The Border Forest campsite was delightful in great weather – not so sure how nice it would be in a storm though!! Set off on good time today with the aim of covering the 14 miles to Bellingham by 1pm for a lunch stop and a change of bags. Cath has gone to meet friends and they will rejoin me tomorrow at Hadrians Wall so I’m camping for the first time on this walk.
I raced through the Kielder Forest and skipped a tricky section of the PW – a slightly longer but probably faster route with clear views across the moors, before ploughing across the heather covered Whitley Pike and then across farmland and down into Bellingham on time – but not before an encounter with some lively young cows. I’m not comfortable with those beasts at the best of times. It was t-shirt weather and thankfully quite breezy on the open moors but a bit oppressive when sheltered from the wind, especially after lunch carrying the extra weight. As I climbed out of Bellingham and down the pretty Shitlington Crags to Shitlington Hall farmhow I love that name – the perspiration went into overdrive. My spirits were revived by a phone call from a good friend to encourage me and I made good time to get to Stonehaugh in beautiful sunshine. The camp site was occupied by a couple with a large tent and soon after a girl arrived walking the PW alone. I settled down to my spicy sausage and pasta meal thinking of Cath, Lynda and Ray tucking into steak at some country pub! It’s a tough life.
Met a few PW walkers today – they all said I have some bog hopping to do tomorrow before I get to Hadrians Wall – looking forward to that!