Day 38 Fala to Dalkeith
After a break of three days we have once more strolled onwards. Janet’s dental appointment was, in many ways, just at the right time for us as it coincided with the famous Bishop’s Castle MIdsummer Rejoicing. We were able to play and dance both on Saturday and Sunday, although we had to leave the festivities early and unfed in order to catch the train back to Edinburgh. The only benefit of leaving early was that today I was tired but had no after effects of beer and whisky having drunk none of these delights.
We expected to be a little jaded after the weekend so were delighted that today’s stroll was to be short, just under ten miles in fact. NOt only short but not too much up and down to tax recovering legs.
The weather has changed while we were away over the weekend. The wind has moved around to the north so gave us an unusual sort of day. Out of the wind the air was warm and pleasant. In the wind jumpers and shirts were rendered completely ineffective at warding off the icy blasts. Very quickly after setting out from Fala we were glad when a few drops of rain fell as it gave us an excuse to put on our waterproof, and windproof, coats.
We could see from quite a distance a white blob on a mound. As we walked closer the white blob became a tower on a hill and then a tower with slits in it. Finally it became a dovecote, no doves though as far as I could see.
The Scottish freedom to roam policy is quite disconcerting for us. We started strolling on a lane but could see a path marked on our OS map. The path started in a farm yard and followed a line through the farm building and out into the fields. In England there would have been footpath signs which calm the heart of the stroller who worries that he/she is blundering around on private property. We continually checked our map and GPS device to make sure that we were correct as we struck out along a field of wheat.
The footpath ended at a stonewall. The stonewall was about 8 feet high and pierced by a series of locked wooden doors. There was a sort of passage running parallel with the wall but with no indication as to whether following the path in one direction or the other would lead into Pathhead. I had become slightly disorientated as we changed directions in the fields and suggested that we turn left. Being a left handed person my instinct is always turn left. By making this error we emerged into Path Head near to the pub. The pub was due to open in ten minutes, ten minutes isn’t too long to wait. I recommend a visit to the friendly Foresters Arms.
All these towns with the word head included in them seem to be up long steady rises.Under normal circumstances we would laugh in distain at these feeble attempts to dishearten us but today they did become just a little trying. Luckily for us Edgehead had won the “Best Wee Village of 1996” award and, in recognition of this success, had erected a seat some two thirds up the hill. We sat on this memorial to a previous floral success and ate our boiled egg, cheese and apple lunch. As we ate our meagre yet satisfying lunch a couple, perhaps a little more mature in years than ourselves, passed by walking their dogs. After the usual chit chat it emerged that one of their friends had been a mayor of Shrewsbury.
Tomorrow we shall arrive in Edinburgh on foot. The journey northwards is beginning to take shape and will involve two mighty bridges. I can hardly wait.