maybe five books next time
A visit to Peeble wouldn't be complete without a trundle through the old railway tunnel running alongside the Tweed. The last time we were here I didn't get all the way through as I was wearing trainers, didn't fancy getting them soaking wet in the three-inch continuous puddle, had no illumination except for the screen of my portable telephone and didn't have a tripod. I returned today with three torches, two tripods, my walking boots and an adventuresome hat to find that a kind and caring soul has replaced the floor of the tunnel (covered in concealed soggy branches and large puddles two years ago) with a thick, dry layer of coarse aggregate upon which a person wearing sandals or upon a bicycle could pass through the tunnel with ease. I wish I'd known; I could have worn trainers instead which would have made the return journey along the Tweedside path much more fun due to the enhanced grippiness and foot-flexion sadly missing from walking boots. As tunnels go it isn't mahoosively long... probably about the same as the Innocent Tunnel's couple-of-hundred-metres but it gains many points for being completely unlit, significantly elliptical in cross-section (and thus much more loomingly lofty) and from having an exciting fifteen degree bend a third of the way along. The stretch where neither end can be seen is only ten metres long so don't let it put you off. There are a couple of stretches of drippiness but it is again on a par with the Innocent. Much better echoes, though. Much more deserted too so longer sections of song can be sung. I think I might pop back tomorrow morning for another go.
Also popped to Kelso this morning for a poke at some old buildings. Nice enough place but the old buildings in the town itself were just as interesting and entirely free. I did see a really nice old joiner's yard on the way in but couldn't find it later on foot. Not that it would make the Blip anyway when there's a tunnel about.
The extra couple of months' tree-growth compared to our previous visit has made one hell of a difference in the prettiness of any given route but the back road (south bank, goes past Traquair) between Peebles and Innerleithen is exceptionally pretty, green, mossy-walled and shaft-of-sunlighty and will be getting investigated properly by bicycle tomorrow although I shall have to try extremely hard to not be annoyed by Cardrona in the middle.