DATE                             14.01.2014

DISTANCE                     ABOUT 6 .4 MILES

WEATHER                     COLD GREY AND WET




After a spending the weekend at work , looking out the window at blue sky’s I thought that it was about time I got my sorry arse out someplace in the fells , the weather  forecast  was good and I quote “bright and sunny” bright and sunny my arse but at the time I didn’t know how wrong they would get it . But that’s a different story and all I will say is that I am going to start praying to the weather Gods again to see if I can get better weather on my days off.

I decided that I would start my walk from Barrowburn and just play things by ear a bit like normal really; I know the area well so there shouldn’t be any surprises , I got my gear sorted out the night before and after a chat with my better half decided that I would just take Bob with me , as it was  this was a bit of a mistake , I forget how small he is and how he has bugger all ground clearance which results him getting soaking wet , I have a good waterproof coat with a built in fleece for him but all that happens in he get wet underneath and it simply soaks into the bottom of the fleece keeping a cold wet barrier against his skin , it wasn’t till we came to stop for something to eat that I saw him shivering , a quick check of the coat and all was reviled , fortunately once the coat was off and a quick snuggle inside my fleece he soon warmed up and was fine , but its made me realise that as a very small young dog , I cant take him out in the cold wet mud all day its just not fair , I haven’t told him yet that he wont be joining me until the weather warms up a bit but I do expect some serious barking when I try to go out with out him . Fortunately Yvonne agrees with me on this so I think that I will do the decent thing and let her inform him.

Any way I new that things where going to be different on my drive up to the park , to start with the blue sky simply disappeared , approaching the small village of rothbury it was a case of fog lights on .

Driving up the beautiful Coquet valley things picked up a bit at least I could see however all the hill tops where covered with a coating of thick cloud and so it stayed for most of the day, I did think about if it would be worth getting above the cloud but I didn’t really think that there was any “big high hills “that would get above it.

No it was going to be one of those dull damp grey days.

I duly arrived at the car park and sorted things and stuff out  coffee was made  and drunk , I waited around for a bit as I had posted on a  Odrus face book site that I would be starting till 09:30 , I didn’t get any reply’s and I really didn’t expect anyone to turn up but you never know .

Bob by this time had discovered the sheep in the field and wanted to go play, I had a few words with him and he reluctantly started to behave then we where off, I knew that I wouldn’t be doing anything really big today, the weather just wasn’t playing and judging by the amount of water laying around there had been some serious rainfall which meant a few of the becks would be in full flow and would need to be avoided.

Walking past the farm at Barrowburn another disappointment the small but friendly farm tea room was closed and wouldn’t be open for my return trip, shame I always make a point of stopping for a cuppa and a nice bit of cake , once past the farm I let Bob off his lead with stern words of behave , I knew that there would be sheep around and the last thing I wanted was for him to go play with them , so far he has been very good around livestock but………………..he is still young and it doesn’t hurt to let him know who boss of course the packet of his favourite treats in my coat pocket helped remind him to be good as well.

As it turned out he was very well behaved in amounts the sheep today, even when we walked through a large group of them he walked by my side, of course I was talking to him the whole time and rewarded him once we where past, he did very well and I was very pleased with him, however once in a wood a deer sprang out in front of us and off he went chasing it , I didn’t hear or see him for a good five minutes and was starting to get a bit panicky about where he had gone where he burst out of the undergrowth and came bounding up to me with such a look of pure joy on  his little face I couldn’t be cross with him .

Somewhere or should I say sometime I decided that I would re walk and old favourite route of mine about 6 and a bit miles  and so I didn’t feel to bad I would use it as a training walk , I have picked up quite a few bad habits with my walking gait plus I needed to work on the going up steep banks and going down these same steep banks , of course Bob thought I had lost the plot when I started going up a hill only to stop and go back down it only to turn around and go back up it again , I tried different styles and methods with no great result at least I didn’t fall over so I suppose I could class it as a success …………..Bob just looked at me like I was mad .

Dinner was had in a nice sheltered spot where bob did his best to nick all the beef out of my sarnie and helped polish off the last of the cake , then it was time to think about where to go in the afternoon , we had already had a couple of heavy showers and disappeared in the clouds , Bob was no longer in his coat as it was soaking wet but Bob seemed to be happier without it , but I really didn’t want him to get soaking wet again , I still had a thought about popping up to windy Gyle but our path would have taken us through a bunch of blood thirsty cattle so that was kicked into touch , no its time to head back another damp wet cloud passed by dropping the temperature and making us damp again clinched the deal , we still had 3 miles to go so we made our way back …….and yes the weather improved as we got closer to the car . About 6.4 miles give or take a foot or so with 1594 ft. of the ups and downs.

Sometime during the walk I blew the seal on the hydraulic unit on arty leg and it was leaking oil great!!!  Still I was down to visit the freeman limb centre the next day so they could order me a new one along with a new foot, shell and seal in liner  The joys of being an amputee eh?.

As normal a few photos enjoy.

At Barrowburn looking down the Coquet valley


Looking up the valley as the cloud decides to drop.


A bit further along the clouds are closing in


At the top of Kyloe Shin looking back down towards a misty Barrowburn


Bob Having a mooch before we enter the misty woods


Looking down at the Usway burn Valley


Looking towards Fairhaugh




Looking back towards Shillhope law




Some Memorial stones the writing has worn away now and is hard to read.


A photo from a visit a few years ago, there was something about the writing that touched me when I first came to this place, I was in a shit state, still trying to come to terms with my recent accident, thinking that I was alone , my life was over & no one would miss me when I was gone, I was in a very dark place somehow these words penetrated the shell I had placed around myself and made me realise that wallowing in  self-pity wasn’t for me , it relit that bright light that burns away in all of us mine was barely flickering at the time and it felt good & for the first time in months I felt the begins of a new hope .


Over the years I have always stopped and talked to Joyce & Bill as I tidied up around “there” place it is a lovely beautiful spot and even now I always come away with a bitter sweet feeling that my time on this earth is so small I can’t waist any more time with all the bad things that are going on in the world today.

I don’t know anything about Bill & Joyce but they certainly played a major part in my recovery & keep me on the right path today (mentally speaking)

Me playing with the shutter speed for smoky water shot


Looking downstream and yet another smoky water shot


A brief break in the cloud and the view starts to open up a bit


Now on the side of Yarnspath law looking at the clouds dropping down


Looking the other way as the clouds drop down again


Dropping down towards Usway Burn

Bob in his coat leading the way

Small unnamed waterfall



Looking downstream


Bob looking very unhappy, it was at this point I removed his coat (he was much happier afterwards)


Looking back at the bridge we crossed over


Looking down towards the Hepden burn


Now on the track looking towards Hazely Law


Must have been a bit windy at one point lots of trees blown over


The head stone in murder Cleugh

A few photos as we head back to Barrow law along the boarder county ride path (I have never seen a bike up here)

Bob waiting for me to catch up , he knew that he had to walk at heel when we are near sheep

Bob running back towards me

I am pleased that we miss that lot

Heading down back to Barrowburn and the first sighting of the Coquet valley


On our way down to the farm, arty leg wants a photo


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