DATE                              09.02.2014

DISTANCE                      8.3 MILES

WEATHER                     WET AND WINDY TO START WITH

START / FINISH            FREE CAR PARK AT HURY RESERVOIR (I LIKE FREE)

 

Hury with odrus

Somewhere along the way I seem to have lost the ability to communicate with the weather Gods , I had spent ages the night before dancing naked round the garden pond  singing  their praise song so we would have good weather for our planned walk down Teesdale way .

On waking up and peering out of the bedroom curtains it looks as if my prayers had been answered ……….clear blue sky’s with a light frosty coating on the ground .great! Thanks weather gods!

Breakfast was thrown down my neck, gear was thrown in the car and off I went, singing away very merrily to the radio I was a very happy boy, over the moors down into Weardale and that bright blue sky changed into dark grey but it wasn’t raining so not all bad news crossing over the river tee’s the heavens opened up and so it remained for the rest of the drive to Hury Reservoir.

At this point I am not certain if the weather gods are just toying with me or are just plane thick and thinking that I only wanted good weather at home , pre haps I need to be a bit more precise with my asking next time.

I had no sooner parked up and switched the engine off when Beryl turned up, Beryl had had been poorly with a girly flu and missed the last couple of walks, she is really lucky that she cant get man flu, because as any man will tell you if you have man flu you are really ill, anyway it was great to see her again even though the weather was pants.

 Andy and Steve turned up minutes later gear was sorted, comments about the weather where made and off we went. (For route please see the map above)

For the first mile or so it was head down as the rain was blown almost horizontal straight into our faces and it stung (yes I am a wimp) and all I could see was the ground three foot in front of me , every time I even looked up the sheer force and amount of water almost blinded me , it would have been a good time to wear goggles but its something that I hadn’t packed (another lesson learnt ) however we soon turned off the road and headed up the hill towards Goldsborough (388meters) not having the rain and wind directly in your face made a huge difference and the pace picked up straight away , sometime on our way up it stopped raining and what a difference that made , however the wind was really strong and I for one had serious trouble trying to control arty leg  and even now I cant understand why I didn’t get blown over . I really do have problems in strong winds so pre haps I should consider this as a sign of improvement and that I am still improving with my control of arty leg. Who knows? all I will say about the wind was I was really pleased that we wasn’t going any higher or walking along any exposed ridges because if we was I would have had to call it a day, sadly I do have problems and no matter how hard I try to overcome them there are things that I cant do however not today, after we all did the photo thingy it was time to head back down, naturally the rain started again, then stopped then started and so it continued all morning but each time the rain seemed to diminish and the wind even seemed to die back a bit but it was still strong and stayed that way all day , round about lunch time the sun came out and stayed out which lifted our sprits no end , we where passing the yha at blackton  I was hoping that it was open so we could all pile in and get coffee but sadly it was all shut up .

A walk over the Dam at Balderhead reservoir then it was lunch time, here we took advantage of a hut to get out of the wind, inside the hut there was a table and chairs, working lights and even a small heater, I’m I not certain who or why this hut is here but it was a welcome stopping place and dare I say it I was surprised that it hadn’t been vandalised.

There had been a conversation going on all morning about Hannah’s meadows and where they are, it would seem that her home moved up and down the valley all morning and despite having a local lass with us we (I mean they)  still couldn’t  agree , anyhow a quick check on Goggle and the mystery is solved link:-http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.durhamwt.co.uk%2Fcore_pdfs%2FHANNAH'S.pdf&ei=2dr4Uq7mOYOw7Aa69IDYCw&usg=AFQjCNHkfIZ9kwcpCRuBMWEcpcy1ni8ttA

After a well deserved lunch break it was time to set off again on the return leg with the wind was on our backs and the sun shining made for a very pleasant afternoon, the ground of course was sopping wet and we all spent a lot of time hopping over muddy puddles or slipping around , the spillways in the reservoirs made for good photos as did the small streams in flood , we walked or slipped about 8.3 miles according to my GPS with a small amount of the ups and downs , at the car park gear was sorted out , my muddy socks had to be chased around to get them into the car (these will test out the washing machine back home)  then it was off to the pub form a well deserved after walk drink , another really good days walking …..Thanks.

A few photos (not many coz the lens got wet)

Taken from inside the car on my way to the car park

Andy striding out into the wind

 

Beryl thinking “it’s just a bit of rain “I wait till one of the men folk suggest that we wimp out.

 

Looking down towards the reservoir and a rainbow, this rainbow seemed to chase us along the valley all morning

 

Our route taking us up to Goldsborough (our highest point of todays walk)

Andy & Steve leading the way, at this point my lungs seemed to stop working

 

Looking back down (really I was stopping to get my breath back)

 

My attempt at an “arty” type photo, what this doesn’t show is how windy it was up here

 

Looking down towards Blackton & Balderhead reservoirs

 

Hury reservoir

 

Smile please

 

That rainbows is back again, the rain will get us in a minute or so

 

Andy and Beryl discussing where Hannah’s hay meadows might or might not be.

 

Mawmon Sike? In flood

 

Not sure where I am looking at the moment but here comes the rain again

 

Looking back down the reservoir

 

The YHA that was shut …pity I could have done with a coffee

Looking towards a snow capped hill

 

On the dam looking down

 

Walking across the dam

 

Our lunch hut, not really sure what Beryl is pointing at

 

At the base of the dam looking towards it spillway?

Looking down the reservoir the sun might be out but it’s still windy

 

Our route taking us into a wildfowl section of the walk

 

Looking back down

 

The dam turrets (if that’s the right word)

 

What you can’t see here is how wet and slippery the ground was

Our path

 

Not sure what these overflow holes are called but the water was tanking down it

 

Close up

 

Looking back at the grassy side of the Balderhead dam

 

Looking the other way down Hury reservoir

 

Another “arty” photo of a tree (that didn’t work) sigh!

 

Looking back up at the spillway

 

The gang striding ahead

Back at the “head” of Hury reservoir and its associated spillways

 

A few more photos of this remarkable bit of engineering

 

 A very happy Beryl coz her cold has gone and a smile of Andy because he didn’t lose anyone .

 

Got home later on only to be informed that they had really good weather all day sigh............. bloody weather gods!!!

 

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