body, but this was a pretty remote environment, other than the hotel type accommodations. I came through a tiny village called Humbie and sat at a cafe/shop/postoffice for a while considering my options and enjoying a brief burst of sunshine. The lady who ran the shop was soon to be closing up but she didn't mind if I kept on sitting out on the front. The day had become a bit slower than I had wanted, but never the less I had a respite from being drowned again.

As I came up to the A68 at Fala, I found just the place I was looking for. It wasn't exactly ideal to my budget but it was about time for me to get a clean and decent sleep. My boots were letting in water so my feet are wet most of the day, which is de-motivational, and my knees and back were aching from the weight of the bag.

The Fairshiels guest house/bed and breakfast is a most magnificent building with oodles of character and old features, especially the curved staircase. Ann Gordon, my host showed me to a lovely airy room on the top floor and I quickly began making use of all the features of this luxury bed and breakfast spot. The shower was divine, I felt almost holy and the aches washed away with the soapy water. I had a few items left over that needed eating up so made myself a small meal and then went downstairs to make use of the readingroom/lounge.

A few other guests were just arriving and I spoke with a man from Stornoway the Isle of Lewis which is off of the west coast of Scotland, who was here taking a break.
Ben my bother rang me to see how far away I was and when I thought that I would arrive in Kincardine, so I excused myself to speak with him. When I came back into the room the gentleman had gone, but I carried on writing the events of the past few days, doing my work as it were, recording the travels and extent of your, the readers constant kindnesses. Scotland was proving to be just as accommodating as England though I had only been here a few days and have still to do and see much.
Later in bed I thought of just how far I still was from reaching Newtongrange, that I had wanted to reach this evening. Well there is no major hurry of course, it is just that I wanted to learn all about the old mining communites of this part of Scotland, as they have fashioned a huge part of our modern culture, as does oil today.

The doors were solid and probably oak, and the sense of peacefulness was deep and satisfying as I slid into dreamland as day 3 Scotland came to an end.

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