We started out at 9 am -- 7.5 miles? No problem! Steve thought we be there by noon the latest. We walked up to the hotel at 4!
It started out innocently enough -- we were so excited to start our walk on St. Cuthbert's Way. We saw two women also looking like they were heading our way. Lucky we saw them because they noticed where we were supoosed to turn which we almost missed! Mark Weitzel warned me about this. It was magical once we find it!
Beautiful rainbows filled the sky:
We caught up with the two ladies -- one of them is a priest from South Africa on sabbatical -- she's the one wearing purple:
We did stop quite often to admire the beauty of God's creation! We never did see the two ladies again -- they were in a hurry -- we thought we had all the time in the world! Frankly we saw very few people -- when we were closer to towns we saw people walking their dogs but for the most part we were by ourselves.
The initial climb was steep and at times very muddy (that was true throughout the trip) -- and I have the boots and pants to prove it!
We kept walking and when we got to the saddle of the Eildon hills I thought of the stories I've read recently that there are fairy kingdoms under each one and couldn't help but smile!
Glad we didn't want to climb up there!
I was so glad to have trekking poles with me and even happier I had expert Kelli Grace Kurtz teach Steve and me how to use them! We both literally would have fallen in the mud multiple times without them!
We walked silently along the path, being reflective and praying for those we are both carrying on our hearts. It was a profound time of peace.
The peace was broken at times with having to pay attention to where we were stepping and watching for markers along the trail.
We loved seeing the sheep:
Among the highlights for me was stopping and seeing the wild flowers:
And at one point between the wild garlic on the ground and the white blossoms on the trees I thought we were walking through snow!
And when we got to the Tweed -- my heart sang to see all that water--
We went off the path and made it to Dryburgh Abbey. I loved walking through the ruins. I swore I could hear the monks praying which prompted my own prayers out loud as I walked around the grounds:
As we headed back over the Tweed and back on our course I gave thanks for this 'diversion'. We were both tired but we really wanted to see this -- and I'm glad we did.
Back over the Tweed we continued on the path. It is well marked which helped greatly!
When we finally arrived at St. Boswells we headed right to the hotel -- the Buccleuch Arms. A man on the street directed us and his parting words about it were, "good grub".
Our luggage was there and we took off our muddy boots before checking in.
Well, thank goodness I made a reservation in advance to eat at the restaurant. Neither Steve not I brought an extra pair of shoes and as both of our sets of boots were wet we went to dinner downstairs in our socks!
We are both tired but grateful, very grateful for this time.
Total steps walked: 27,133 -- 10.44 miles