Day 42 - Kate and John arrive on Keith's birthday

Trip Start Jun 12, 2010
Trip End Nov 18, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Saturday, July 31, 2010

This is a rest day so we will keep this blog very short.  We must mention though, the wonderful breakfast treat that awaits us.  A huge bowl of fresh fruit with a lovely muesli.   This is exactly the right place to celebrate a birthday and enjoy a rest day to boot.  Keith is humbled and overwhelmed by the torrent of birthday wishes that have flowed his way.  He is thankful to all of you for being so kind.  We take a country bus on the 25 minute journey to Kelso for a few hours.  This is just a lovely country town and one worth coming back to when we have more time.  Today we are focussed on blogging of course, having not had a computer for four days.  We get some coverage for free at the local library and we imagine that this cost is being picked up from the taxes all our British friends are paying.  Thank you all.  We could talk more of a nice little lunch we had at the Hoot 'n Cat Cafe but we won't because Kate and John are somewhere on route to join us and we must be there for their arrival.  

Finally, we go to the bus stop to meet them in this tiny flea speck of a village, Kirk Yetholm, and are disappointed when the 4.35 bus arrives and they are not on it.  Hardly surprising perhaps you may think that they set out from Stockholm around 3.45 am and have had to pass through Heathrow and Newcastle airports and then take a train to Berwick-upon-Tweed, and buses to Kelso and our village.  Every opportunity for them to get lost or delayed on route.  However this was not the case, and Kate had simply asked the bus to stop directly at the B&B instead of going to the bus stop.  Typical Kate organising everyone around what's best for her life! 

And so  all that remains to be said is that we are now off for what we know will be a memorable dinner. Awaiting us over the next two days are about 50 kms. of some of the highest hills in Britain and a vertical climb of about 1 mile (1.6 kms).  It is with some trepidation we think of these statistics and certainly Debby pondered them at 1 am this morning.  Still we take comfort from the knowledge that we have been walking for six weeks and have walked over 870 kms so far.  We are determined the Pennine Way, will not beat us.  

We are adding some photos to this page so, never one to miss an opportunity, we thought we'd add a few comments.  We forgot to mention that when we arrived yesterday at an early 11.45 am, our hosts had not been at home ready to receive us.  Quite natural, so it gave us an opportunity to explore Kirk Yetholm and the adjacent Town Yetholm.  The former has a pub and a phone box, we chose the pub to spend a little time in and down some real ale called Nectar Bitter and had some oven heated baguettes, which weren't bad.  Walking the 1.5 kms to Town Yetholm confirmed that it was bigger only because they had a butcher and a small shop in addition to their pub.  There's just not a lot to do in these villages,  unless there is a dark underside that we have just not discovered.  We returned to the B&B and sat in their delightful back garden preparing out notes for the blog while listening to their mole scaring machine in the background.   It is remarkable just howmany things needed to be invented in the world to lift our civilisation to the levels it has reached.  By the way, a mole scarer sounds a bit like a croaking frog and it works - we're told.

When we finally got into the B&B yesterday we had our special treat which we felt we deserved for reaching the Scottish Border.  We had advance booked two one hour massage treatments, hot rocks for Debby and Walkers' Special for Keith.  At 4 o'clock the delightful Tracey arrived and with candles, soft music and aromatherapy she proceeded to tenderise and relax Debby before turning her attention to removing Keith's knots and kinks. Well, at least some of them!  After the massage we could think of no better way to end the evening than to empty the hip flask and consume a large Caol Isla Malt each and then, feeling so mellow, simply trot downstairs where Marilyn, our host, had laid on just the most lovely homemade dinner.  Proscuito and Melon salad, sumptuous baked pork chops with meditteranean roast vegetables and steamed fresh vegetables, all washed down with an admirable glass of red.  And then, the cinnamon apple cake with raspberry coulis and cream.

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Robert on

Happy birtday Keith have a large malt tonight remember to give Debbie one as well kind regards to you both your both doing very well
Robert /Rachel

Phyllis on

Happy Birthday Keith. Lovely talking to you both today. Don't spend all that birthday money at once now!!! Lots of love Colin and Phyllis xxxx

Shona and Gerry Ward on

Dear Keith and Debbie ,
Well done on walking the length of Scotland ! ! A great achievement of which you must be truly proud.
Maybe 'island hopping' next time round ? ?
Love to you both from Shona and Gerry

Jan Dalton on

Happy birthday Keith, what a fantastic milestone to remember this birthday forever.

Morag on

Eddie interrupted me as I was reading and responding to your blog to let me know my second coffee of the day was ready. Whereas he had a delicious break fast of Morag's home nade muesli, I had a disappointing one of dryish mandarins, porridge -allbeit made by me-too thin The key is not too hot too cold just right as in Gollldilocks but too thick too thin just right! The problem - I was distracted because I had not finished yet with the blog! So blame is on Eddie. The breakfast was redeemed by sourdough multigrain toast and rhubarb and raspberry conserve {and Keith, Debby I enjoy hearing about the food!}
Glad you did not spend ALL your rest day and Keith's birthday blogging, but glad you did enought to keep us addicts satiated.
More reflections on your blogging -not just like receiving a long newsy letter but also like reading the next eagerly awaited installment of a serial in a magazine or newspaper -remember them?
So have a wonderful walking time with John and Kate, remember the principles of vinyasa as you climb those hills one step at a time. More is achieved by little steps than by giant leaps from which you can fall! Your bodies will adapt gradually to the challenge of the hills.
Look forward to the next installments.

Eddie on

Hurry up and get to Land's End so that we can get some housework done!

Sue-doll on

Dear Keith and Debby, Belated happy birthday wishes to Keith. We hope you enjoyed a lovely restful day! Loving following your journey. Lots of love and best wishes to you both. Sue-doll, Leon, Lauren and Ben :-)

Haiku on

Ah the pennine way
I see the fog
But that's not in our way

David S on

D&K, Solid paced walking, nicely weighted commentary. As you approach civilisation the spiritualism of commentary of the walk has receded. Look forward to deep and meaningfuls in the steam room on return.
Lovely to see both pairs of pins now its warmer, Deb hair looks good, but I think I've seen that duck egg blue top before. Keithie hat suits, happy birthday , what's happened to the midgies?
Weak effort on my behalf missed PtoP ,week in Bali , blew thoughts of full winter participation.
Living vicariously through you,all best J&D

lancemary on

Congratulations on walking through Scotland. But of course you are nearly into the best bit - England!! Apparently Keith wants to start a debate on which is better Scland or Wales. We are great lovers of N Wales - breathtaking scenery and very diverse. Lance says (and I am being polite by covering up the actual word) Wales knocks the xxxxxxxx off Scotland!!

timmerts on

congratulations on finishing the Scottish part of your trip .

Morag on

Now Lance and Mary you have not even spelt Scotland correctly -or was it just a typo? Scland sounds and looks as if it has no status or dignity!
Now I know I am biased and I have been to Wales once, but I do not beleive North Wales compares to the West Coast of Scotland which is hard to beat with its diversity of Mountains, Lochs, Rugged coastline and Islands. And Debby and Keith did not even walk throught hat part which I beleive is the most beautifiul part of Scotland.
And isn't our appreciation of landscape a very personal thing and therefore very subjective -comparing Scotland to wls -oops! is a bit like comparing apples and pears.
Being Australian now, although I initially found the landscape here very alien and harsh I now love the Australian bush and landscape and appreciete it for its intrinsic beauty.
Anyhow roll on the debate blog followers it will be fun!

Formby Wendy on

Belated birthday greetings from very hot and sunny Dubrovnik. Previously we,ve had good times in Slovenia and Venice. We feel a little guilty, being so lazy and extravagant here while you valiantly march on. However, I think if I was able to take 5 months off work I,d likely be doing just what you are.
love from Wendy and Chris.

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