Walking 1004.9 miles from John O'Groats to Lands end in aid of Accommodation Concern! (starts august 3rd 2014)

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Day-26 Fruits, ruins and new friends

Last nights pitching of the tent had been a soggy affair, by this morning after a rainy night in a pine forest the tent was bone dry, love the advantage of forestry camping!.
Following B roads under a clearing sky into Lockerbie I get the days provisions from a greggs bakery, have to love the two pound coffee and sausage and bacon roll deal! I certainly have done in the past and it's taken four weeks of walking to get rid of the resulting belly!.
Some towns I can walk through and get no end of interest from pedestrians, to Lockerbie I was an oddly smelling ghost! Not a flicker of an interaction, I suppose with the towns horrific history they have a reason, though I'd hoped they would have left that in the past... Time will heal.
Uphill at Hayrigg I met a lady in horse back who admired my quest, wishing she could do it on her horse, like me she mentioned the freedom to roam Scotland and also the sheer inability to actually get anywhere off road!.... Glad it's not just me!
Directly south still following the Annandale way, with its excellent signs! I'm foraging the hedgerows for the huge blackberries while watching the ever present Buzzards drifting overhead, heading off road at Glenholm I'm following farm tracks to the most amazing find of the walk so far, imagine an old Hall from a hammer house of horror movie, covererd in ivy right? Ruined? Well this one certainly is! Wide open to enter at your own risk.... To tempting not too!
The porch is huge big enough to accommodate a horse and carriage, impressive steps into the house, where all the floors and roof have collapsed and been cleared out, trees now take advance of the walls shelter showing how long this place has been decaying, on a sunny day like today it's incredibly peaceful here, and to see the most beautiful fireplace still fixed to wall and balconies now looking only onto a lost past its impossible to not get lost in my imagination!
Stepping away from here I'm lost in reverie, hard to imagine this overgrown land to have once been immaculate gardens! And the fields either side may once have been parkland as after half a kilometer I reach a road and the ruined gates to this house! From the map I can only guess the house was known as Milkbank after the river that I'm following.
Beautiful old lanes bordered by trees add to this halcyon feeling and passing the nearby Hoddom castle is really the cherry on top of the cake, to mix my metaphors!
Keeping with the river and it's fly fisherman I get to Brydekirk and swap banks catching up with a group of walkers (pic) from Liverpool rotary club! I Walk the last miles to Annan with these lovely folk, and will hopefully meet up with them in Liverpool!
FYI guys I should be there on the tenth of September! Fingers crossed we do meet up!

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