Tuesday, 1 November 2011

First day

Byrness
Wednesday 26th we set off around nine in the morning and about fifty minutes later cruised over Carter Bar and into Scotland. It was one of those autumn mornings where you’re never sure if the weather will get better or worse, but you keep hoping for the best. From the Tyne valley, Northumberland is open country with Otterburn the only village of any size.

  The A68 was empty. In places, mist rose along the streams and rose up from the trees like smoke against the blue and grey sky.
 Once we wound our way up, over and down Carter Bar  we hit the dreaded speed cameras. There must be 18-20 between the border and Edinburgh, and I’m sure they’re there simply to catch all the English who venture north.
We made it to Edinburgh inside two hours, but in summer, when the tourist traffic is high volume, then the single carriageway and all those speed cameras can turn the journey into a three hour marathon.

Blair Atholl woods
 We headed north across the Forth Road Bridge, no longer a toll bridge thanks to Alex Salmond, and hoped the rusting cables inside the structure – the ones that hold the bridge up - didn’t snap while we were on it. We changed drivers at Kinross, about level with Loch Leven, and I drove on up the A9 around Perth and on up to Pitlochry. Around Blair Atholl Castle I turned off onto a side road, found a layby among the trees and we had a sandwich and a cup of coffee.

I tried to get a picture of the castle but found I risked life and limb back-tracking on foot down the road to find a clear spot in the trees. Discretion clicked in. The picture wasn’t worth being squashed between a stone wall and a 4X4 racing by at 60mph.

If you want, you can track the journey on Google Earth. Start from Corbridge and take the A68 north through West Woodburn and join the A696 just north of Otterburn. On up through Rochester and Byrness to Carter Bar, then down past Jedburgh, St Boswell’s, Lauder on to the Edinburgh by-pass, going around the west side of the city. If you wwnt to see the pics in more detail, click on them. They should enlarge on a new screen.

1 comment:

Jean Bull said...

Hi Jen,
Thanks for your comment on my blog. I'm really pleased with Samantha's work. Your journey today sounds exhausting, but looks beautiful. We know someone from Corbridge, it looks lovely up there.
Jean