Gill back again, sorry for the delay in updating the blog but I have been away for a few days to see the two Johns! (more about that later).
Day 27 - Thursday 1st May:
After a night of heavy rainfall, the boys got up this morning to - more rain!! Having spent the night very uncomfortably, with tent pitched on what turned out to be a tree root, things were not boding well. However the Johns set off determinedly and did manage to find some respite from the weather with a pub lunch (chicken lasagne) and later had some hot soup in a lovely little tea shop in West Linton. The 'Rose Bud' has just recently been opened by a group of enterprising and very charming young woman. They generously donated the price of the soup back to the boys when they heard about their sponsored walk. Thanks girls! They also met a man just outside the Tea Shop who couldn't quite believe they were really walking from John o'Groats to Land's End. If you read this sir, you'll know it's true!
The boys eventually called it a day just south of Peebles and made camp on a grass verge, down an embankment on the side of a road. It's all glamour!
Day 28 - Friday 2nd May:
After a better night's sleep the boys journeyed on today in nice weather (finally!). Not a lot to report except a visit to a coffee shop in Innerleithen, as they past through. The ladies their also made a kind donation. They made camp by the banks of the Tweed several miles on, and were able to enjoy a cup of tea and their home made ham risotto outside in the sun for the first time.
Day 29 - Saturday 3rd May:
Today Pam and I set off for our first meeting with the boys for a month! As we approached their approximate location a mobile phone conversation helped us to home in on them - sitting by the side of the road, on the A7 somewhere between Gallashields and Selkirk. I can't tell you how lovely it was to see them. They both look tanned (or maybe weather beaten) and well. Both have lost a little weight as well but are proud of the big leg muscles they are developing!! We had a lovely lunch in a pub in Gallashields then drove them to the guest house that Pam had booked for us in Innerleithen (a bit of back tracking for the boys). The Caddon View was an excellent place to stay and I would highly recommend it if you are in the area. The rooms are beautifully kept and very comfortable; the food is excellent. Steve and Lisa, who took over only about a year ago, are certainly great hosts and couldn't have done any more to make our stay a happy one (including washing some of the boys clothes that they had been wearing for a month - above and beyond the call of duty I call that!!). During our stay we chatted to fellow guests. One couple, who were there celebrating their Golden wedding anniversary came from Ponteland - turned out John even knew them from his days as curate there. Another couple turned out to be from the Blaydon/Ryton area - its a small world or maybe you just can't get away from Geordies! More kind donations were received from guests and patrons alike. I can never get over people's generosity.
Day 30 - Sunday 4th May:
After several showers, a night in a real bed and plenty of good food, the boys were ready for a day of total relaxation with us. We had a leisurely drive around the surrounding countryside and even visited some of the boys' recent campsites. We had a wet wander around Moffat and ended the afternoon by a visit to the 'Rose Hip' to be introduced to the nice girls in there and to sample their tea and cakes - how civilized.
Day 31 - Monday 5th May:
Sadly all good things must come to an end. We'd had a lovely couple of days together and now we were going to have to start missing the two Johns all over again. A delicious breakfast was followed by a careful packing session. Having unpacked all of their equipment, had some washed, given some to us to bring home and been given some fresh supplies, it was very important to make sure that they had all they needed and that it was all in its rightful place.
Eventually we loaded everything into the car and drove them back to the same roadside we had picked them up from on Saturday. The sun was actually beating down and the sky was blue - they were off on the rest of their adventure and we had to say goodbye. They were hoping to make it to Ancrum (about 5 or 6 miles north of Jedburgh) by night time and are going onto 'Deer Street' (an old roman pathway) in the next day or two.
Please Note - Those of you who are hoping to join them at some point when they pass through Northumberland: They should be entering Northumberland during this coming week. I will try to post daily up dates so that you can plan accordingly.