Wednesday, 25 April 2007

DAY 55 Greenhead to Bellingham

Tuesday 24th April - posted Wednesday 25th
Today: 21.0 miles
Total so Far: 792.9 miles
Percentage Completed: 47.5%


(Click map to enlarge)

An early start from a cold, cold hostel at Greenhead. The washed underwear and woolly socks were still sopping wet, so stowed in the dirty clothes bag to add a few more ounces to the load.

Bob Garnett, a Challenger, met me last night at the pub and so we walked together along the switchback of Hadrian’s Wall - a complete beast of a walk in terms of effort and an absolute joy in terms of reward.

(Hadrians Wall)

As we rested at the point we left the wall, Bob produced a bottle of Newcastle Brown and lunch was taken, followed by a few nips of the good stuff.

The walk away from the wall was pure pleasure; soft underfoot, with wonderful views back to the Wall and big empty skies, occasionally split apart by HM Forces Jet Fighters. The wooded stretches were calming and soft on the senses, the moorland wild and empty.

We passed a Bonsai factory and then almost immediately afterwards bumped into a Ruth Archer character who was carrying a Harris Hawk - a beautiful animal with eyes that appear to see forever.

Walking up after Warks Burn (“staggering”, that should read) we bumped into Doug Cockburn sitting on a wall, on point, with his troup of Croydon, Morpeth and Mike Illingworth, slouching reluctantly behind.

Bless them; they had hiked all the way southwards from Bellingham (pronounced BellingJUM), so we stopped to sample a fine bottle of red that the magnificent Bob had carried all the way, followed by the remainder of his scotch.

(Left to Right: Bob, Doug, Morpeth, Croydon and Mike)

We scampered the rest of the way up over the amusingly named Shitlington Crags and then dropped down into town to sample deep baths and the cod in the Cheviot Hotel, with a few pints of Nels.

A big day; done!

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