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From the campsite at Marshall Meadows just off the A1, follow the signs for the Berwickshire Coastal walk. The coastal path runs between the cliffs on the right and the main east coast railway line on the left. At times there isnt much room and care shoud be taken. The path leads to Burnmouth and descends into the village, goes along passed the harbour and climbs once more to the top of the village, where it cuts back along the cliffs into Eyemouth. When you reach Eyemouth, go around the harbour and climb the stairs at the end of the beach to reach the caravan park. The trail goes around the perimeter of the caravan park all the way along the cliff tops until you drop down into Coldingham Bay.
The first day of the walk and I had finally started! I started off and felt very strange. Ahead of me lay thousands of miles of unknown territory. I wasnt sure why I elected to do this – I suppose it was the nagging disappointment at not finishing the southern upland way that I had started and walke 100 miles of a couple of years earlier. Foot and Mooth disease had effectively closed the countryside down and I had lost momentum and motivation, and I never completed it. However I caught the bug and loved being outside all day, breathing fresh clean air and observing the seasons change slowly. I felt that I had (along with many other people living in a modern world,) been cut off from the reality of the world and its’s nature.
On the first day, I booked into Coldingham Youth Hostel on the Sunday night and cycled down to the Border to start the walk. It was a fine day and It felt so good to be alive, it wasnt until the afternnon that I felt it would be good to be dead. I walked along following the railway line awas amazed at the sheer cliffs and the fishing boats out at sea. When I reached Burnmouth I had a rest for five minutes as my achilles tendon was starting to play up a little. There was a steep climb coming out of the village at the far end and it had started to rain a little, so I pressed on and eventually reached the golf course at Eyemouth which had to be skirted before I reached Eyemouth itself. Eyemouth is a working fishing village and there were a few fishing boats in the harbour when I was there. Apart from the harbour there isnt a lot to see there, so I pressed on towards Coldingham Bay. The route took me passed a big caravan park at Eyemouth which is almost as big as the town itself, and I was glad to eventually head out for Coldingham. I could see St Abbs in the distance by now, and I was starting to hobble a bit because my achilles was by now starting to hurt. I think it was the walking shoes that were causing the problem, but they were relativly new so I think they needed to be worn in a little. Eventually I reached Coldingham Bay and I would thouroughly recommend staying in the Youth Hostels. For £12 a night I had a room to myself (only because there was noone else in the dorm that night) with a sea view and the run of the kitchen to myself. It was lovely and quiet and after I had a long shower I chilled and reflected on the monster that I had created. It suddenly dawned on me how long this was going to take, but then I wasnt in any hurry. Roll on tommorow!