DATE                                 23.03.07

DISTANCE                        ABOUT 6.2 MILES

WEATHER                        BRIGHT TO START THEN TURNING DULL

START / FINISH               CAR PARK AT BARROWBURN

Once again I found myself I that rather nice position of having a free day ……..you know the type, no jobs to catch up on, no last minute visits or shopping to do so why not make the most of it and have a day out in the hills someplace and  get a bit of walking practise in as well as a simple chill out day, you know the sort no set distance or route just a make it up as you go along the only thing that I knew was that I would be heading up the Coquet Valley and starting at Barrowburn , there is something that seems to call out to me when I come to this place , welcoming me back and letting me know that I will be safe and come back feeling better …..and you know something it true , I always feel so much better after a day up here , why does this valley make me feel like this I don’t know , after all I love all the hills and valleys and always feel that the hills are welcoming me . but here there is something that little bit special, I don’t know what or why but there is something here that want me to be here (yes I know that sounds mad but!!) and I guess my favourite spot is standing on the wooden footbridge that crosses over the Hepden   burn at Barrowburn, just looking up the valley and thinking this is where my adventure starts and thinking where will it end today….. (Hopefully back at the car or I’ve done something seriously wrong)

So that was it, gear was thrown into the car and I was off with the one stop for my roast beef sarnie and a small but tasty KitKat bar (don’t tell anyone about the KitKat). Weather wise it looked promising, blue skies with a few white fluffy clouds but it was cold, but as always I had packed the right sort of clothing so that wasn’t a worry, driving up the Coquet was as always kind of exciting and daunting in the fact that things might not go as well as I hoped, even now a couple of years after my amputation I still don’t know how the stump will feel when I get out of the car and put some weight onto it , luckily most of the time its ok but there are still moments or should I say that moment when I take the first step where there is a tremendous amount of nervous energy flying around my body and dare I say it a small but very strong feeling of fear , but after that first step I know things will be ok and have a deep sigh of relief .

The drive up the coquet valley was as it always was something special , and as it was such a nice day I decided to stop and take a photo or two of a small unnamed water fall , I wanted to try out a new photo thingy I had been messing around with trying to get a smoky water look , but as time was moving I settled for a couple of quick snaps , promising myself that I would stop on the way back and spend a bit of time  “playing” around , as I was I should have taken the time because the weather turned grey and dull by the time I got back later that day .

Any way back to the walk, it was park up in the small but free car park near the farm at Barrowburn, gear sorted and on then off I went, a small section along the road to the farm, there is a footpath that takes you straight over the river, but where I can I like to have the first and last few hundred meters on a road so I can settle down into the socket before I start doing anything that might put any strain on my stump.

The route that I walked today was Barrowburn, crossing over the Hepden burn (one of my favourite views) up along the side of Lounges Knowe, into the forest of Kidland, up onto Middle hill out of the forest and onto the Middle from there head down onto the track heading past Trows Plantation, Murder Cleugh then onto the border country ride path along and over Barrow law down back into the Farm at Barrowburn with its very welcome tea room , where I treated myself to coffee and cake …well deserved even if I say so myself . I walked about 6.2  miles with no problems but I wasn’t really trying to break any record’s Weather wise my luck held once again, with a lovley blue sky and sunshine to start with but sadly it started to cloud over as the day wore on and as it clouded over the temperature started to drop as well, then just to show how lucky I am it started to rain just as I got to the car, all in all a nice relaxing day out in the hills,

As normal a few photos

Taken on my way up the Coquet valley, a small unnamed waterfall

 

Again taken from the car on the drive up looking up the valley

 

The farm just down the road from Barrowburn (not sure of its name)

 

Looking back towards the old hall and the car park

 

The deer hut and old school house at Barrowburn (now holiday lets)

 

Heading along the valley following the Hepden Burn

 

The track heading up Lounges Knowe, I find it hard work at the moment

Nearly at the top looking back towards Barrowburn

 

The track leading into Kidland forest

 

Again looking back towards Barrowburn

 

Looking over the other side towards the Usway Burn

 

Part of Kidland forest

Again looking down towards the Usway Burn

 

Now on the Middle looking down towards the small Hepden burn

 

Looking on the other side at the Usway Burn

 

Looking towards a path on the other side of the burn (I think that I will soon be ready to try that route)

Looking along the valley towards Usway Farm

 

Suns now out, and the valley seems to light up

 

Taken at max zoom looking at the farm at Usway Ford (there is still the odd bit of snow / ice laying around

 

Now heading back looking up at Hazley Law

 

Today I will stay on the stone track and head back, looks like that they have been planting loads of trees

Time for a sit down and coffee break

 

Now at the Trows (farm) looking at the route up to Windy Gyle

 

Smoky water shot of the ford

 

Now following the river Coquet back

 

Same again

Looks like there are a few walkers still out as their cars are still parked up

 

Typically the weather is starting to turn dull and there is light rain falling now

 

Back at the car park looking back towards the farm at Barrowburn

A couple of photos of the small waterfall that I saw on my drive up , pity the weather is pants …still there is always another day

 

 

 

 

Day after thoughts

Home, Gear sorted, then a hot bath with no problems, my stump was starting to feel a bit warm towards the end of the walk, but because of the slow steady pace it wasn’t a problem, I did have to stop and remove the leg at one point and found that somehow my skin had folded over and I was developing a crease, luckily I found it before it became a problem, but I think it could be because the socket could do with a bit of realigning as there is a bit too much space now , but I will give it a day or so before I start just to make sure , but all in all another good day out .

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