After my glowing YHA recommendation, some slight YHA problems in that I got up at half six and the danish guy was fast asleep, so I had to pack up rucksack without much light. Headed down for breakfast, which they’d said would be half seven, but alas the staff was all young girls more interested in smoking out the back and gossiping that actually getting the breakfast out. (nb this was not typical of my YHA experiences which had all been glowingly positive up until this point!)
Danish guy came down and joined me whilst I was waiting, (girl came out and said to the room, ‘do you all just want a full English?’) and we had a nice chat, that maybe got slightly bogged down with the immigration problems Denmark is currently facing towards the end.
Set off later than planned at about ten to nine. Thick mist everywhere. Was quite a climb back to Hadrian’s Wall. No views to be had this morning, I was grateful for the clear skies yesterday.
Sudden moment of vertigo when the mist cleared slightly to reveal a big lake to the left a long way down, and it was, wait I’m *how* far up?!!
(I had better balance when it was all thick mist!)
Soon enough it time to leave the wall.
And say hello to:
(Hello to forest)
Mist cleared and hot sun came through, so forest was nice and welcoming at first, good to get a bit of shade.
Stopped briefly to chat to someone doing the PW in the opposite direction and he said, ‘You’ve got a horse fly on you, they’ve been absolute murder throughout this forest’. And sure enough, the beasts were quite happy to latch on and go through merino top to drink my precious life fluid. (blood).
Horribly twitchy couple of hours being menaced and often bitten by horse flies.
I got lost in the forest, navigated out with compass. Took a while to get bearings, then worked out I was too far east and had to walk a good while in the hot hot beating sun to get back to the PW.
Leaving the forest and heading into up and down farmland, a handwritten sign announced refreshments, 1 mile ahead. Some up and down later came to Horneystead Farm. Hand-written signs said refreshments in shed. Went into a big barn to find old padded garden furniture, a fridge stocked with cold soda, kettle tea bags, crisps, cup-a-soups etc.
A sign on the fridge said:
Now try and tell me there aren’t lovely people in the world. I was going a bit wobbly in the sun, and to be able to stop and take boots off for ten mins, and have a can of coke from the fridge and a pack of crisps was absolute heaven. More so there was a plastic container full of money where people had donated. (and no-one had stolen.)
Needless to say I stole the money and legged it. (not really).
Back into the sun, and up to Shitlington Crag, (Wainwright thought the name, ‘a trifle earthy’), then a long walk along a scary road with fast traffic, no pavement and sometimes no verge down to Bellingham. (Pronounced ‘Bellinjum’)
Music today was ‘Split’ by Lush and ‘Hello I Must Be Going!’ by Phil Collins. I’d previously thought ‘Split’ was more off a winter album, but also worked well in the sun.
Bunkhouse was full so I’m in a rather odd, but lovely b&b run by a very nice elderly couple. It’s full of that slightly baffling Northern banter that I sometimes struggle to know how to respond to.
man: I’m Graham. My next job is a pick-up at the airport.
max: Err ok, I’m Max.
max: That’s at Newcastle.
man: Where are you from?
max: Hertfordshire, just north of London.
man: Well that’s not very convenient!
max: No, I guess not.
man: I hope you don’t get homesick in the middle of the night!
max: Err hopefully I’ll be ok?
I can do nonsensem I should maybe have gone with, ‘washing machine nocturnal fire dismay treacle! treacle! treacle!’ material but I think he’d have looked at me as if I was mad… i think the trick maybe is to have nonsense that parses as if it was normal conversation.
Headed out to pub for dinner and writing up blog. I know I’m spending a lot of time places staring at phone screen propped up on it’s stand with my wireless keyboard, tap-tapping away writing up blog, but sad to see family in pub where parents are staring into screens tap-tapping away whilst their three kids look around bored. Of course it’s easy to pass flippant judgement like this without knowing anything of their situation. I should (probably) be ashamed of myself.
Got a text from N______ saying it was a tough walk from Bellingham to Byrness for him today. I’m doing that walk tomorrow. I was hoping for an easy day!
Have asked for breakfast at half seven, so hopefully I can be heading out shortly after 8. Be good to cover some distance before the sun hits. Co-op is open until 10pm tonight and apparently the last shop of the PW so I need to stock up. 15 miles to Byrness tomorrow, then the final two-day challenge in the Cheviots stopping overnight in a mountain refuge hut.