DATE                                     13.04.13

DISTANCE                            13.1 MILES

WEATHER                             BRIGHT AND SUNNY

START / FINISH                   ALNMOUTH & CRESSWELL

Alnmouth to Cresswell.

For todayís walk I wanted to up the distance a bit, I felt fairly confident that as long as there were no boggy sections or steep hills involved that my stump would behave itself. That meant once again missing the Cheviots out, there are several flattish walks that I could do along the valleys in the hills but there is still a lot of snow up there and itís melting fast now, the valley bottoms where soaking last time I was up there so they would be even worse now , no today it would be a walk along the coast for me , my plan was to do some walking along the coastal path , some along the national cycle path some along the beach and some along the dunes that way I could mix it up a bit .

After a brief chat with my better half , she suggested that she would drop me off first thing in the morning someplace then pick me up later on say at tea time when I either done enough or if I start to get problems with my stump .

A quick look at the map and a route was decided, pick up places where discussed and that was about it. I know from all my other walks along this coastline that there is a good phone signal so if the worst should happen I can always ring her and get her to pick me up.

The alarm went off and being the morning person that I am I promptly turned over and had a few more minutes, this turned into an hour or so, ďShitĒ the days half over before I even start, fortunately the drop off point was only 30 minutes car drive away and all the gear was sorted the night before.

I was dropped off (at the wrong place) at waterside house which is on the small mud flats at Alnmouth, but that didnít matter it was only half a mile or so to where I planned to start the walk, gear was quickly sorted goodbyes where said and off I went.

The first ľ of a mile or so was a nightmare very wet and slippery, & I hadnít had a chance to get settled into arty leg yet so I found it extremely difficult , however once I got to Buston links the path firmed up a bit , me and Arty leg got sorted and things suddenly looked good , the sun was doing its best to burn through the sea fret with the promise a good days weather , and for the first time this year  the temperature reached double figures , yes spring has finally arrived , taking advantage of the pleasant conditions I quickly stopped , jet boil was fired up and coffee was made , thatís much better I donít function to well in the morning without coffee , after that it was a case of stripping down to shorts and t shirt and having a very easy but long wander down the coastline .

There was only two problems with my route and they where I had to pass through the small towns / villages of Warkworth and Amble which meant people and traffic, something I try to avoid at all times, however the good people of Warkworth where very polite and chatty, in fact it took me almost an hour to get through Warkworth as everyone wanted to stop me and chat about the weather and my leg, I donít mind talking about how I lost my leg but the clock was ticking and at one point I had visions of me being stuck there all day , however I did get away (when did I become such an anti-social old git?) and continued on my journey , my next problem was how was I going to get through Amble , but I neednít have worried , my good morning or nice day today was met with grunts , eyes lowered and only the odd good morning back .(miserable sods) but it was far too much of a nice day to be put off by their miserable faces and I soon left the small but miserable town of Amble and wandered down the coastline via a section in the sand dunes , I couldnít help but notice at one point that I was in the Amble Dunes nature reserve , however I donít think that there is much wildlife in these dunes apart from the local yoffs and copious amounts of empty cider bottle or beer cans and rubbish , pity really these dunes could be something special. or is all the rubbish coming from the huge caravan site just opposite ? Either way there is nothing I can do, if they want to ruin their area itís up to them.

From there I spent an equal amount of time either walking along the sandy beaches or in the dunes with the odd trip down onto the coastal path when the mood took me.

I made one huge mistake when I decided to stop and sort my seal out, naturally right at the most critical time when the seal was turned inside out the wind blew and covered it with sand, it took almost all of my water to rise it off and get rid of the sand, a school boy mistake that I wonít do again, luckily I was near low Hauxley and had no problems in begging a top up of fresh water from one of the holiday homes that was open. My route took me further down the coastline towards Hadston, when I was stopped again by a few people playing with their power kites, I used to play around myself with these wind kites in my early day after amputation, I forget how good it is just to bomb up and down the beach using nothing but wind power, I think that I will have to make time and get my stuff sorted out and have a few days up here kiting.

From there I carried on down the beach towards Cresswell, again I made a school boy error and cut off the beach right into a field of cattle with their young ones, they didnít seem to mind me until I got the camera out to take a couple of photos, then ďmumsyĒ let me know she wasnít impressed and I had to make a rather quick exit from the field to the nearby road.

On arriving on the road a quick call to my better half Yvonne asking her to come get me ,jet boil out for a well-deserved last cup of coffee, whilst drinking coffee the GPS informed me I had done 13.1 miles , not bad for an old cripple but the best part was I wasnít even feeling tired and to be honest I think that I could have done a few more miles without any bad after effects , but I wanted to do 12 + so I had reached my target so all was well.

As normal a few photos:-

Taken from where I was dropped off looking towards Alnmouth.

 

Looking across the mud flats, this is the first time I have been on this side of them.

 

Looking towards the old church and cross at Church point.

 

A very brave deer helping itself to the crops in the nearby field.

 

Swans and moorhens in one of the many nature reserves that are dotted about on this section of coastline.

 

One in flight.

 

Looking back along my route.

 

Looking ahead, I decide itís time to cut down onto the beach for a while.

 

A pattern in the rock, lovely isnít it?

 

Looking back down the coastline.

 

Looking ahead, all to myself.

 

A dead porpoise, itís always sad to see any sea creature washed up on the beach, sadly I found another one a few miles further down the beach.

 

Sadly I have to leave the beach for a few miles now, looking back down the shore line, and to think I had it all to myself.

 

Looking down onto the river Coquet at Warkworth.

 

The old bridge, there is a modern road bridge that run next to this one that takes the traffic.

 

Looking at the river Coquet.

 

Warkworth Castle.

 

Same again only this time taken from the roadside, unfortunately I canít get away from a small roadside section of this walk.

 

Info board on the river, there was a few water birds about and I missed a heron that flew away just as I got here.

 

The Weir.

 

Looking back at Warkworth.

 

Looking down towards the harbour at Amble.

 

The yachting Marina.

 

Looking across towards some old wrecks across one of the smaller breakwaters.

 

Now on the dunes heading away from Amble.

 

Looking back.

 

Looking down onto the rocky shore line I decide to stay in the dunes for a while.

 

But there is an easy path, at this point I am not certain if this is path of the coastal path or not. It doesnít really matter either way.

 

Time to cut down onto the beach again, looking back towards the harbour.

 

The sandy beach is replaced by this loose stone, but still easy walking.

 

Looking across towards Coquet Island.

Now walking on flattish rock, itís easy as long as I keep off the green seaweed bits.

 

A bit further along, looking back towards Coquet Island.

 

Back on the sandy beach again.

 

Low Hauxley and one of the info boards.

 

For a while I am back in the dunes, looking down at the beach.

 

A wooden ďmoneyĒ pole.

 

Time to get back on the beach, for the next mile or so there are rocky patches but nothing to get excited about.

 

My attempt at an ARTY photo. Didnít come out as I would have wanted it to.

 

Tyre tracks on the beach.

 

People are out with their power kites; this section of the beach is very popular.

 

However as I make my way along I soon lose all sight of every one, looking back.

 

Looking ahead.

 

Time to head into the dunes for a coffee break.

 

Arty leg wants to have his photo taken.

 

A couple of photos whilst I am walking along the dunes.

 

Now back on the beach for the last section, and this section is covered with seaweed and kelp.

 

Mum not looking too happy with me, time for me to sod off.

 

 Day after thoughts

Much to my surprise I didnít have any aches or pains when I woke up in the morning , I have to be honest and say I did expect some , all I can think off why was because it was it was mostly  flat and I took a nice easy pace , even the sole of my good foot was ok . on checking my stump it wasnít  even red or sore , either I am getting better at this walking thing or I just need to slow my pace down a little bit . Anyway a very good days walking in more ways than one.

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