21 July 2008
Day fourteen, my last day on the way started at 6:30 am, that was when I woke but I lay dozing for a while, it was hard to get myself moving, but I knew it was better to get going because then at least I would be warm. I just had chocolate biscuits for my breakfast this morning as I had no stove nor anything to cook but the biscuits were good enough. I started at 8:30 with a climb, on reaching the top of the hill I looked back to see who I assumed were my two friends from the B&B at Bellingham. They were a way back so I pressed on. There was quite a good path of stone paving which was a blessing. I had to try and be at Kirk Yetholm for 6 that evening so it just meant me maintaining a pace of 2 MPH which was easy enough to do so I wasn't under any pressure, I actually got a way in front of myself and was looking for a place to rest up a while. The trouble was when you stopped the wind was that cold you froze within a few minutes. I thought I found a good place and was about to settle down when I noticed a darkness approaching. I knew by now what this meant so I decided to move on quickly in the hope that I could reach the other mountain refuge hut I could just make out in the distance, and so rest up there a while. I didn't even make it half way before the heavens opened. It came on so fast and violent that my legs were soaked just in the time it took to get my waterproofs out and put on my coat, even so I still put on my waterproof trousers and rushed off down the hill from Auchope Cairn as fast as I could. It wasn't hard to gain speed as it was a steep slippery slope, the hard part was to try and not get too much speed up, or slip on my back. The rain was still coming down in buckets full as I burst through the door in to the hut. Inside there was one guy, he must have thought the devil was after me by the way I burst through the door. The guy turned out to be a volunteer ranger and it was good talking to him about various things. The peace was shattered when in walked four snot gobbler's from Surrey who were staying in their second home that they owned in the area - need I say more? The conversation now took a down turn, it seems they found it frightfully common to have a fish and chip van doing business within view of their holiday home, there then followed five minutes of debate as to who was going to have the last trout sandwich from their lunch box. I was glad to see the two lads who had been following me for the past couple of days come through the door, now at least the common people equalled the toffs and I no longer had to listen to their stupid plans to exclude poor people from area's of the Lake District by charging extortionate toll fees on certain roads that access popular beauty spots. Why do these sort think they have a god given right to have all the nice places to themselves? Especially when its people like them and their greedy ways that have turned the ugly places in to what they are today. Anyway the rain eventually stopped and they all cleared off, me and the ranger were the last to leave after exchanging views on what we'd just been witness too. The rest of the day was dry and I arrived in Kirk Yetholm at six as planned, Vicki and Tommy met me just out of the village and we all walked in together. I got changed and we went in to the Border Hotel for a drink and a meal which I think was much deserved. It had been a long hard two weeks of constantly pushing myself further and further, if you were to ask me whether I would like to start over again tomorrow then my answer would be no. If you were to ask if I enjoyed it, then yes for sure, it was a great adventure to a place everyone should visit but few ever do. I believe its why people go walkabout and the reason for Jesus spending time in the wilderness.