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.

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