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Pedal Power by Nick Veasey
  • Writer's pictureAnnette Culshaw

Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness...

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

Romans, Reivers and Castles

Day 8: 09/09/19

Last night I was thinking about John Keat's poem, 'Ode to Autumn' and could only think "I wish!"

We woke up to heavy rain this morning, with it feeling more like Winter than Autumn. Undeterred however, we set out, leaving Kelso to go to Innerleithen. Just as we left the rain eased off and was no more than a heavy drizzle. The wind was soft and riding along the quiet country lanes was good. There was indeed some gentle mist on the Border hills...

Mist on the distant Border Hills

The hedgerows were abundant with seed and berries ....mellow fruitfulness indeed.

Mellow Fruitfulness

The ride today was far more challenging than other days. It was a roller coaster of climbs and descents ( we climbed 2,234ft) with varied surfaces including on road, superb cycle tracks and a couple of rough ones. The rough ones were the most difficult but also the most engaging. being a combination of stones and mud, dependent upon where the farm tractors have been!

Our ride today took us along the Tweed Valley, obviously following the River Tweed. It is famous for being one of the best salmon fishing rivers in Britain although we were lucky to see just one fly fisherman and didn't see him catch anything - his casting action was brilliant so perhaps the salmon were very wary of him!

The magnificent River Tweed

We carried on to approximately our half way point today to Melrose but before going to the Abbey we stopped in the Market Square to enjoy a coffee and cake. Bob was extremely taken by the venue - it was called Abbey Fine Wines - BUT he was more intrigued with the sign in the window:-

What a choice!
What a choice!

Now Bob likes a single malt whisky - it took me all my powers of persuation to ensure he had a cup of tea and a scone! To say he was a little distant in his mind is an understatement.

After Bob regained his composure we visited the Abbey, ruined of course partially because it was sacked by Richard I. It is said that the Abbey was/is the location of the heart of Robert the Bruce - it couldn't be the heart of this Robert because his heart was still with the whisky selection.

The ruins are quite spectacular and we never cease to be amazed at the building skills of the artisans in the 11/12th Centuries.

Melrose Abbey
Melrose Abbey

After Melrose we rode through some fantastic countryside, very typical of this area, hilly, very green and beautifully farmed. Bob, coming from farming stock (no funnies please) is always commenting about how well the crops and livestock are looked after here.

We almost had an early gourmet meal as there were dozens of pheasants on the path. We only managed to take a picture of four of them.

4 young pheasants on our path

We were tempted with the thought of a Game Pie - but hey they were too cute!

Onwards to Innerleithen and our accommodation for tonight - the last night of our ride. Glede Knowe Another terrific four star Guest House.

Off to Edinburgh tomorrow before Hurricane Dorian hits this part of the country!

Annette and Bob

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Sep 09, 2019

Looks fantastic. Hope you don't bring too many bottles of that gin home. Lol. Take care.

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