Day 45 - Call that a bog, now this is a BOG!!
Trip Start Jun 12, 2010
147Trip End Nov 18, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Lyndale View Guest House
As we walk off from the hostel Joyce shouts to us to take a different path to cut 300 mtrs off our journey! We must believe she was telling us the truth but somehow her advice threw out our navigational skills for the day. We struggled to find any signs and when Keith finally resorted to the fail safe Sat Nav we were well off route on an obscure forestry path. Walking in forests is either very easy where there are signs as the paths are very clear. Or, if there are no signs its impossible to get any other visual input to determine your position. So with half an hour wasted we got back on a track which was, quite frankly a boring, hard, flint covered track leading through forestry commission land, much of which had been clear felled in the past five years. Eventually the forest came to an end and a foot path was clearly marked off to the left and we rejoiced in having clarity and an interesting path once again. In stepping on to this path however, we also experienced regret. This was the path that finally took us away from the Scottish border which we have been following ever since we crossed over two days ago. Being in England, but with Scotland just there at our right hand seemed somehow fitting as we have become wedded to Scotland over these past six weeks plus. As with all good things though, Scotland has come to an end for us this time, but we are sure we will be back
Soon we realise that the hard flint topped track had some advantages. It may have been hard, but we could walk on it without water and mud. For the next hour, an indeed most of the rest of today, we walked in conditions ranging from wet and muddy to downright deep bogs. At first when encountering bogs, one tends to be very picky about where to put ones feet. But once your feet are thoroughly wet and have turned a deep brown, where to put your feet becomes irrelevant you just plod on. And so we did, following old stone walls and searching for the odd piece of stone that indicated a now forgotten old property boundary, all to make sure we did not lose the path again. We knew today was a long walk and so it proved,especially with our extra curricular forest track early on. We stopped for a brief mini morning tea about 11 o'clock but pressed on trying to make up for lost time. We gradually saw our track take us out onto wide open moorland with one final hint of the north sea at one point. By 1 o'clock we had reached the Pepperpoint cairn at Padon Hill, a mere 379 mtrs high and Keith stopped to ask two fencers some local information about track conditions ahead. Needless to say they said it just stays boggy! These men were in the middle of completing narly a kilometre of fencing saying with the machinery they had they could complete about 100 metres a day on good ground
We stopped shortly after this at a large rock which provided seating for the four of us and had lovely tuna sandwiches again. This time with hard boiled eggs which were a good idea of Johns. While eating lunch we were provided with great entertainment watching three sheep scratch themselves on rocks about 50 metres away. It is surprising how little walkers need to entertain themselves, their bodies being so tired by their enterprise.
The afternoon continued to be one of open moorlands, more bogs and finally a walk right through the very heart of a farmyard and down into our village of Bellingham. We had completed 30 kms for the day and 85 in the last three days. Our bodies were weary and when we saw Bellingham had a bakery we entered it like ship wreck survivors craving all the goodies on show. When checking in at our B&B, Ken our kindly host, even brought us a pot of tea to drink in the garden. We think Ken may have been keen to keep us out of the house because, quite frankly our shoes and sox stank. We gave Ken and his wife Joy two large bags of dirty clothes which they took straight to the washing machine and after bathing we headed off to the Cheviot Pub, the only one serving real ale, where we consumed a couple of large plates of roast lamb and two steak and ale pies. Once again it was early to bed.