Tuesday, 26 April 2011

days 5 & 6 wooler to fenwick to Holy Island

Just to catch up on the fin. 2 dats of the St Cuthberts Way for those
worried we hadn't actually made it to the end. Well we did, and what
an end it was, onto that later.
Firstly day 5, following our great curry in Wooler (that had to be the
meal of the trip) we had an undulating days walk over the hills of
Northumberland, we thought we'd finished the hills with the Cheviot,
but no. Towards the end of the day, everything happened together, with
a detour to St Cuthberts cave and almost immediately after our first
detailed sighting of the coast, we'd seen it on the horizon the day
before but we could make out the end of the walk on Holy Island.
So onto the final days walk over the causeway onto Holy Island and the
end. I was for following the Pilgrims Trail across the sands, marked
by wooden posts and a refuse elevated platform, by Jo was for
following some Germans walking along the road (we'd sat behind them at
the previous nights meal -that's how we know)
Along with all the us making a crossing whilst the tide was low was
aload of tourists. When we arrived the place was heaving with people,
so after the photo at the end we chose a quite bay to sit in, here we
stayed until the tide came in. When we returned to the village it was
empty and all shut, what a difference to before.
The journey home was uneventful apart from a shopping trip to Gretna
Village, remember passing there on my LEJOG.

Monday, 18 April 2011

day 4 hethpool to wooler

The "S's", sun, scenery, song and snakes.
The walk over to Woller had them all, firstly sun, it was a glorious
blue sky day all day.
Next, scenery, lots of that to, walking through the Northumberland
National Park, upp at 300m+ for most of the day, with outstanding
views over th Cheviot Hills, and of course the view over to the
Cheviot itself, standing at 800m+. (do that next year on the Pennine
Next song, bird song all day. Like all the walk we have been
surrounded by nature, never for from a bird, bee or a snake.
Yes lastly a snake, I've been on the lookout for snakes most the time
I've been walking and the in the middle of the path, right up on the
moors, an adder.
Unfortunately no pictures, low battery on the phone, so will have to
wait for the main camera to be downloaded.
Finally had a bostin curry last nite, best for a long time, highly
recommend the Spice Village Curry House in Wooler, if anyones up this

Sunday, 17 April 2011

day 3morebattle to hethpool

Today's was a longer walk then yesterdays and had us walking up/down,
up/down. In-between we found ourselves in the delightful town of Kirk
Yetholm, those walkers reading the blog will immediately know the
name, realising it is infact the northern end of the Pennine Way. Next
years walk and blog....
Entering the town occurred exactly one year to the second, to me
starting my LEJOG. This time last year I was writing the first blog of
that adventure.
As the evenings accommodation did not have a local pub we decided to
eat in KY, a filling baguette was consumed at the pub which marks the
end of the Pennine Way. Leaving the pub we then shared the Pennine Way
for a few miles, mainly uphill. For the second time in the day (first
straight after breakfast)an ascent was made on a full stomach. After
leaving the Pennine Way, a variety of things quickly occurred, firstly
we crossed the border, entry we difficult as we did not have our
passports. Secondly, the path changed. The grass changed colour, the
ground boggy'r and the features which assisted the walker all the way
thro the Scottish part, i.e.steps, bridges etc. ceased. Every man for
himself thro the bog and stream crossings. Waymarking which has been
excellent until the border, now seems to be gradually worsening.
Mr B's been back, not as often as yesterday, doesn't like the hills,
prefers the road walk, I mean flying.
On top of the first hill we met a welcome plaque, declaring both the
highest point and half way, this after two and a half days of six
days, second half looks to be easier (hope I haven't spoken too soon)

Friday, 15 April 2011

day 2 ancrum to morebattle

During the night was woken by alarm at the next door golf diving
range, didn't look out the window to see what was happening, as last
time I when at home, there was some idiot up a ladder trying to turn
off his alarm, failing and keeping all awake. Didn't want to
experience that sight again. (Ade)
Quickly establishing a routine, most carry over from last year,
breakfast/walk/pub meal/beer/sleep........
Yesterday's jet fighter's, sorry didn't include them in last nights
blog, despite them being around all day, never materised today, must
have run out of spares.
Mr Bee continued following today, there was barely a minute which was
shared without the buzz of a bee, Jo says its the sign of a good
summer. I'm sure it still the same one going all the way to the coast.
Both yesterday afternoon and this morning we follow the route of an
old roman road, called Dere Street. Whilst being recognised for their
civil engineering abilities in building roads, (they must have had
degrees, to make them that capable), they must have also invented the
walker's curse of the "stile". As before Dere Street we had not come
across a stile, yet Dere Street was littered with them. I'm sure one
of them had "Caesar waz ere" scribe into it.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Day 1, Melrose to Jedburgh

Great first day with no moans from Jo. We've had a return of the dogs,
only not me this time, I was behind Jo cringing, when she was showing
me how, to approach dogs confidently and stroke them, only this time
the dog barked at her and bolted off. The next dog passed had us both
cringing and pushing the other forward.
After a big breakfast and a stroll to the Abbey to start the walk, the
first obstacle to clear was a pair of hills, which we passed in the
col between them, still a sharp climb, first thing in the morning.
The day then settle day to lots of walking alongside water, along
different rivers, finishing with crossing on a suspension bridge with
swayed and rocked much to Jo's horror and my amusement. Shame on me,
bridges are easy, its dogs I find difficult.
The weather has been a real surprise with the sun showing itself,
didn't expect that in Scotland, after all it is on the Artic Circle
isn't it?
With the warmer weather we suddenly noticed a number of bees which
were around. After never seeing more than one at any one location, we
quickly establish it was in fact the same bee. Initial we thought it
was following us, but eventually settled on him, like us was walking,
sorry flighing the st cuthbert's way. Don't know where his staying
tonight, but I'm sure we'll see him later on route.
Just finishing off my mars bar balti in a curry house in Jedburgh, my
reward for the 27km today and tomorrows energy (Jo's had veggie again
- she's doing the whole week on vegatables and no chocolate) Just
having her after 8 mint, nice

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Day 0 - Melrose ready for the off

Back on the road and remembering how to send mobile blogs, guess if
your reading this I've remember, if your not reading it, then can't
explain that one.
Here in Melrose ready for the off and the longest leg tomorrow, things
looking up as Jo has just committed to not moan for the whole week,
may get away without having to listen to my ipod after all.
Journey went well up here today, did bore Jo, whilst driving up here
about where I walked, stayed and also "Pee'd" as I walked parallel to
the motorway last year. Had one stop at Lancaster Services (Forton),
which I remember seeing on last years LEJOG.
Only had a quick break, including a skinny latte at Costa's,
shouldn't really be surprised at seeing "Costa Cheung" in there.
Just lookin forward to setting off tomorrow with an immediate ascent
up to 300+ meters, followed by a 27 km walk.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Countdown to St Cuthberts Way

Now officially on our countdown to starting St Cuthberts Way. Next week starting Thursday, my wife and I are off walking St Cuthberts Way from Melrose on the Borders to Holy Island (see map) I plan to make blog entries as I complete each day of the walk, so I better polish up on my mobile blogging skills, (if that's what you can call the efforts of last year). We are planning to complete the 100km walk in a leisurely 6 days, plenty of time for blogging and stops en route. To make this even more comfortable, we're having our baggage moved on, all part of keeping it civilised for my wife's benefit, "Daysacks are us", using my recently acquired Berghaus Freeflow 25 litre bag, brought for such occasions (smaller and lighter than the 35l version, but more flexible than my 20L version). As keen eyed observer would have seen, I used the 50L Freelow last year on my JOGLE, Anyone reckon I like the Berghaus Freeflow bags. Whilst on the subject of bags, yet to use my new Osprey Eros 62L bag, for use with camping/hiking, at just over 1kg it just whats needed for the long hikes, with the camping kit, its likely to get use later on in the year, with the hikes planned for then. Beginning to get interested in the weather, so hopefully it will replicate this time last year when something else started, if I can remember, are that's right the volcano when off and the ash cloud went up, and of I started the LEJOG in brilliant weather. Still can't believe it was a year ago, how that's flown past, unlike the planes back then which definitely weren't flying. Suppoe it too early to start getting my kit ready, so just have to down load routes, get maps ready.........