27th August – Peebles to West Linton – The End for 2018

20180827 Looking back on Peebles
Looking back on Peebles

The day started well. I had a substantial breakfast, the weather forecast was good and I had found a much better route to take, by following the Cross Border Drove Road.

20180827 Heading for Linton on the old drove road
Heading for West Linton on the old drove road

I left Peebles at 8.30 and climbed up from the valley floor over a ridge before descending and climbing another hill.

20180827 Highland Cattle
Highland cattle – luckily the bull was otherwise occupied!

By this time despite the forecast it had started to rain. I stopped around 10.00 as my lower abdomen was painful with what I took to be trapped wind.  I took some tablets but they had no real effect.  The rest of the day was not very pleasant and it was with great relief when I arrived at The Gordon Arms at 3.30.  I went straight to my room, dumped all the wet kit and jumped into the shower.  It was then that I discovered that I had a lump in my abdomen, near where I had had a hernia a few years ago.  To cut a long saga short, I ended up being taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, just before midnight, where they confirmed that it was a hernia which needed treatment.  When the registrar arrived from theatre, he managed to reduce it, and I was admitted.  He tried to get me on the list for the following day, but this proved impossible.  After X-rays and blood tests, they decided yesterday that I could return to Wantage and get things sorted out there.  Alan kindly came and picked me up and I will be returning to Wantage tomorrow.

I cannot overstate the kindness and concern shown by all the staff at The Gordon Arms at West Linton.  The owner, Seonaid Mann, took me first to Bonnyrigg and then on to Edinburgh Infirmary.  She also very kindly picked me up yesterday ,and could not have been more helpful.  I do not know how I would have managed without her assistance.  The nurses and doctors at Edinburgh Infirmary were also very attentive and kind.

I think that I knew from the moment that I saw the hernia that my trip was over.  The doctors all confirmed that it would not be possible to continue.  This is obviously very disappointing, but I am glad that there was no uncertainty about what has to happen.  The walk is over for 2018.

I will need to decide whether I can complete the trip next year.  Whatever happens it would need to be a different ending.  I will now not risk carrying a rucksack with camping gear – and without camping gear, I cannot go up the Cape Wrath Trail.  Anyway that is for the future.  For now I just need to get home and sort things out with the doctors.


5 thoughts on “27th August – Peebles to West Linton – The End for 2018

  1. Sheila Jones.

    I’m so sorry to hear you have had to give up, but in the circumstances you had no choice. But you have done very well .. cornwall to Scotland is a very good effort congratulations. Your new neighbours have moved in,(friends of mine and very nice people) I shall be away next week in Devon with James but pleased to help when I get back. All the best Sheila


  2. Alastair Wilson

    Neil, we are very sorry to read that you have had to cut short your walk in such a sad way. It has been a significant challenge that you have tackled in your usual professional manner. Lands End to Scotland is a real achievement. We shall be contributing to your fund in recognition of your supreme effort in Linda’s name and will meet up with you when we are back from France. Alastair & Liz


  3. Marilyn Girouard

    How very disappointed you must be,Neil…you certainly covered alot of ground and under the most strenuous of conditions…more than I could ever do… congratulations on that achievement…perhaps this means you will make your trip across the pond sooner then you had originally thought?
    Hope to hear of all of your adventures in person some time in the not too distant future.
    Take good care of yourself and let others do the same as you recover…this is a challenge of a different sort is all…not as much fun I know.


  4. Dom C

    Sorry to read this Neil – you seem to have been plagued by all sorts of unexpected challenges, and clearly this one’s a show stopper for now. Hope you get back to full fitness as soon as possible, and that you find a way to complete the journey in due course…


  5. Chris and Penney T

    Neil, your journey has been inspirational and we’ve enjoyed reading your blog. How you have still had the energy to put it together at the end of each tough day is beyond me. Look after yourself and don’t hesitate to call on us if you need any support back in Wantage


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