In true “day off” style I didn’t bother dragging myself out of my pit for breakfast. I wasn’t walking so it didn’t matter today, and besides, food was literally just outside the door of the hotel so it wasn’t like I had to go very far when the hunger pangs started. I wasn’t lazing around too long though as I had things to do, firstly doing some washing. I’d not bothered to wash anything for a few days knowing that I had enough to keep me going and that I’d be off so I could do it then. Washing done and walking socks hanging on the window sill to dry, I turned my attentions to writing up yesterday’s walk. This took the usual couple of hours to write up, thinking about what I want to say, pouring over my maps and GPS to make sure I get it all right. I must admit, writing it all down and reliving yesterday’s very bad day wasn’t fun at all. I felt it all over again but I had to write it up no matter how hard it was to do.
I awoke this morning, ear plugs in due to a party going on in the pub last night, completely shattered. This was not a good start to the day and the thought of walking was pretty much the worst thing I could think of as I lay in my bed. I lay there waiting for my alarm to go off and even when it did I just couldn’t be bothered to move for at least fifteen minutes later. I just couldn’t snap myself in to action and it was only when I realised that I’d end up getting out the door late that I really started to move. I made it down to breakfast on time but boy do I wish I hadn’t bothered. Yesterday, in typical day off fashion, I didn’t bother rushing out of bed for a breakfast and boy am I glad I didn’t bother. The breakfast this morning was awful! It is now officially the worst breakfast of the walk so far. I don’t know how they managed it but the sausage was crispy on the outside and almost water-like on the inside. I ate as much of the food as I could handle, had some toast and left it at that.
The Kings Arms Hotel in Melrose was a lovely place to stay last night. The room was clean, the bed was comfortable, it had a bath, the beer was good – what more could you need after a day’s walking? Ok, I didn’t try the food there but there were enough people eating throughout the evening it couldn’t have been too bad. The breakfast was a lot better, although the sausages were still a bit funny – must be these strange Scottish sausages. Compared to the Royal Hotel the night before…well, there is no comparison. I slept a little later this morning as I knew I had a shorter day, having changed my plans from a 25 mile slog to two shorter days. Even when I started to get myself ready I didn’t rush. I made it down to breakfast on time at 8am but I’d not packed my gear up yet so by the time I’d eaten and got everything ready I was checking out and heading off at 9:15am.
I spent yesterday evening sat in front of a log fire chatting with Donald – really nice chap. He gave me a tip on my route for this morning, telling me to head up Minchmoor Road instead of heading straight up the hill behind the hostel to pick up the Southern Upland Way again. Local knowledge is a great thing and I was very grateful for his help seeing as this was a last minute change of route to the hostel to break up a very long day’s walking. I wasn’t alone in the hostel this time, there were two older couple staying there too. I had a dorm room to myself though so that wasn’t too much of a worry, except to get to the toilet the guys would have to come through my room.
I ended up having fish and chips again last night for my dinner, after I’d taken my netbook back to my room – I wasn’t too comfortable walking around with it under my arm that’s for sure. I took my food down to the river and sat on a bench enjoying my food. As expected, as I sat eating I became a bit of a target for the birds. One gull was doing his utmost to keep all the other birds away – he was very busy flying this way and that way, making lots of noise in the process. You’ll be unsurprised to hear that I didn’t reward him for all his hard work. My food is my food and I needed to feed up after not having a proper dinner or breakfast at the hostel.
The Meadows B & B was a really nice place to stay last night, with a decent breakfast this morning – the sausage was better for sure, but still not quite there. Over breakfast I had a good chat with Cath and Keith who were staying there. They were taking a week out from what sounded like a very hard time; they were 24/7 carers for some old people and it certainly sounded like they needed some time to recharge batteries that’s for sure. We got to talking about my walk and why I was doing it and they very kindly donated £5 towards my sponsorship – many thanks.
After last night’s efforts to chill out I awoke this morning feeling a little on the foggy side. Even though I’d not reached that wobbly state I ended up so desperately trying to reach, the after effects were just as bad. Oh well, it was a good night and the day ahead wasn’t looking as though it was going to be too hectic. I made it to breakfast, which was nice if not a little on the peculiar side as I’ve never had a full cooked breakfast with cucumber and strips of pepper daintily placed on around the plate. Oh, and in case you were wondering the sausage was great – hurrah! Having ignored yesterday’s write-up in favour of drinking beer and having a good evening out, I set to and tried my hardest to work through the fog in my head to remember what happened on my way in to Edinburgh. This took a little longer than I’d hoped but I got there in the end.