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.
As I posted yesterday’s events and shut down my netbook to go and get some lunch I realised I’d posted it with the wrong date, i.e. today’s instead of yesterdays…damn it! It was too late by then as the netbook was now off and I just couldn’t be bothered to sort it out before going out. I knew I’d be back online later so I didn’t worry about it and headed out the door for the first time for the day.
It was a lovely day out there – I can say that as I wasn’t walking, thankfully – and I headed up the high street to see what was about. First things first: Boots for plasters and some other supplies. My feet do seem to be doing better for blisters now but I always like to have a good supply of Compeed plasters just in case.
That done I popped over the road to the Post Office to get a big jiffy bag so I could send my used maps home, or as it turned out Russ’ place. I couldn’t believe it when I took them back to get them sent that they weighed 800g. That’ll be a welcome loss from the pack I can tell you.
Next I had a look round Jedburgh Abbey, initially founded as a priory by King David I in 1138 until in 1154 the priory was elevated to an abbey populated by Augustinian or “black” canons. Augustinians were priests who lived a secluded and contemplative life, but who went forth from their cloister to minister to the people. It was well worth the £5.20 to get in as the abbey remains were very impressive and I only wished I had my other camera with me as my little point-and-shoot really didn’t do them justice.
On my way in to Jedburgh yesterday I crossed a bridge over the river so I took a stroll in the sunshine down to the river and enjoyed the peace and quiet for a bit. Just up from there was Mary Queen of Scots house, and as it was free to get in, I decided to have a look round. All very interesting stuff but to get the most out of it you really needed to read everything and get the audio guide…I couldn’t be bothered and just had a quick look round.
One thing that did kind of freak me out a bit was the death mask on show. This was supposedly cast shortly after she was executed – beheaded – but it looks far too serene for that.
I knew I had accommodation to book for the coming days and that was hanging over me so after a quick look round the house I made my way back to my room to start getting my beds sorted out for the next week.
After yesterday’s walk I was a little concerned about the twenty five mile stint I had planned between Melrose and Peebles. I certainly didn’t want a repeat of the state I was in yesterday so I looked for an alternative, allowing me to break the long day in to two shorter days. Fortunately I found a youth hostel just off the path I was taking so I booked that, making me a lot happier. Yes, it added a day to the plan but if it means I get there in one piece then that’s far more important.
After spending a couple of hours checking out places Matt had sent me I’d finally booked my accommodation all the way up to, and including, Edinburgh. I felt much better now knowing that I had places to stay for the week ahead, meaning I could concentrate on getting the walking done each day.
Having wifi in the Royal Hotel I had a lovely Skype call with the girls. It was so good to actually see them for a change as it’d been over a week since we were last able to have one. I could have done with a video call last night but getting here so late, I just didn’t have the time to sort it out. Today was great though and I think they enjoyed it more than a normal call, especially showing off their drawings/colouring in. God I miss my girls!
I couldn’t be bothered to find anywhere special for dinner tonight so I popped round the corner to the fish and chip shop and sat on a bench eating yet another fish supper. I swear I’ll look like fish and chips by the end of this walk! It hit the spot though, as it always does, and once polished off I headed back to my room.
Walking again tomorrow. I’m not sure what I feel about that right now after the nightmare day yesterday. I’ll admit that I’m concerned that I really have pushed myself too far now and every day is now going to be a constant battle. We’ll see at the end of tomorrow how I get on won’t we? Edinburgh next week, which I’m really looking forward to, and I’m aiming on taking a couple of days off there. I just need to get there now!
If you want to find out more about this day you can see the photos I took.