Bellingham to Byrness
Goodness, what a remote part of the world. It’s an endless land of moors and a few forest plantations. The fine weather prevailed and today there were superb views across the endless moors right to the horizon. You wouldn’t normally see another soul.
However today I walked, with Troles and his father Bent who are walking the Pennine Way to raise money for their charity. And his friend Richard joined for the last 3 days of the Pennine Way and Richard brought his daughter, Georgie who has just graduated and is now starting an architecture degree. And another friend joined just for today. Shortly after we started we met Pete who I met back in Hebden Bridge, a 65 yr old man who is walking from the SW Coastal Path. Pete is now walking with another couple. Finally there was Fritz who was in the B&B last night.
What a fun little group of walkers. More people than I’ve met in the past five weeks combined. But are we legal? New COVID-19 regulations limit us to groups of six but how many groups of six can you have and how close can two groups get? And what’s the situation in Scotland, just 6Km away?
I can’t begin to say how much happier I am walking with nice people and getting deep in conversation with them. The day flew by. It was a relief not to worry about navigation as we set off over the moors. Troles said the same. The others didn’t have a map anyway. Eventually I realised nobody was navigating and we had drifted off the path.
The moor was nowhere near as boggy as expected but sometimes it was helpful to step aside and in a gentlemanly manner say “Ladies first” when the ground looked suspiciously boggy.
We stopped for a jolly fine picnic lunch and Georgie had a tin of ginger beer which was a staple of the Famous Five books.
This afternoon as we turned a corner I saw the Cheviot Hills for the first time. The Cheviots are the final set of hills on the Pennine Way and form the border with Scotland. All my life I’ve seen “The Cheviots” written across the top of maps of England. I’m very excited that tomorrow I will finally walk along the Cheviots and perhaps absorb some of the English folk music from these parts. Never mind the Romans, our little army of Vikings and Brits will hack our way through to Scotland.
I’m in a very remote B&B for two nights and will be ferried back by taxi tomorrow. There’s hardly any 3G signal here so few if any photos today or tomorrow.