JOGLE Day 26 26/05/17 Haltwhistle – Gregs Hut 25 miles

I set off today in trepidation – Cath was going home for a few days leaving me to tackle some of the toughest PW sections carrying a full pack. It was even hotter than Thursday and with pain in my left heel I was anticipating a tough day. I warmed up by crossing the Tyne river heading for the South Tyne Trail which goes along an old railway line and would hopefully give me more shade than using the PW. There was also a welcome breeze along the cuttings as I followed the track on its gradual upward gradient to Alston. As I approached Slaggyford I met a lovely couple Dave and Jacqui Bird who are walking LEJOG too but at a slight more practical pace, taking around 95 days for their adventure After a quick chat and exchange of details we parted and at some point I crossed from Northumberland into Cumberland, thinking only of sausages!!I dragged myself into Alston and devoured an omelette and two pints of iced cordial and lemonade in the Cumberland hotel, still not knowing where I was going to spend the night. My mind was made up when I saw the forecast of thunderstorms on Saturday – I wanted to be over Cross Fell and into Dufton before any bad weather came along. So I pushed on along the South Tyne river back on the PW, had a brief stop and refreshment in Garrigill I girded my loins, took several deep breaths and set off up the steep, winding and very long Corpse Road up to Cross Fell – my target was Greg’s Hut, a mountain bothy not far from the summit, and hopefully not full with other walkers. Over 2 hours later I arrived very weary to find I was going to be alone in this remote hillside hut.So I had some food, cleaned myself up and watched the sunset before settling down to sleep with the sound of the rushing wind outside, looking forward to a shorter day and some much needed rest on Saturday…maybe even the FA Cup Final!!!