As usual I drifted in and out sleep, despite the day being so warm, the night brought with it a distinct chill.
I woke and shivered a little in my light summer quilt, the temp in the day had been so hot but had dropped quite a lot during the evening, nagged by the insesant cold I got up around 4:30am and was treated to a glorious etherial camp ground.
A haunting and beautiful mist had enveloped the camp ground, hemmed in by 2 waterways providing an ideal climate for an inversion. I began to pack away as quiet as I could, until a voice wished me well, turning a fellow walker had mistook me for another camper but wished me well all the same.
I made use of the kitchen, brewing up with an actual kettle and eating porridge and turmeric tea.
Warmed I set off, retracing my route from yesterday through the pine forest narrowly avoiding the crazy bird of prey, all the while my way shrouded in mist.
I crossed the scary A road again and joined a path which delightfully took me up one hell of a steep forest climb before emerging onto Byrness Hill.
I stopped and looked back on the world, a large inversion had covered the Valley in a calming ad mysterious cloak, the sun rising in front framed the cairn in a glorious light.
I was now hemmed in by Otterburn ranges, signs warned against the touching of anything remotely army looking for fear of being blown up.
The path switched between wooden walk ways and boggy ground as I ran past Yard Shank, before opting for the higher route of Coquete Head, here I was provided with a fantastic over view from the Roman fort and cap. Such a massive structure in its day, but I coudnt hep but feel sorry for the people stationed here in winter, in the middle of no where.
I headed off over Deel’s head, before descending down onto an odd collection of used trailers, assuming the farmers have put these in place to provide shelter.
I took on water and again attempted to locate the non path, strangely I was forced to cross a stream, then climb a fence, to use a large log and shimmy across another stream to access the footpath sign. I’m used to this daftness now.
There was no path, instead I walked slanted across a bank, suddenly a black head popped out of the grass, followed by another beset with fine and dangerously looking horn. I had come across the famous wild goats, no sooner were they there than they disappeared.
Various non paths followed by rough ground, before i was joining the Pennine way and approaching the Mountain Refuge hut. It would make a great one nighter place, i signed the book and read the graffiti which adorned the walls, stories of challenges and adversity everywhere.
I bid farewell and trotted along the path, quickly marking off Lamb Hill, Beefstand Hill and Windy Gyle. I encountered my first people here, a couple quickly strode by briefly saying hi. Selfie time and I was off.
It was hot now, limited water was left and I needed some juice, I passed Cairn hill and found the only water source around. Now I’m not to keen on taking a drink from still water, the lack of movement providing an ideal breeding ground for nasty things, but i had no choice. It would be miles until my next water stop. I peered into the murky depth but decided it was pretty clear on top, water filtered, i added a hydration tablet to add a lime taste and disguise the muddy peaty taste and off i went.
At the Cheviot summit, a group of walkers sat eating lunch, all neatly packed into lunch boxes, i was a tad jealous but i wasn’t to hungry. 13 miles left and it appears most was down hill.
But at Bradhope hill, the nice green line vanished into more heater and bracken, so another diversion took place, a permissive farm track provided my company for a number of miles now. there was no rejoining my route to Wooler, signs beckoned me into waist high undergrowth and the unknown beyond,
Phone calls took place with my brother to rearrange to pick spot to Carey Bridge, a few more overgrown paths, a 100ft drop to my left path and I was finally down and coming to an end.
Boy was I glad to see the van coming along the road. Today had taken me for 27 miles of rough, undulating and remote terrain. Heat was a major energy killer today but im glad for my filter bottle and hydration tablets, i stank, socks were binned knowing that smell could not be removed by earthly means.
Did I enjoy it, of course but having done it in what felt like a quick time, made me feel i had cheated or not completed it fully. It was hard but easy compared to say the Beacons.
I would maybe change out the first half of my route to avoid much of the forest, but overall park 9 was now completed, some 60 miles covered over 3 days and some glorious scenery.