Monday, 25 June 2012

Pennine Way Day 2 - Byrness - Bellingham

June 25 2008


0730 Byrness
Awake! Stiff as a board, as expected, but hopefully after a few miles everything will be fine :)

That lump on the horizon, that's The Cheviot.
1013 in Redesdale Forest
The Forestry logging trucks do indeed thunder past with no regard for your safety, just as the guide book says. Weather is OK. Path went along quite wet riverbank outside Byrness and then into the forest. I guess there's about another 3 miles of trees to go... There was this strange Dutch guy in the hostel who I think is walking around England on the roads - today I think he said he was going over to the north east, but on that big trunk road. Like I said, strange.

in Redesdale Forest, beware thundering trucks.

~1200 Brownrigg Head 
Left the fire road now, but there are Bogs. Lots of them. And foot repairs... What a nightmare! Never been so glad to see stone flagging as after that stretch of path near Padon Hill. Walking on roads now not seeming like such a stupid idea.

Very wet underfoot, stone flagging a welcome sight.

1402 (10.65 miles from BYR) 
Left foot very sore now - big blister. Done some repairs on it but fear it won't be enough. It stopped raining at last but is very windy. This is what it's really all about ;)

Approaching Bellingham.
What a bloody miserable day. Upon descending into Bellingham, guess what? the sun comes out. Now I'm not complaining about that as such, but how come it waits till I'm there? Typical! Pitched my tent at Demesne Farm for a reasonable £5. In the village I bought some batteries and first aid stuff - we'll see if this 'compeed' stuff is any good tomorrow, won't we?

Today I saw 3 people going the other way.

Demesne Farm camp site, Bellingham.
At Demesne Farm, beware of Bull!

~1900 The Cheviot Hotel 
Had dinner - homemade lasagne which I think was actually homemade. Took some pictures around Bellingham and phoned Alison. Watched the amazing Germans play rubbish and win, as usual.

The Cheviot Hotel, Bellingham.

Today was hard. I bought some blister stuff, I just hope it works, otherwise this adventure may be over before too long. No! That's defeatist. Maybe I've already seen the worst bit - the stretch between the forestry road and Padon Hill. There is actually a way to avoid that section, but that would be cheating. This walk is probably going to be about exertion in the stamina sense. In the end, all that bog dodging didn't matter anyway because my feet were still wet. I had to squeeze my socks out three times today, and treat my feet for blisters. I've never had to do either of those things before, ever! Which means either there's something about this walk, or about carrying a large pack over this terrain that's special. On my preparation walks this didn't happen though, although my feet were dry. A combination, no doubt. After the joys of day one, today has brought home the magnitude of this undertaking.


Not much to add to this, except that I guess this was really a day when my mind and body woke up to appreciate what I'd set out to do. No amount of planning, reading maps, books, whatever, can substitute actually getting out and doing it. I was also very confused about the soreness of my feet and blisters. Honestly, I've hardly ever had blisters from walking, and I'd walked a lot in these boots and socks, so wasn't expecting any trouble, certainly not this much and so soon. I really think it must have been the extra weight and the fact that my feet were wet.

Day 2 Statistics

15.99 miles (46 miles since KY; 16.8%)
794m of ascent
370m max elevation
time stopped: 1h18m
time moving: 7h10m
overall average: 2.2mph
average when moving: 2.7mph

View today's photos on a map at Flickr.

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