DATE                              14.02.18

DISTANCE                      9.53 MILES

WEATHER                      COLD, SLEETY AND WINDY

START / FINISH             LESBURY

 

Once again I found myself with a huge amount of “good boy” points that I had earnt by doing lots of job’s around the house so my better half couldn’t object to me having a day’s walking someplace  on one of my well earnt days off work , the only problem was where ? , being a bone idle sod that I am I thought that I would invite Edwina the intrepid explorer along and basically let her decide on all the tricky stuff like where when and how far, BUT once again she turned me down flat ……………what is going on I have to ask myself ? so time for plane B ….and that’s Bob dog so after a chat with him he quite rightly pointed me to the Interesting walks group on Facebook who do walks on Wednesday (sometimes Bob dog can be quite smart), now I had only just done a walk with this group (well a week or so ago) and had a really great day so I thought why not.

On a really personal note even though I really enjoy meeting up with the group and always have a great day but I still don’t feel that confident about my walking speed and despite my “clearing the air about not waiting for me “I get the impression that the group would stop and wait for me or even walk that little bit slower to make life easier for me, not a problem in the warmer months but I would hate to think that people are waiting about or walking slower when it’s cold and wet , maybe it’s all in my head but still after all these years I still feel a bit uneasy about walking in groups .

Anyway after contacting Doug things and stuff where sorted and that was that.

The only problem (well not really a problem) was the weather forecast it was supposed to be ok to start with but with the wind picking up and threating to turn into a right Hoolie with a few sleet showers thrown in as the day wore on, now I don’t really care about the weather but I really struggle in strong winds, I want my arty leg to do one thing and the wind does its best to get it to do other things so it looked like fun times ahead.

Come the day , both Bob dog and I was ready with a right mixture of gear thrown into the ruck sack “just in case “ and with our normal stop to pick up my sarnie and Bobs roast beef we was off .

We found the meeting place no problem and said hello to old and new members with a couple of hugs thrown in (something I really like), gear was sorted and we were off, our route (see map above) was mostly flat and easy walking, with the cold weather the ground was mostly frozen (at the start of the day) which helped keep the level of mud down.

Our route for the day took out of the small village of Lesbury along the river Aln.

Some of the local Ducks

Snowdrops along the riverside

 

Up and along to the golf course at Foxton Hall, from there along the edge of the beach to Alnmouth.

Foxton Hall golf course

(It was at this point the wind started to pick up and whilst walking along the footpath along the edge of the beach I was nearly blown over and so I cut down onto the beach which suprisley gave a bit of shelter from the worst of the wind)

A Bit windy time to get onto the beach I think

Whilst on the beach I bumped into another above knee amputee and had a chat , he was like me ex forces but he lost his leg when he got blown up whilst on active duty in a far off dry sandy place , it was good to chat I just wish I had more time but with the rest of the group disappearing off into the distance I had to cut short what would have been a good conversation , naturally we showed off our arty limbs , he had the top or the range knee (and quite rightly so ) payed for by the MOD which made my knee seem rather cheap by comparison but as I can’t afford the 70 odd grand for one (nor can the NHS)  I will just have to wait till I win the lotto , but it was good to see another amputee out and about with his young family enjoying the day , to many just seem to give up and spend their time indoors .

Then after a super burst of speed on my part I was off catching up with the rest of the group, our route now took us along the front of Alnmouth and round into the Harbour, naturally I snapped a few photos of “church point across the water “

Church point

Then it was off along what I believe is known as lovers lane which is basically a footpath running alongside the river.

The “Ferry hut “the start of lover’s lane

Which leads us to the bridge where we cross over?

Taken from the bridge, it’s cold and a bit dull for good photos today

Then it was onwards to Hipsburn where due to some fantastic navigating we linked up with the Coastal path / cycle way and followed this along for a while. It was at this point the promised sleety showers started to put in an appearance.

Nice place to have a sit down, but not today the wind is starting to pick up and the sleet has started

I will go on and say I would sooner have sleety shower rather than rain as it just bounced off rather than getting us soaked , however with the strong windy gust it did sting when it hit me in the eye …………..Time for a gear change , off came the jumper and on went the waterproof coat with ……wait for it my dorky hat , this was much better I could hear the sleet hitting my hat and it didn’t bother me , of course this make me look even more of a dork but hey I’m used to getting strange looks .

Then it was time to leave this track , cross over the main road (Bob dog had to go on his lead for this ) cross over the main East coast rail line and on to Wooden Farm where it was decided that we would find a sheltered spot out of the wind for lunch.

I have to say with us all sitting down backs against the wall we did look like a bunch of refugees.

Lunch time

But hey we was out of the cold wind and that’s all that matters, Naturally Bob dog woofed his roast beef down then proceeded to help me with my lunch, then the lovely young Karen turned up with both homemade scones and biscuits nom nom and very tasty they was too thank you, Then the equally young and lovely Pauline came round offering creamy and Jammy homemade fairy cakes , who am I to say no and Nom Nom they was gone (I didn’t even save Bob a bit… how bad am I?) thank you Pauline , (Mick makes a note to himself must get out more with these lovely folk ) .

Moving on after lunch we set off again and thigs got a bit wet and muddy.

Starting to get a bit wet and muddy now

The ground was now very wet and our footpath took us across a couple of fields that had been planted up with some sort of crop (I expect the farmer knows that there is a footpath across his field ) however the mud just seemed to stick to my boots making my Arty leg get heaver and heaver at one point I thought that the weight of the mud would cause my leg to fall off , I did try to poke most of the mud off using my hiking poles , but within two steps is was back again , nothing to do but slowly plod across the field , I noticed that I wasn’t the only one who was slipping around.

Field that caused me so many problems

However I didn’t slip over and made it to the farm track and Bilton Barns on the other side so all was well from there it was easy walking to Spy Law (isn’t there a Spy Law in the Cheviots?) by this time the wind and sleety showers had stopped so that was good then across another (much smaller planted up field) where much to our delight a local Deer decided to show us all how to cross a muddy field without getting covered in mud.

One of the locals showing how to cross a field

From there it was down to Greenrigg and down to the river Aln walking along a nice firm track, once we met up with the river Aln it was a simple case of following the river back to Lesbury.

Nice grassy path along the river

Passing under the huge but very impressive Rail Viaduct.

The Viaduct

According to my GPS we walked about 9.53 miles with a few bits of the ups and downs. Some easy walking some very hard muddy bits, I bet that this route would be great in the summer months as normal a few photos enjoy:

The river Aln

Back in my normal place at the back

 

Looking down at the flood plan, the cattle did cause me a bit of concern but they wasn’t bothered by us

 

Foxton Hall

 

Bob dog looking at me

 

Heading down towards the coastline

 

It’s a bit cool and windy

 

Looking at where the river Aln runs into the sea

 

Looking back at church point

 

Walking along “lovers lane” with the bright coloured houses

 

Heading towards the bridge where we cross over the river

 

 Frozen water

 

A few photos as we make our way along the Coastal path / cycle way

 

It’s starting to get a bit muddy in places

 

Snowdrops

 

Heading down yet another muddy field

 

One of the locals

 

Not really sure what this is for

 

Heading down towards the river, Bob dog is waiting for me again

 

A few photos of the river as we make our way along its banks

 

Looking up at the viaduct

 

Looking back

 

Small weir

The new road bridge (with a bit of the old still showing)

 

Day after thoughts:-

Home, gear sorted, Bob dog put into bubbly bath and given a bath (he was very muddy despite having his coat on) then it was my turn , I expected to start to stiffen up and ache but much to my delight I didn’t and after a bath I felt really good , my stump was a bit tender where it was rubbing on some new skin and was red and hot to touch but other than that I was fine , my real knee ached but no more or less than what it did before so once again I will write this up as another brilliant day out walking with a great bunch of folk so if you read this ……………. Thanks I had a great day

ABOUT ME      NORTHUMBERLAND      WALKS 2018