15.5 miles – Strong winds swiftly alternating sunshine and clouds, some of which delivered stinging rain
I crossed the border into England at 12:27, 38 days and half an hour after starting my trek.
England. Interestingly, it wasn’t one of the places on my list (see Day 27) to which I was longing to return – perhaps because England is so many things, some of which don’t sit comfortably with me.
Bleak? The Cheviots are certainly not like the north of Scotland; more ‘flamboyantly rolling’ than bleak – hills which are tumbling and diving like overgrown puppies at play. But slow-going for the walker. Some of them were flecked with sheep, one with a big, black bull, which I had to pass rather close by, and which then followed me (I don’t say ‘pursued me’) for an hour. I suspect that, like me, he thought that there was something worth having in that direction; still, I was glad when he settled for a patch of grass, not, I suspect, so unlike the one he had left.
After Auchenhope Cairn the ground becomes flatter and boggier, which worked in my favour because in compensation the Way had been paved.
The wind ripped over the peaks and ridges and funneled up the valleys, including Windy Gyle, which proved to be the blowiest place! Eventually I found a slightly less windy place to pitch the tent on top of a forest of heather, but would it stand up?