DATE                                           21.06.05

DISTANCE                                  4.83 MILES

WEATHER                                 BRIGHT & SUNNY

START / FINISH                        CRASTER MAIN CAR PARK



It seemed like ages since I got out for a walk , I had been getting out between work shifts but rather than go for a walk some place I had been concentrating on different styles of walking and how I could overcome any problems that I might encounter when out walking someplace , so on my days off I had been going into the Cheviot hills , parking up walking to a certain area where I would set up for the day , by dropping a blanket down , dumping my gear on it then just practising going up and down a small hill trying different things to see what worked and what didn’t , straight away I found that going up hill was really hard and no matter what technic I developed it was still seriously hard , however that was nothing compared to how much nervous energy I used when I came down the same hill , I would repeat this two of three times then stagger back to the blanket and simply drop down for a well deserved rest . I quickly discovered that if I went uphill in a clockwise direction i.e. keeping my right leg slightly higher than the left (arty) leg it helped no end and it was the same coming down hill if I sort of angled the decent clockwise it gave me a little bit more control , at the same time if I pointed my arty foot inwards it would help lock it and made it a bit more stable , but the biggest thing I discovered was speed , the slower I went the more control I had over things and boy was I slow , naturally I discovered that even falling on grass hurts after a while and when coming downhill even the smallest of lumps or stones would trick the knee into bending and sent me flying down the hill yet again , just when I though I was getting on with stuff something would happen and I would find myself kissing the ground again . what I didn’t expect was how mentally tiring it was, sometimes I would stagger back to my blanket, have a drink then lay down for a couple of minutes only to find twenty minutes had past, naturally my good leg was letting me know that it was pissed with me so every time I sat down I would spend a bit of time rubbing my calf muscle until it stopped twitching or loosened up a bit, sometimes I left it to late and it hurt as I tried to free it up. Naturally each time I sat down I would take the opportunity   to do a stump break and check things on there but on the whole my stump seemed to be behaving itself , and as time went on I found I didn’t need quite so many patches slapped on , at the moment I had just two on , one where my bum cheek sat on the socket and I still had one on where I had a hole on the inside of my leg from my stupid trip out up Beef stand hill see :-

The hole had closed up but the skin was very tender and weak so I was mothering the area until it fully healed and toughed up. Also since my last walk I had been back top the limb centre and got my socket relined again, so the fit was that little bit better. This meant that I shouldn’t be pistoling up and down so much in the socket.

My stump was still changing at a alarming rate and I couldn’t wait till it stabilized and then I could be fitted for my first proper leg  but from what I read up on and gleaned off the amputee sites on the internet I still had months to go ……….sigh !

Anyway let’s get back to walking, I fancied a day out along the coastline, and once again that booklet came up with something suitable so that was that.

I wouldn’t be on my own today a friend and neighbour would be joining me. As normal I got all my gear packed and sorted then went into my pre walk routine of slapping two patches of foam on held in place by a tegaderm plaster, quickly followed by a smear of anti chaff cream, I had been cutting down the amount I put on, but with the warmer weather I have been sweating a lot and the sweat tends to “wash” it off so it was back to a generous dollop. I was still in the trial and error stage ………its my hope that one day I wont need anything but that is in the future and a long way away at the moment .

Any way our gear was thrown into the car and after a pleasant drive up the coast we arrived at Craster our starting point for this walk, as we left it to a late start the car park was almost full but there was one empty place and that was in the disabled bay, this was the first time that I have parked in a disabled bay and it felt strange, I didn’t feel disabled after all I was up here for a walk ….disabled people cant walk right? But by displaying the blue badge I didn’t have to pay the stupidly high price so I felt quite smug about that………. see losing a leg does have its advantages.

Gear was sorted, coffee was brought by via a mobile snack hut at the entrance and drunk and off we went.

This walk was going to be an easy one , no big hills ,no streams no nothing that would cause me grief but I decided to take and use my hiking poles , more to keep me straight up and help me stop swaying from side to side another  bad habit that I had started to develop.

Our route (see map) was every thing the book said it would be and once again I had to ask myself why I hadn’t been up this way before, it really is a gem of an area, in fact I make a habit of returning up here several times each year, it has sections of the Northumbrian coastline at its best.

We took our time today there was no rush to do anything & my stump and good leg certainly approved because I got no grief of either of them. And with the nice weather it sort of made it easy just to sit-down and take in the scenery.

Lunch was had siting on top of a sand dune looking out to sea, then it was an easy walk back along the coastal path past the very imposing ruin castle of Dunstanburgh back to Craster, where we once again treated ourselves to coffee, then after the gear was thrown into the car I called in the smoke house and got some freshly smoked Craster kippers for home.

A few photos:

Looking across towards the ruin castle


The track heading towards the Dunstan Steads


The castle (it seems to dominate the view for miles around)


Lunch time , Looking at Embleton Bay


Looking towards a distant Newton Point


Me having a sarnie


Close up (the Castle not me)


Last look along the beach


And we head off this way , very easy walking


One of the old towers of Dunstanburgh Castle

Castle point ?


Looking up

Same view just further along


A bit further round and another bit of the castle comes into view


Looking at the main entrance


Up close


Heading towards Craster looking back


Further along looking back


Strange rocks

Day after thoughts,

Gear was sorted and put away, a quick shower and check of the stump proved thing where as expected and ok, in fact the worst thing I suffered from today was pulling the tegaderm plasters off, the hairs on my stump had started growing and being a wimp that I am I squealed like a little girl when I pulled them off. My good leg hurt again and had the shakes but not as bad as what it had been, I think sitting in a warm bath helps it more than anything so maybe I will have a bath rather than a shower when I get back from future walks. And one other thing with the sun being out I managed to get sun burnt on the skin graphs? On my good leg, I tend to forget that they are still very delicate and need some sun block putting on them. Before they get exposed.

One last comment this is a beautiful area, I find it hard to believe that I haven’t walked around here before (or have I?) and it’s right on my doorstep how many other places are waiting for me? I can’t wait.



 This Web Page Created with PageBreeze Free HTML Editor