Day 0 - Mon 28th Aug 2000 - The Journey to Kirk Yetholm
We had originally planned to leave at 10am and drive to George's in North Yorkshire but we had found out the previous evening that George was going to watch Hull City play at home. The plan was quickly revised and we now planned to leave at 2pm and meet George at Scotch Corner Services at around 8pm. This part of the journey was uneventful and quite boring. George arrived at the required time while we sat having a cup of coffee.
We picked up a hitchhiker who was hanging around in the Services foyer, because it was raining outside. He had asked George if he was going north when he came into the Services. George had replied, "It depends who is in here", the lad evidently looked puzzled. He was still standing there on the way out , he told us he was trying to get to Edinburgh. George said he could take him as far as Berwick. He got a little concerned when we emptied several bags from one car and placed them in another. We explained that we had just pulled a bank job and were abandoning our getaway car. He took a long look at Dil's Citroen BX and assumed we were either joking or stark staring mad. He still got into George's car, he was obviously desperate.
He was a Medical Student who had been at Edinburgh University and would be returning to his studies shortly at Manchester. He was going to meet some fellow students to go walking in Scotland. We dropped him off a few miles from Berwick as we filled up with fuel, no worse for the experience.
Kirk Yetholm was reached at about 10pm. We quickly registered at the Youth Hostel hoping to get to the pub for a drink before we retired. The Warden told us that the pubs closed early on Bank Holidays and we had missed it. We looked despairingly at each other until she came clean telling us she was only joking and that it was open until 11pm. We made our way up the road to the Border Hotel, the only local Pub and official end of the Pennine Way (Start for us). After a couple of swift drinks we said our farewells to George and wandered back to the Youth Hostel. Inside we met a man (with no teeth) who had walked the Pennine Way completely 4 times (2 in each direction), although he had also done part of it on his first attempt, and a couple who were walking the whole way South in 18 days (a day longer than us), our paths were to cross repeatedly over the coming days. They told us that they had come up by train but a landslide at Berwick had delayed them for over an hour this had resulted in them missing their first bus. They had managed to get on a later one but this had meant that they had totally missed the bus out of Kelso so had to take a Taxi. Our choice of transportation from home now looked even better.
We drifted upstairs to our beds. We slept reasonably soundly even though the man with no teeth continually made cat noises while he slept.