Saturday, 25 August 2012

Day 4 Scotland begins


Day 4 Scotland begins

The bed was so comfy I hardly wanted to believe it was time to get up for breakfast. I stretched and went out to shower, making sure that I would get to use the facilities to the max before I had to go without again. Greedy I know, but it was a small luxury that I had allowed myself and was glad to have made the most of it.
At breakfast I became head of the table, and was sandwiched between a couple of lovely young ladies.
Linda from SouthAfrica and Elizabeth from Ohio U.S.A. They were both having a break from studying and enjoying the last chance to see Britain before their masters courses ended and they returned to their respective countries after the final exams in a few weeks time. We chatted for ages and they had to rush in the end to catch a bus to Edinburgh. Also at the table were a young Spanish couple who had come looking for work and a home and a new experience of life. We chatted briefly, but time was getting on, and I too had tracks to make if I wanted to get to the Museum and see something of the tour I had been promised by Rowan. I said my farewells to the girls and Ann my gracious host, before setting off suited for the rains that had descended with a vengeance this morning.

It hardly let up at all, and the spray from the lorries and coaches passing on the main road was drowning me, so I hurried to get onto side roads and head west. I was making what I considered to be good progress, and soon enough popped out onto the main A7 leading to Edinburgh via Newtongrange. There was no pavements for walkers here so I dodged the traffic as usual and remarked at the good behaviours of the motorists coming towards me.....!!

Fortunately there was a break in the storm and as I passed a group of workers outside a nearby inn, they began asking me where I was off to and all about the walking. A really nice bunch of lads who quickly offered me a cup of tea, some biscuits and a chocolate bar and a can of drink for the road ahead. They were from a scaffolding company in Edinburgh (Weemans Scaffolding) and erecting a tower around a chimmeny. Thomas the man in charge was a lively man and keen to share a story or two about his observations of the subjects of my investigations, which helped me to get a new understanding about a lot of the culture and thought processes of some of the Scottish peoples. Steven a new employee was happy to tell me all about how Thomas had been a great help to him both in the chance of a job, but with regards to an interest in boxing which was also a sport his boss had been involved with for many years. He told me that the help had really put him on the right track with his life and taken away some of the futility that had been evident previously. I could see the respect he showed and that was evidence of a new hope. He seemed to respond meditatively when I talked about my experience of Leopards changing their spots. Andy was the other team member, more shy and retiring, but busy with the work at hand. I think that Johnnie was actually the customer, he being the one who brought me the can and chocolate bar, out supplying the workforce with refreshments. It was a great opportunity to have met kind and generous strangers, I thanked them all and they shook my hand and congratulated me on my efforts to raise money for the several charities. But in truth all I can do is ask you the readers to send what you can afford to the charity of your choice, via the just giving links on the website, as I carry on walking for peace and harmony.

I was sweating now as the day had warmed and the rains held off, and needed to remove my coat and fleece, but the road was still long and tough. By early afternoon I was finally at the approach to the small town of Newtongrange, home of the Scottish mining museum, and to be honest I was feeling rather worn out, despite a good nights sleep.

The Colliery long since closed, now a museum was just off of the main road and visable by its lift wheels and huge signs. I asked for Rowan, even though she may not be here, and was told that she was with a client but had sent word to grace me with a complimentary pass to all attractions. Emma and Patricia looked after my bag and made me very welcome, and sent me off on the mine tour through the doors to the right of the reception, where I was met by John Kane the man who had worked at the pit for over 38 years prior to its closure in 1981.

John was a lovely man and a great tour guide. He had lived and worked in the mines for a very long time and now was back here taking us all round and demonstrating the ideas and suffering behind the task of bringing this fossil fuel out of the ground. I had my picture taken with John for the record and thanked him for a most excellent afternoon.

I briefly met with Rowan who was working and she asked if I had enjoyed the chance to see the museum. I had and thanked her for her kind offer before setting off to try to reach Roslin before dark.
I made it to a place called Bonnie Rigg where I went into the Castle restaurant/hotel/public house and ate and used their internet for a few hours.

By the time I left it was getting dark so I headed out to find a nice quiet place to get my head down. An old part of the road had been bypassed and that left an area away from the road noise and cars, so I set up behind the hedge.
A few people passed by as I set up but no-one engaged with me, they probably thought me a tramp. A tramp with a very technical tent and walking poles.

The evening made a lot of noise but I slept for Great Britain and was soon dreaming of drier days ahead, and day 4 Scotland came to an end.

No comments:

Post a Comment