Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Day 17 & 18

Day 17 34.8km day 18 12.3km

Several options were available for the 27 miles crossing of the cheviot hills, one not initially being considered was a crossing in one, althought later in the day this was discussed.
I am now walking on the same schedule as 3 others, bernard who is walking on his lejog, and heading off in a different direction today, joseph who is walking the pennine way but making it up and adding detours continously and john and charlie the dog. Our days are often spent apart, occasionally bumping into one another, but we generall meet at the campsite and the pub.
Only the accommodation the last two nights have been a bench seat in a static caravan (old) and a bench in a mountain bothy/refuse hut. Which brings me back to the cheviot crossing.
Option one was a wild camp in some woods off the sides of the hills in shelter, but arriving here at 14:30 was too early, so option two an a walk to the second refuse hut was chosen, with a detour upto the summit of the cheviot mountain (815m) en route.
At the summit i was even treted to a fly past by the raf.
Arriving a the bothy at 17:30, fully completely the walk was an option, but had i taken it i would not have witnessed the wonderful sunset and blue sky the following morning at 500m's.
So on day 18, we had a shorter day in distance, but the mountain still presented us with a few more stiff climbs.
At 10:15 i connected up with the st cuthberts way to now link melrose in scotland with oxford. Fifteen minutes later i was standing at the finishing line, well sign at the border hotel, with the pennine way completed.

Views on the walk:-
Probally the hardest 18 days of walking given the quantity of ascent an underlating walking.
The weather was harse making the walking conditions constantly hard and the bogs (of which the walk has numerous, stretching for miles) bogier.
Company was great, no-one feeling compelled to walk with each other, but sharing company and reviewing bog notes nightly. Any one listening in to the conversation over the beers must have wondered what the hell we were on.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Day 15 & 16

Day 15 26.4km day 16 27.4km

Day 15 started off with another stroll along hadrains way, only this time i stumbled across 3 roman centurians in full battle dress from italy?, no america. I had to pinch myself to make sure i wasn't dreaming. I was even given a roman coin. Following on from this encounter on the wall seeing what the romans where guarding themselves against. Soon afther leaving the wall northwards, i was to see how the wall appeared to the scots.
The remainder of the day was bog hopping and farmward muck jumping, before one final drenching entering bellingham.
Here i was to meet up with all the walkers who i previously met an a new one as well. So the evening ended with a nice drink.
Day 16 turned out to be dry above, but definely soggy under foot with the best bog to date

Friday, 13 July 2012

Day 14

Day 14 13.5km
Friday the 13th, what could possibly go wrong? And if anything did would it involve gettin wet? After all the forcast predicted a dry day, just like yesterday and i ended up wet.
Well it happened like this.....
Packed bag this morning for a quick off after breakfast, went down had the works, fill english, with a pot of tea, which i didn't spill. Came back upstairs, picked up bag and thought, if i known this was wet from yesterday, i would have dried it on the radiator (like socks, t-shirt.....)then it dawned on my, this was soaking and the bed, thd bag was on was soaked to.
At this point i realised the wole 2litres had emptied onto the bed through the drinking pope bit vakve. (not the firdt time this has happened- note lesson learnt, learnt lesson).
So down stairs to check out, and let them know i'd wet the bed, no bladder control......
Made worst by demonstrating that went the bit valve is compressed water comes out, which it did by spraying her with water. Left there in a hurray.
So to the walk, a short rest day today, plodding along harians wall at 2.5mph, in the dry, visualising the romans patrolling some 1800 years ago.
I'd walked this part of the walk before, when walkin hadrains wall in 05, and remember a drowned rat approach, who himself was walking the pennine way and had walked in permant rain an whoses boots had perished. Lessons learnt here, to learnt by others lessons, are sod that!!! (location of photo)
One lesson that had been leant was not to stay at the b&b which charged 25pounds for the evening meal at greenhead last time, remembered the pain off receiving thst bill last time.
So a nice early finish got into the once brewed yha at 2:00 so feet up and rest and blog

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Day 13

Day 13 29.2km
Packed up the tent and left today in the dry with blue sky. The remsining of the day has been dry above but crossing the last moorland i was upto my knees in bog twice, the second after having removed my boots and squeezed out my socks. This however was more fortunate than a walker i spoke to today who coming off tan hill last week went in upto his chest, his shirt still had the tied mark despite walking.
Todays planned campsite closed 2 years ago, the hostel was full, so being una le to step one step further in squechy boots i have booked into the greenhead hotel. Now bathed and scrubbed i feel like a new man. The hairdrier in the room is being overused, drying boots, well it wouldn't be my hair would it!!
One lesson learnt following on from last night is take a washing line for boot laces, but not a rotary one as this will be too big for the rucksack. (saw one on route in farmyard)

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Day 11 & 12

Day 11 21.3km day 12 33.8km
Two days where the scenery hsd much to live up to. Hi cup on the firdt day an impressive glacial valley and cross fell on the second, the sixth or seventh highest mountain in england. But both where wrapped in a veil of mist, with some but not 100% views.
Boots, water and laces are fast becoming this years sarger (is it lager but with an s?)
First both boots leak but the lefy hand one is soden, so i try gaiters.
The gaitor clips on the front cut thro wet laces. (have no spares)
Buy 2 pair of "boot laces" from hardware shop in middleton as outdoor shop cant be bothered opening most days.
First pair laces fail on hills, after 2 wet hours, ending up patching up
Second pair fail in similar manner on next day, on top of cross fell
Lessons learnt, if first pair fail, dont expect second to do anything but the same.
Get off summit (cold and wet) expecting boot to be lost on a bog. But instead find greg's hut, a bothy, where i cut up a lite weight washing line to make boot laces. Works a treat.
Lessons learnt don't leave home on sn expedition without a washing line!!
Note on this i have used laces previously between 2 poles as a wsshing line but noth the other way.
Finally brought some new laces off a land lady of pub visited this afternoon in cargrave.
Now in tent behind yha in alston in guess what, yes the rain, just what yo go to the pub in the dry!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Day 10

Day 10 15.3km
First of two easier days had a gentle climb past the delightful low and high force waterfalls, the later being the highest in england? Both being sights i'd been lookin forward to.
Had more sucess navigating out of middleton in teeside this morning, than i did a few days ago leaving hawes, once again towns being harder to navigate around than hills.
A designed late start to the day was made later by being forgotten about in a cafe, after ordering breakfast. When the scrambled egg on toast did finally come (30 mins later) is was good and expensive, could have taken some off for the delay!!!
Boots are needing some attention, have applied more dubbin to try and seal them but laces have perished and need to glue the side joints, dry feet then hopefully, although following another dry today that might be possible.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Day 9 28.3km
A cold wet night at tan hill inn camp site (field) with no shower block and not much of anything else apart from double glazing!
Walk started downhill for a change into a sheep eating bog (quote from guide book, read after the event).
For 5km i walked over the sodden bog, often loosing my walking stick in it, a good guide where not to walk! This green and black sponge was energy sapping, moreso than yesterdays 1000m+ ascent.
Glad to be of it, i continued the now common up/down undulating walk in the "dry"; but with wet feet from the entire walk on wet ground.
The pennines are often quoted as the backbone or spine of england, given the continued up/down in the last 9 days, it feels i have been disection hills running from east to west. So it feels more like crossing a rib cage than going up a backbone.
One other thing of note was being dive bombed contiually by a bird when crossing a field.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Day 7 & 8

Day 7 22.5km & day 8 28.5km
Having real difficulty finding places where to send updates so now going to send two at once.
I've have two completely different days with day seven starting off in a thunder storm and raining hard all day, so definately a saturated soggy day. Did finish in hawes at two, so took the opportunity to visit the laundrette to wash one weeks worth of wet washing. Did they need that!!!
Rest of the day was replenidhing supplys and taking it easy, and having cream scones and tea and fish and chips. (too many ands)
Day 8 has been all dry and sun as well. It was the third hardest day once again climbing over 1000m but its been a sheer delight, over great shunner fell with a smile on my face, a pint of orange juice and lemonade in twaite and a reminder of the coast to coast, passing thro keld. Then to finish the effect a 5km climb to the tan hill inn, the highest pub in england, the side of tonights camp(525m). What a day!!!!
Now hitting a natural pace and a camping routine, but have forwarded ahead of those i have walked with this last week.
Did i mention the rabbits, or rather the amount of dead rabbits, 7 in total along the path today, non before today, wots going on, all that road kill with not road, guest thats called track kill?

Days 5 & 6

Day 5 29.3km and day 6 25.2km

Bit lazy yesterday no writing a blog, but have s good excuse, as i was out in malham with bernard, who is also walking along the pw, but on route to john o groats. As you can expect we've not stopped chatting.
To bring you upto date,i am in horton having stopped in malham last nite, sorry am i reoesting myself. Weather the last two days has been good ignoring the occasional down pour where the brolley has come into play. That was until an hour ago, now in tent in the middle of an electrial storm, not something i have experienced before or want to again (photo).
Have now introduced a whitmore scale of water penetration, where one is dry, such as i arrived at edale, two is moldly moist or damp a state which has constantly been reached. Three is wet, not more to be said for thst state and four is super saturated or soggy. A stated already achieved on a number of occasions and had i been outside just would have achieved once again.
Off the negatives, the landscapes have been outstanding now i have arrived in the dales, gone are the desolate moors, replaced by limstone and mountains, two done today, with the well known welsh yorkshire mountain, pen y ghent.
Another milestone achieved today is finishing the first of three pennine way harveys map, now moving from the south to the central one, so one third done.
Anyway storms over and don't need a distraction from the lightening anymore

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Day 4

Day 4 33.4km
Today was a day of one whole. That is no rain! With the exception of aslight mist on the final moor. Today was walking for ten hours, following a 7:30 start and the highlight was crossing withins height, the scene of emily bronte's, wuthrring heights. (photo) Just a pity i could not stop singing kate bush's song of the same title, totally out of key all day.
For the second day, i have "bumped" into a pub in the middle of the day, only today i had a beefy broth soup, that was so thick it must have had an entire bull in it. Must say it was the tonic which carried me thro the remaining half of the day.
Although its been dry, the ground is sodden and wet boots in and out are now a part of the walk, whats it like to have dry feet?
Lookin forward to the scenic malham tomorrow, its been a place i've wanted to visit for a long time.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Day 3 21.4km
Unfortunately, the pub i stayed st didn't have a tv so i missed the euro final, which i have since found out so did everyone in redditch, due to a electrical black out. Good job england didn't make it to the final.
Woke this morning, although it didn't feel like i'd slept, to a slug mating with my black slip on shoes. I soon ended his romantic encounter by flickin him into orbit.
Todays walk was a story of four quarters, with the second and forth being wet.
Yesterday/today have encountered more pw'ers, after thinking i was on my own. Meeting a female, by the m62 crossing, she informed me she was heading for crowden, walking my last two 12.5 mile walks ,inc black hill in one. Lesson learnt here (4), do not attempt to repeat. Mind you tomorrow is my toughest day being 31km and some 1150m ascent, more than to upcoming cross fell.

Pw day 2

Day 2 21.2km
Another day of two halves, only this time the wet half was the first half. Watching the weather forecast upto the walk this was meant to be a dry day, the only one in the first 5 days. So there i was at 8:00 applying the sun tan lotion, only for it to start raining and not stop for 5 hours.
Lesson learnt-1 don't bother applying sun tan lotion when its going to rain. 2 when applying sun tan lotion expect it to rain immediately after. Soggy boots and wet feet was the order of the day. But the flagstone pavement upto black hill was most appreciated (wombourne could learnt some lessons from thes).
early pw'ers often had to find there way thro the peat upto soldiers lump at the summit, often ending up knee or waist deep in a black peat bath.
Ringing my socks out three times reduced the squetching. The last of these occasions resulting from a shin deep wade across a "stream" (photo) completed with boots of danging around my neck. Lessons learnt 3 bring a boat next time.
Camp now set up at the back of a pub. Good to be under canvas, or a least nylon ripcord again. Beside the wind and the sideways motion of my bedroom, corrected by closing eyes and inserting ear plugs.

Pw day 1

Day 1 29.6km
A day of 2 halves, morning and afternoon.
Arriving to a dry overcast edale, this weather stayed until early afternoon, eventhough i was looking out to black rain clouds over manchester on my left.
These clouds made their way over my head when i crossed the "snake" road. What followed was a couple hour downpour. However the kit all worked well, keeping me dry. Lots more of that forecast. Navigation and the walking surface in the morning where good, that changed in the afternoon with the walk over bleaklow needing some bog hopping, made worse by the downpour.
Mileage was increased with a walk to the start from the station, the walk the the yha, yes comfort for the first night before the camping starts, and a wrong turn added 0.8km. Hopefully won't make to many of those.