Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Pennine Way Day 3 - Bellingham - Once Brewed

June 26 2008


Today's highlight will be Hadrian's Wall. But before that, more forests and farmland. Please, no bogs. It's raining a bit just now. Sore. Compeed seems to be reacting with my foot - the broken skin area has gone all white - interesting!

Making coffee...

Breakfast time :)
Had bacon sandwiches - raining hard now. Think I know how Dad might have felt! There is a strong temptation to stay here a day and wait out the weather. Some nice person came over and asked if I'd lost my watch - actually I had. So I got it back! I must have dropped it on the way to the wash barn (Beware of the Bull! [see yesterday's photo]).

But now I have this new problem, the weather. It's tipping it down. I reckon I can afford to wait a bit to see if it calms down but of course the tent is not getting any drier while I'm waiting. I think that today should be about 8 hours so in theory I don't need to set off until 1300.

Started to think about things I should bring if I ever do this sort of thing again. More plastic bags; cloth to dry stuff other than myself; pan scourer? Oooh, as I write this it may have stopped raining. I guess this weather is 'showers' now.

1145 Ealingham Rigg 2.53 miles from BEL
Rain finally stopped. Packed up, off! Met 2 nice people who started the PW in 2003! (They're doing it in stages spread out over summers). They were impressed with my homemade map book. Feet OK so far...

A common sight - the PW trail marker. A common task - crossing a stile.

1330 Warks Burn 6.47 miles from BEL
Lunch time. Weather changeable - sunny spells. Seen 5 people so far and 1 idiot running it! Honestly it's bad enough walking - but of course I know those people, fell runners, are different. Wonder how he goes through bogs - probably just blasts over them without caring.

Not more wet feet, please! Crossing a common nr Wark Forest.
1600 11 miles
First glimpse of Wall!

1700 13.64 miles
Arrived Wall - hilly but very cool!

Hadrian's Wall.

~1830 Once Brewed 16.3 miles
Arrived, but no room at the Inn (that's the YHA to you and me) :) So, I'm in Twice Brewed, which is a pub/hotel :) Lots of real ale - be lucky if I can leave here tomorrow.

Hadrian's Wall amazes me. I had no idea it was so hilly. When Hadrian said "Build me a wall here" the centurions must have said "You're having a laugh!" It goes over the most unlikely slopes, and apparently when it was new it was 7 feet tall! I was at the bit with Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. The bit where he plucks misteltoe off the tree (nonsense) - I was there! Took me 2 attempts to get the photo, but I couldn't for the life of me have jumped up and pulled off a sprig from the tree.... Oh well, more later, my knees are seizing up...

At the Robin Hood tree. I'm not fat - my other little bag is under my coat.

Back down in the bar now after sorting kit out in a plush room - looks a bit odd, all my (already) quite manky stuff laid out in a beautiful hotel room. But hey, I'm paying! Had to call Mum of course. I've ordered a peppered steak with chips for tea. I will probably call Ciska later.

Milecastle 39 on Hadrian's Wall.
Tomorrow I'm changing the schedule - there's no way I can make Alston and still be having fun - so I'm going to go a mere 7 miles to Greenhead, instead. Nice Wall walking, hopefully. That means I can take it easy and look in the Visitor Centre here as well. Good stuff. I've had to use more Compeed - now got a blister on my right foot too. It must be the combination of wet and weight distribution. I'm obviously going to have to get some more Compeed. Lesson for the future may well be to put it on before blisters appear. Not sure. But anyway, it does work really well.

I was thinking of course about how I'm going to write up this adventure - a book? Or something [typing it now nearly 2 years later!] [err, actually finishing it 4 years later!].

One of the overriding messages of it anyway will be [and is!] that the Pennine Way is NOT EASY. However you split it up, most of the stages will be well within your grasp taken by themselves - in fact even 20 miles / day like me is well within the capability of most above average fitness walkers.

But here's the thing - you have to string a lot of those days together! Normally you'd do a long walk and then go home and rest the next days until maybe next weekend and do another. But here you have to keep going - long walk (with pack of course) - then repeat in my case 15 times! 15 is a big number in that sense. That's why it's difficult.

And, there's no such thing on the Pennine Way as an 'easy' day. Unless maybe you stay put. Example - today I thought there wouldn't be much up and down, because there are no 'famous' hills or climbs to go over. But I suspect in fact today will turn out to be a top day in terms of ascent - 1340m! Madness. There are no summits of note at all! Look at KY - BYR. Once you're up there (= 1 climb, approximately) - there's actually not that much climbing any more for the whole day. Today I've never been above 320m, but have managed to climb 1340m! Up down, up down, up down. That's the PW.

Day 3 Statistics

16.32 miles (62 miles since KY; 22.6%)
1340m of ascent
320m max elevation
time stopped: 1h36m
time moving: 6h18m
overall average: 2.1mph
average when moving: 2.6mph

See today's photos on a map on Flickr.

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