|Day 51 – May 29||Innerleithen to Peebles|
|Weather: Cloudy||B&B: Osmond B&B (Galasheils) (£23)|
|Departed: 9:20 Arrived: 12:10||Walked: 2h 40m Rested: 0 hr 10m|
|Distance Today: 9.0 mi / 14.48 km||Total Distance: 792.0 mi / 1274.60 km|
|% Complete: ~ 68.81%||Pint of the Day: Abbot Ale|
|GPS Track for: Day 51|
Note: the gap in today’s GPS track was due to my batteries running out without me noticing. My route followed the B-road so it should be easy to trace.
Today’s walk to Peebles was short and so my plan was to complete it in the morning so that I could spend the afternoon finalizing my booking arrangements. The weather was an added incentive because rain was on the way for sometime today.
I caught the #62 bus back to Innerleithen and walked through the town and out the road to Tranquair. It wasn’t long before I learned the reason for the road closure I spoke of yesterday, a BMX downhill championship. I could see the cyclists emerging from the tree-line and coasting down a steep meadow to the finish line. It then appeared that race organizers were transporting the riders back to the top of the hill in a coach while their bikes followed in a large truck normally used to haul horses.
There was a lot of commotion and traffic about but it wasn’t long before I emerged onto a quieter stretch of road. I decided to take a short-cut through Tranquair House, Scotland’s oldest inhabited house, and I soon found myself in the middle of a medieval fair. They were in the process of setting up but I decided to have a wander around the grounds anyway. The vast majority of people were in period dress and many were setting up stalls in tents scattered around the walled garden. I mentioned to one person that I had inadvertently stumbled back in time to which he replied that no, this was reality and that if I had in fact traveled through time that I’d best keep that to myself lest a Cistercian brother get wind of it and accuse me of witchcraft. I should have told him I was a traveller on a pilgrimage to find knowledge, truth and the perfect pint but I wasn’t sure what the Cistercian brothers would think of that either.
When I returned to the 21st century I found myself on a B-road that I would follow all the way to Peebles. The scenery was pleasant enough although not as interesting as yesterday. The road was busier too so it wasn’t as conducive to walking as the cycle route was however in the end it got me to Peebles in under three hours. I had a quick look around Peebles and then hopped a bus back to Galasheils just as the rain began to fall.
Once back in my b&b I sorted out accommodation in Kilsyth, Laggan and Invermoriston, the latter two being destinations on the Great Glen Way. I’m going to take a couple days off in Fort William and fortunately there is quite a bit of accommodation to choose from. Once I have those nights booked I will have less than 10 nights left to sort out before I reach John O’Groats!
Tomorrow is my last rest day until Fort William and I’ll be taking advantage of the good bus service one more time. My plan is to visit the village of Kirkliston, near the Edinburgh airport, where I have some family history research to conduct. On Monday I’ll return to Peebles and make my way north to West Linton.