Leaving Biggar with the thought that BoJo probably wished he’d been born here, we headed into the Southern Uplands.

A deviation to fill in some missing thoughts from yesterday. A new word for us: isogloss. Harthill is where there is a change from the west coast to the east coast accent. It’s also where you have the Tweed going one way and the Clyde the other.

Today’s rivers were the Tweed, Ettrick and Teviot and numerous other wee streams. There were a couple of clues to the climate here. One was the biblical downpour which helped clean the bikes. The other was the Edinburgh resevoir system starting with Talla and Meggett. Built 80 years apart explains the difference in appearance. Both earth banks one has a fine stone finished extraction tower, the other concrete.

One resevoir is higher than the other. No contouring here, the road – our route – goes straight up. From the top the fine views almost compensate for the effort.

The hills here are softer than the highlands. Still great though. We see numerous round stone enclosure without knowing their purpose. Probably sheep related.

Passing the Tushielaw Inn where we stayed in 2000 and 2010, it’s pleasing to see it’s reopened as a small hotel after a few years as a house. Closed today though. Luckily we’d sussed the good stops might be few, so the Coop meal deal we’d brought did the trick.

For all its quiet understated beauty, the impression is this is not on the tourist routes. Nor cycling which is a shame as it’s a fine way north south.

Arriving in Hawick we find a huge (as in £80million+) flood defence scheme. Somebody loves Hawick. The town centre feels as though it’d welcome some of that investment in restoring fine buildings.

Tomorrow England and a far denser population.

Here’s today’s route (as requested!)

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