Sunday 25th February 2007
Distance Walked: 21.9 miles
Start Time: 9:04
End Time: 16:01
Elapsed Time: 6:57
Weather: Sopping wet
Distance walked so far: 820 miles
Weekly Audio Update: Dave on The Steve Show - Day 42
There’s a shop in Peebles that sells outdoor gear and, being in a bit of an outdoorsy mode at the moment, I popped in last night to look at all the kinds of things that I could be carrying, but aren’t. As I’ve progressed through this walk I’ve gradually become aware of the huge industry that is propped on man’s simple desire to experience nature from the comfort and safety of a Gore-Tex encased world. Yes, to a degree, I’m one of these people (there’s no doubting that I wouldn’t have got this far without my little black friend the GPS, or my light bouncy boots, or sleek sexy coat) but it seems that some are so obsessed with the gadgets and the gear that they forget that the intrinsic essence of a walk is the walking itself, and it’s slowly dawning on me that I’m pretty good at it, which is a pleasant surprise. As is the reaction of the woman in the shop when I tell her where I’m heading.
“Oh, you’re the first of the year!” she says “We always get them in, but never this early”
I’m beginning to wonder if my winter Walk is unique, though I seriously doubt that there’s much in this field that hasn’t been done before. Apart, maybe, from walking straight from Peebles to Edinburgh in the most direct, Northerly route possible. Rather than spend two days winding around the Pentland Hills before finally reaching the capital, my plan today involved a voyage into the unknown, initially along the remains of a disused railway line that seemed to allow access, though the legality of the passage was vague, particularly when hopping through a variety of back gardens and leaping over imposing fences. Finally forced onto the thundering, verge-less A703 by heavy industry, it was car-dodging mode for a few miles as the rain increased and my mood darkened.
From Leadburn, thankfully, a pavement, and though the ten miles of suburbs seemed to go on for ever, finally I was there. Edinburgh. Edinburgh!
Washed and polished I slipped out into the city night. And it was a marvel. Deprivation certainly heightens the senses and tonight everything tingled. The lights, the sounds, the atmosphere. I loved it all. Edinburgh is a beautiful city, but it was the overwhelming noise and vibrancy that moved me. The sheer energy of the place. I sucked it in. I’m going to need it.
Song of the day:
“The way young lovers do”
And we’ll sit on our own star /
And dream of the way that we were /
And the way that we wanted to be /
We’ll sit on our own star /
And think of the way that I was for you /
And you were for me