Today: 14.3 miles
Total so far: 840.9 miles
Percentage Completed: 50.4%
(Click map to enlarge)
The sun was late showing itself over the hills into the Henhole and so we were away at a modest Nine o'clock; not bad for a group of five, and the first stop for the day was the emergency shelter above us on the saddle, where Morpeth duly noted our passing in the log book.
We chose the High Level finish to the Pennine Way because, as Croydon would put it, "We're 'Ard!" It has to be said, the last hill is a bit of a pig, but the views over the borders are sensational, so it was worth it.
I like the Cheviots; admittedly we saw them at their best - in good weather, if a bit on the cold side. I can imagine them to be a struggle in poor weather, but the sun shines on the ...etc etc. They are a wonderfully shapely range of hills, with interlocking spurs and steep sided valleys and views in the late afternoon sun that force you to stop and take time to let it all soak in.
As we bounced down the last hill to the road, we were met at the bottom by Humph Weightman, one of Phil's daundering dwarves. He declined the offer to walk with us to the Border Hotel and drove his car to meet us, for me to collect my 'stifkit' and free half pint - well deserved - if I say it myself!
We all then ambled over to Town Yetholm to partake in the butcher’s pies and wash them down with another couple of pints of the good stuff.
Then Di Morpeth bundled all my friends into her car to take them away home for baths with fluffy hot towels, as I trudged away onwards to Morebattle. There was no room at the inn at Morebattle, so after a stingily small sausage baguette (make a note everyone - their food is terrible!)
I strolled on to fly camp at Cessford Castle in the long grass at about 8:30pm. Cessford Castle is a wonderfully atmospheric spot with Ravens and the inevitable ghosts of the past conflicts for company. Interestingly, on the way there I actually fell asleep while walking along the road – coming to as I stumbled into the grass verge.