DATE                                10.11.16

DISTANCE                        4.9 MILES




Dunstan Steads

After my last adventure , I was keen to get out again and  build up a bit more confidence with my new arty leg , it seems to be a slow process , something I didn’t really expect after all this time as an amputee but hey It goes to show how little I really know , any how I had put myself down for a walk with the walking group that I’m with however due to the bad weather it got cancelled , I will admit that I was disappointed but I can really understand why , its wasn’t so much the walk , it was the car drive to get to the starting point that would cause the problems .

Rather than sitting at home I decided that I really need to get myself a new coat, my last coat has done me well for the last ten years or so but despite reproofing it can handle a shower and that’s about it then it acts like blotting paper so time to spend some of my hard earned £‘s and get a new one.

I will admit that I had been looking for a while now and must have read almost every review  about every jacket / coat and  it would seem that for me at least there is no one coat that will do everything that I wanted and if you throw in different seasons it really starts to get difficult   part of me was hoping that if I threw enough money at it there would be “the one for all seasons and uses but no” so  it looks like I will might be getting two coats but first it was time to get my “ water and windproof one “ I had decided if it fitted and “felt” right I would go for the mountain equipment Lhotse  jacket :-

First problem was what size, I normally get all my stuff on line but I really needed to try this on and like I stated it had to feel right, so after a few minutes on the all-knowing google I found that my local branch of go outdoors had a few in stock, so that was it armed with my credit card of I went to Go outdoors.

The staff at go outdoors couldn’t have been more helpful, and before I knew it I had a bundle stacked all around me, and after trying on a couple I knew that I had got the right one and left the store a few pounds lighter but with a hiking coat that should serve me well, with the discount card they operate it worked out just as cheap as I could have got it on line so all in all I feel pretty smug about the whole thing.

(Who knows I might even right a review on the this coat and post it someplace on my blog if I can be arsed)

Time to try it out someplace

So armed with my new jacket, I then threw  all my gear into the car, Bob dog naturally told me that he would be joining me for today’s wander, Munchy and Flynn wished us both good luck as they snuggled back down in there nice warm beds and off we went, with just one stop for our sarnie at our favourite sarnie shop, Bob of course reminded me to get some extra slices of roast beef, (sometimes I think that I spoil that dog) but being a softie that I am I got his .

I had decided due to the weather and my ability I would have a wander along the coastline someplace and decided to head up “low newton” way. It’s strange but whenever I am having problems I always  head up here, likewise as I get better I head off to the woods  then finally the hills before I bugger something up then the cycle starts all over again  it seems that my life just seems to revolve around this bloody arty leg . After all this time you would think that I would be used to it.

But I was really looking forward to get out again, and for the first time in ages I got that excited / nervous feeling in my gut (no its not wind) so I knew that no matter what….. today was going to be a good day . I would be billy no mates again today but in some ways I really enjoy being on my own, it means that I can go as fast or as slow as I want and I can stop and re do a bit of ground if I’m not happy with how I walked across it and it means I can stop and get the jet boil out and make a cup of coffee , I know this sounds sad but sometimes just stopping someplace with a nice view and making a mug of coffee just makes me feel good and of course the extra time it takes to drink the coffee gives me that little bit of extra time to recover and rest up a bit .

We arrived and parked up at Dunstan steads, gear was sorted and off me and Bob dog went, weather wise it was lovely, blue skies but cold but I knew that the forecast was for it to change later on and so I had packed Bob’s coat. Bob of course didn’t really care and off he went doing what he does best ranging all around , often running ahead to check things out .

Our route (see map above ) wasn’t anything hard or difficult but saying that the whole section of coastline up here is special and I have some very good memories about it …….I guess its Northumberland coastline at its best and we are very lucky to have this unspoilt coastline .

I had decided that I would wear a simple thin base layer with the jacket on top, even though it was cold I figured once I got moving it soon warmed up and within a few minutes I felt nice and cosy the new rustling sound of the coat was a bit off putting but hey its new and that will fade away , my next concern was sweating , I sweat a lot and was thinking how will the coat handle it , yes it had pit zips that will come in useful when the weather gets a bit warmer but it’s supposed to be breathable so I will just have to wait and see ( note the jacket proved to be very breathable and I didn’t have a wet mark where the rucksack sits ) but its early days yet .

Our route took us along the coastal path mostly at the back of the dunes, all easy walking and very enjoyable, we had a chat with a few other walkers but basically we had the place to ourselves, that was till we entered Low newton, and it was heaving with late holiday makers , all out making the most of the weather, we called in the Ship inn for coffee (Bob dog had water) then it was time to get going , I was thinking about heading to Newton Point but the field had cattle in and they seemed to be hanging around  right by the path so we headed down onto the beach and headed back. The sun was shining, the sea was quite rough and we had a great time, we found a lovely spot in the dune to stop for coffee and lunch, Bob dog had his roast beef then managed to snaffle some of my sarnie , then it was time to get going , nothing set in stone but I was thinking  about going around to the front of Dunstanburgh Castle for a few photos , you know just make it up as I went along , so far I was having very little problems with Arty leg …… it felt strange / different it wasn’t painful so all is good , I think that I shall give it a week or so then start to up the hydraulics a bit and see what this knee can do .

Bob met a few other dogs on the beach and had a run and play and I could see that he was having a good time , then turning back to look back towards low newton I couldn’t help but notice that the blue sky had been replaced by dirty grey rain clouds that were heading my way . not one to be put off I figured if I put my foot down I could get to the castle before the rain started , I guess I got that wrong a few minutes later the sky turned dark , the temperature dropped & the wind picked up and we got blaster by heavy rain / sleet , Bob dog came running back and I informed him that’s it for the day ,  I then put my hood up and snuggled down into it and I have to say I was very impressed with how the water just ran off the coat ( but its new so it should ) .

After a few minutes it looked as if the rain was in for the rest of the day, I knew with the wind blowing the rain almost horizontal I wouldn’t get any good photos and so it just so happened that we approached a path that would take us straight back to the car we decided to head back . The rain was blowing straight at us, but I felt very snug and warm in my new coat, Bob of course didn’t care and was busy exploring the path ahead and so we headed back.

 I only walked 4.9 miles today so I do feel a little bit disappointed but on the good side I had no sore spots or wasn’t feeling tired or anything and later on when I got home climbing out of the car I didn’t suffer from that stiffness that I had got after my last couple of walks so that was good.

Any way a few photos from today:-

Taken from where we left the car looking back towards the ruin


Walking along the edge of the gold course

A few taken from where the Embleton burn runs across the beach out to sea


 Bob dog check up on me


Bob leading the way past the beach huts “holiday lets?”

Looking back along the bay


Looking across to the wild fowl reserve at Low newton


Bob sniffing around the newly cut grass


A few photos of the lake taken from the twitchers hut


Old seat


Looking back


The ship inn & coffee time


Now back on the beach starting to head back a few photos as we make our way back


Dead baby seal , how sad , I love seeing these seal when I’m out and about but always feel sad when I find dead one washed up .


The ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle (taken at max zoom)


A few more as we make our around the Embleton Burn


Time to get back on the beach again


Where did that come from?


Time to get off the beach and back on the coastal path

Bob dog waiting for me to catch up


Oster catchers?


Bob dog in front of a ww2 bunker with the Castle ruins behind him , it’s sad to think that after all these decades mankind is still busy trying to kill each other , you would think that as species we would have learnt by now and old fortifications would no longer have a place in this world .


Looking at the strange rock part of the winshill?


It’s starting to rain now; this is as far as we go


One last photo


Our path heading back to the car


Day after thoughts

I really enjoyed this walk, it was a bit short but I can’t help the weather and I’m certainly not going to walk up and down the coastline just to make up some more distance in the pouring rain...I’m stupid but not that stupid .

Arty leg wise thing are good no sore spots …….still feels  different but I will get use to that and I think that its time to “start to play with the hydraulics and see if this knee is as good as my old kx06 knee”

As for my new coat so far so good