2020

Day 31 – A Low Force, A High Force and a Stomach Churning Force

Middleton to Langdon Beck and back

Today was almost a rest day because I have two nights in the same place, the Brunswick House Guest House in Middleton, and only a delightful walk along the River Tees for the morning and then a taxi back to Middleton.

It started well. Once again I ate scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for breakfast then set off. The sun was shining and I wondered whether to return for my sunglasses but I was heading west so I continued.

At first it’s a standard river walk although the Tees was very full and fast flowing. There were the usual sheep in the fields. After awhile some white water is evident and then the waterfalls begin. First comes the Low Force, an impressive array of rocks and water plunging some six metres downstream. The Wynch Bridge (1830) runs across it but it doesn’t feel like it will for much longer. An old sign requests only one person at a time on the bridge but in the current negligent times of social distancing this was ignored.

Apparently “fors” is a Viking word for waterfall so it makes sense that after Low Force comes High Force, an impressive 21m plunge of the entire river. Well worth the £2 admission charge.

Sadly by then I had developed a full blown case of food poisoning and I was able to compete with the majesty of the falls with my own Stomach Churning Force. It can’t have been the breakfast because when I mentioned it to Andrew Milnes, the owner of the Brunswick, he told me he’d eaten the same thing for breakfast and was fine. I sent off another email to Contours and they called me back to check on my recovery. From now on, they said, I’ll be on the high fells with no escape and they offered me a taxi alternative which I declined. It’s amazing. One could do the whole thing by taxi.

I also told them about the complete idiot who runs the Apothecary Guest House in Haworth, a virus denier who insisted on shaking my hand but I equally virulently stepped back. I like that word. I wouldn’t have used it if it hadn’t popped up on the iPhone.

Unfortunately I’m running out of places to eat in Middleton. I was banned from the pub last night. I ordered Teesdale lamb chops which were served almost raw. I sent them back for a further 5 minutes under the grill but the chef refused and sent them back to me. I told the waitress this was rubbish; she rather unnecessarily told the chef who then sent me a message written in red felt tip (or blood) on a napkin which the waitress once again unnecessarily delivered to me. The manager said they wouldn’t charge me for the meal but I insisted on paying. “How about 50% off?”, he offered. “No”, I said “I’ll pay every penny on principle”.

The River Tees

The Low Force

Coffee break

View from the Wynch Bridge

The remains of my breakfast

The High Force

16 comments on “Day 31 – A Low Force, A High Force and a Stomach Churning Force

  1. Jane Sherratt

    Hello Tim,
    So sorry to hear about your tummy troubles and hope you are feeling better. We all love your posts and the pictures. Also lovely new neighbours have moved in opposite. Jane, Jules, Lucy & Daniel.

    • Hi Jane, Jules, Lucy & Daniel it’s so nice to hear from you. I’m much better and hopefully will be fine to tackle a tough day tomorrow. It gets more and more unrelenting as I head towards the Cheviots next week. If I survive that, I’ll be insufferable. New neighbours too, that’s the first time in years

  2. Celia and David

    If covid doesn’t get you, a hundred and ninety year old bridge will. Think it was the smoked salmon that caused your upset due to the timing etc. Have to keep that in the right conditions, age of it,and temperature it is kept in. It can go off very quickly says nurse Celia! Hope you are o.k. Now, and it does not put you off eating salmon. Omega three and all that. Another set of great photos, fascinating to see how the terrain and scenery is changing all the time. So diverse.

    • I agree. You can quickly tell if it’s the egg. No more B&B smoked salmon.

  3. Huguette

    Hi Tim
    I hope you feel better, and you can continue writing your post ( j adore ton humour)and sending pictures they are splendid. The Lands cape are so nice.
    But you are no cats on your way? It ‘s a pity for Mac .

    • Hi Huguette, thanks. There no cats here, only 🐑 Mac wouldn’t like it.

  4. The waterfall pictures are amazing, what a beautiful place to walk through. It was interesting to see the Tan Hill Inn on national news and to think you were there only a few hours earlier!! Really look forward to read your daily blogs, so captivating.

  5. A) The usual sheep is rather dismissive of the poor chap who has been following you since Oxford.
    B) Why are you heading West? Turn your iPhone around.
    C) Is that a huge caterpillar? Mel saw a similar one the other day.
    D) Just between you and me you are doing amazingly well!

    • Martin

      It’s an alder moth caterpillar.

    • Thanks Mike. I thought you were joking at first but now I see the same farmer arriving every evening with his sheep transporter. Those sheep must be getting fed up with me.

  6. Tassie Kaz

    Sorry to read of your stomach ‘upheaval’ but dare I say, as you’re walking, better out that way than the other! 😯 Glad it was only a temporary issue.
    Now after more than a month on the trail, how are your overall energy levels Tim? Are you tired or do you recover overnight & feel refreshed each morning?
    Sempre avanti.

    • This is the shortest walk I’ve done in time, just 6 weeks so I’m ok and after a glass of your Fosters I’m thoroughly refreshed. I’ll be more tired after driving home from Holy Island than walking there!

  7. Philippa

    Impressive forces! As Vicky says, kia kaha Tim :).

  8. Hi Stuart, they always ask how you want beef cooked but with lamb you have to eat it how the chef likes it and no discussions even when you send it back.

  9. I didn’t eat the chops. It was definitely the smoked salmon. You’re right about High Cup Nick. Impressive

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