I'm in Scotland. The first person I met called me lass. I also have a nasty suspicion that he was too stingy to give me a lift because he lied about where he was going—I can see you, you know. Is that two for two of the Scottish stereotypes. I had a Mars bar, but I brought it from England so it wasn't deep fried.
It is not that I asked for a lift mind you. He had waved at me going past, turned around and then slowed when he got beside me and apologised because he was 'just going to the next field', and couldn't give a lift. Then he zoomed off in his golf-cart-esque tractor for miles and miles. Either he is the richest landlord in Scotland, and the next field is in the next county or I will see him in the pub. The pub that was twenty-eight kilometers away! Now my feet really know what they have to be mad about. It wasn't technically difficult. A lady in the shop yesterday had told me 'it's all uphill'. I laughed. Of course it is, I'm going north, that's the uphill direction. I wasn't laughing today. I think I had a six or seven kilometer climb. Plus all the other descents and ascents around it. Also, in order to get on the right road—the B6357—I had to go backwards and then back up again for about six k's. There was no way to avoid it. Everyone had told me I wouldn't be able to get through the forest on the paths (that would have cut maybe ten k's off my day). I could see a route through but it would depend on the quality of the path. I got out my compass (which has not a single idea where north is), gave myself a quick guessing game of how to use it (moot when the compass has no sense of direction) and took a two k' round trip look into the forest to see if I could do it. I should have listened. The path I wanted was so poor I would have broken a leg. I could see that it was possible to do while looking out over the valley, but I knew once I went into the valley the perspective would be lost and so would I. I went back to the road. I managed to cut a tad off the aggravating detour by following a disused rail line but, as you can see, it was still a long day. And it rained. And, if I stopped somewhere to rest my poor feet, the midges descended. I nearly jumped with joy when I saw the Horse and Hounds. The guy in the Kielder shop had called them yesterday for me so I could have accommodation as a goal to get me through the day.
My shower is a sauna. I am not being metaphoric: it is a sauna with a little wooden seat. I had a sauna. Thirty-eight degreees it got to in there. Then you have your shower straight away. Nice. Not sure if it is enough to remove the stiffness. Is this supposed to be good for me? I think tomorrow I will do about ten kilometers and that will bring everything back to normal. I am definitely no superwoman!
Good night to Bonchester Bridge, good night to you.