Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Pennine Way Day 4 - Once Brewed - Greenhead

June 27, 2008


1013 Twice Brewed 
Up, breakfasted, packed, ready. Made foot repairs, dried socks on hair dryer ;) Plasters on feet, etc.

1051 Once Brewed Visitor Centre
Not much to see, but they sell socks! So I bought some. Weather forecast says rain. Nice.

1130 Windshields Crags (345m) 1.1 miles from ONCE 
Up on Windshields Crags, nr. Trig point. Windy, but no rain yet.

Looking south from Windshields Crags. That lump on the
horizon is Cross Fell, for the day after tomorrow.
Windshields Crags (345m).
Later nr. Walltown Crags 5.6 miles 
Sun is out! Still undulating hills with the wall. Not far to Greenhead. Tempted to push past and make for Garrigill tomorrow but trying to reign myself in and remain sensible :)

Following the Wall.
1412 Thirlwall Castle 7.1 miles
Arrived at camp site outside of Greenhead - to get here the PW takes a rather circuitious route around a golf course. Put tent up, and one of the little material bits has ripped off. So now one end of the inner will forever sag, but I suppose the tent has got a tiny bit lighter as a result ;)
Thirlwall Castle, reportedly build with stones pilfered from Hadrian's Wall.
1529 Greenhead 
The Greenhead Hotel is open - they have some nice looking real ales which I will try... The Roam n Rest campsite is run by a doddery old lady who is very nice. Apparently it's normal to split up this stretch the way I am doing, so OK. We see now the value of not planning everything ahead down to the last detail. The original plan was to go from Once Brewed to Alston today. Had I booked everything, obviously I would've needed to make Alston otherwise everything else would have gone wrong. But really, I needed a short day today just to give my body a chance! So while there is no doubt that there is more risk in making it up as you go along - camp site could be full etc., no room at the inn - it is also more sensible in a way. Also, if you're being completely 'self-sufficient' like me and carrying a tent and everything, you can always wild-camp.
At the Roam n Rest camp site, Greenhead.
My thoughts turn now to the plan for tomorrow - this stretch between Greenhead and Alston is reported to be very miserable - boggy, wet, etc. just what I need.. There exists the possibility to miss out all the nasty bogs by going east and walking down the South Tyne Trail (a disused railway). However, that's cheating - but it is an option. I think I will try to leave dead early and see what happens, what the weather is like, what my feet feel like, etc. I probably will need to stock up on supplies in Alston, and I'd like to stop and get a beer in the Kirkstyle Inn after about 10 miles - maybe I could get there for lunch?
So, a tentative plan:
1. leave early, pub for lunch ~13km 4 hours, 8-12?
2. Alston before 5 (~ 6 miles further on).
14 miles tomorrow then. We'll see what the 'worst stretch' is like, unless I decide to skip it :(

1730 Greenhead Hotel 
Have written postcards. It's raining now, surprise surprise! Making it nice and boggy for tomorrow!

Had a nice lamb shank dinner here in the Greenhead Hotel... Just now finish my beer and off back to the tent.

Guess what? Raining! I think tomorrow is going to be miserable.

Day 4 Statistics

8.5 miles (70 miles since KY; 25.5%)
613m of ascent
345m max elevation
time moving: 3h19m
average when moving: 2.2mph


I see now that today I was contemplating leaving the route of the PW proper to make it easier. Looking back I'm surprised at myself, but I think my memory has painted out the shock of all the blisters, wet feet and dragging a heavy pack across this terrain. I really wasn't prepared for how badly it was going to affect my feet. 

You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if I cheated or not, but I suspect you already know the answer.

This is also the day where it would've definitely all gone wrong if I'd booked ahead. There was no way I could've made Alston today.

View today's photos on a map at Flickr.

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