DATE                          30.11.16

DISTANCE                ABOUT 8.3 MILES

 WEATHER                BRIGHT AND SUNNY

START / FINISH       MAIN CAR PARK AT WOODS

 

 

Today I would be heading up to Chopwell woods for a wander around err the woods, I haven’t been up that way for donkeys years well since early 2006……. (Christ where does the time go) & looking at some old photos taken from that walk link: - http://www.onefootinnorthumberland.co.uk/CHOPWELL_.htm

All I can say is that the years haven’t been that kind to me. …………..err moving on.

Naturally I asked the Boy’s if they wanted to join me, but all I got was a thanks but no thanks off Flynn and Munchy, but Bob didn’t need asking twice and after giving me my instructions about getting his treats packed and don’t forget his roast beef he stood guard by my rucksack with the odd high speed dash to the front door and back again just to check things , after the normal check of the rucksack under Bobs supervision it was time to go and gear was thrown into the car , Bob of course was first in and snuggled down ready then we were off.

I would be joining various walkers from the http://www.meetup.com/Northumberland-Walking-Group/  and looked forward to chatting away a few miles as we wandered around the woods , Bob dog was looking forward to meeting some of his old pals and having a good run around .

Anyway after a twenty minute drive (give or take a few minutes) we found the main parking place without the normal fight with sat nav which must be a first for me, Gear was sorted and much to Bob dog disgust I put him in his new frost coat, Bob has worn this coat once before when we was up in Simonside in the freezing ice and sleety patches and it stayed dry and warm inside. So today I was expecting the paths to be very wet it would be a good test to see how waterproof it is. And I didn’t think it would be wise to put it on once he had got covered in mud, so it was a test of sorts, Bob dog wasn’t impressed but after a treat or two he soon gave up moaning and happily went off sniffing and saying hello to everyone and was back to his normal happy self.

Once everyone was accounted for, Margaret set off and at this stage I didn’t have a clue what route / direction or even how far we would be going today, but that really didn’t matter, it was described as a fun walk and I know this group well enough to know that I should be able to manage it without any problems yes I expected to fall behind but that’s the norm , I really should start to tweak the cylinder up a bit to see if I can get a bit more speed out of the knee .but I don’t really want upset the apple cart as things seem to be going so well , yes I know that I will have to go back to the limb centre soon to get it relined as it’s starting to get a bit slack and I’m starting to bottom out a bit after a few hours in the socket but I figure if I can just get that little bit fitter the whole process should be that little be easier to adjust to when I do get it altered .

The walk today was along a series of pathways and tracks, (see map above for route it’s a bit wobbly wobblerly) all seemed to be in an excellent state of repair and so the dreaded “muddy / boggy bits” never materialised, (sorry Bob dog) likewise despite being the last day of November the weather was surprisingly mild, the trees with their autumn show of colour was well past their best but considering the time of the year it was still worth seeing , as expected as the day went on I started to drop behind and was pleasantly surprised when the lovely Edwina and her pooch dropped back to walk with me and once again I found that putting the world to rights whilst we walked along made the distance just disappear ( thanks Edwina) . On arriving back at the car park I was a bit disappointed that the mobile tea/ butty shop was shut (found out it wouldn’t be open till the weekend) but that really didn’t matter on a day like today.

 As the rest of walking group sorted there stuff out ready to go home ( or pub) I had one of those moment when I didn’t really want the walk to end , and decided to have a small wander around what was marked as a blue walk and so said my goodbyes  and off I went with Bob dog to have a mooch around for a bit longer , we found the old train waggons , that for some reason I wanted to see then decided to head off the path into the forest just for the sake of things , however what we found was the woods are criss crossed with various paths tracks some new some very old , I suppose being so close to a large city like Newcastle , thousands of people must have had the same idea over the years and so the woods are covered with unofficial paths , but at least I didn’t get stuck someplace .without knowing I found myself back on a path heading back to the car park and decided to put one pole away and get a bit of walking practise in , with walking with one pole I noticed that the knee seemed to play a much dominant role in how I walked and once again I found myself trying not to fight against it when walking downhill and if I let it things do seem to be much better and the knee does help to a degree then  Finally as the sun started to sink we wandered back into the car park, I had walked about 8.03 miles with a few small amounts of up’s and down’s but nothing worth recording. All very easy walking and considering the wood is spitting distance away from Newcastle it is a nice quite place, like I have said many times in the past I tend to keep away from the built up areas and the crowds but today once in among the trees we could have been miles and miles away from the rat race.

As normal a few photos, sorry I can’t really add much of a description

The info board at the car park

 

Looking towards where they are gearing up to flog some Christmas trees

 

One of Bob dog friends (love the boots)

 

Wooden sculpture (not sure if it means anything)

 

And we are off

Happy smiling faces enjoying the day

 

Another info board

 

Bob Dog waiting for me (he does a lot of this)

 

A break in the tree line

 

One of several wooden lean to’s we saw today

 

Err more trees (what do you expect in a wood?)

 

At the edge of the wood the view

 

Wooden bench

 

Heading off into the sun, it really was a lovely day

 

Still a good covering of leaves on the paths

 

Hello (I’m so pleased she didn’t fall back …it’s a bit of a drop)

 

Yep I haven’t got a clue what this bush is called

 

Looking at an old pond

 

Once again Bob dog is waiting for me

 

At the edge of the wood again

 

Edwina and her pooch

 

Not sure what to say about this

Another wooden hut

 

Bob dog on guard duty

Just playing

Wooden sculpture

 

And another

 

Big hand

 

And another one

 

The ladies

 

Into the trees

 

Now back at the start and the Christmas tree sales place

 

Now heading off on my own

 

The railway carriage

 

The sun is slowly going down time to get my act together and start back I think

 

More trees

 

Bob dog stopping for a sniff

 

One of the many picnic benches that are dotted around

 

A few more photos as we head back

Day after thoughts

Getting out of the car I had stiffened up a bit and the first few steps where quite painful , but once I had thrown a cup of coffee down my neck and unpacked my rucksack I wasn’t too bad .

One bath time later and check of things I was pleased to say that that no sore spots or skin rubs , however I seem to be developing a fluid build-up on the side of my stump I think that it might be a bursa (spelling)  which isn’t a bad thing as such as the fluid lump will add a protective layer between the bone and the hard socket , but like most things there is nothing I can do about it other than keep an eye on it , however today will go down as another good day (don’t they always when you are out in the fresh air)

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