DATE                                         06.02.06

DISTANCE                               3.7 MILES

WEATHER                               COLD AND GREY




Today I would be out walking with my friend and neighbour Ian, we had both been nattering about how “we must get out more” and so it was decided that we would set something up. after a quick chat, we both decided to do an easy walk, someplace that I had been before and so knew the area and that there wasn’t any surprises for me, Ian had been out walking with me before so he knew what to expect with regards to my walking speed, hopefully I would surprise him today as I found I was walking a lot better and quicker since I got my new arty leg with its adaptive 2 knee unit , but I wasn’t trying  in any way to impress him or anything like that . but it would be nice to know if he noticed anything different / better about my walking ability ……………..Yes I know I’m going on about my walking a lot, but at this time in my life it’s a huge thing for me, I cant explain how I really feel but I so want to get back to normal (whatever that is and have convinced myself that walking is the only way or a good way to start) note from today yep still not right in the head .

I had also decided that I would use my hiking poles today as there is nothing wrong with using them , I mean thousands of abled bodied hikes used them so why shouldn’t I ? It was as if I had to convince myself it wasn’t cheating using them.

Anyhow times and places where sorted gear was thrown into the car and off we went, today we would do a little wander up to Lindhope spout, I had been up that way a few times so I knew the area, Ian hadn’t been up there for years and years so it seemed a natural place to start this walking partnership.

The drive itself along Ingram valley is………..well something special and even now I still enjoy the drive along this valley , the downside is in the warmer months it can get very busy and unfortunately sometimes you get the wrong types up here …..You know the larger louts or the noisy yuffs who nearly burn the place down with there BBQ’s then bugger off leaving there rubbish behind , fortunately at this time of the year there should be no one about.

Parking was on the roadside verge at the small Farm at Hartside and again on getting out of the car I was blown away with the spectacular countryside and once again made a secret promise that I would get better and one day return and wander all over these hills (it took some time but I’m pleased to say that over the years I have managed to keep that promise)

Our route for the day was a straight there, stop for lunch, then straight back with a small detour just to look up the Linhope burn.

I stuck to my self made promise and used my hiking poles , which made things so much easer , our pace was nice and slow , &  I think that we solved all  the worlds problems sometime during the day .

So it was a good day, on reaching Linhope spout I decided to climb down the steep rocky bit, something that I wouldn’t have even dreamed about only a few months previously, in fact I was so pleased with myself, I turned around and climbed back up again only to come down again using a slightly different route, using this knee was certainly different and filled me with hope for the future. As normal a few photos:

Taken by the car looking towards Cunyan Crags


Looking towards Shillmoor


The Linhope burn passing the farm building at Linhope


The farm building


Me (was I ever that young?)

Now left Linhope looking back down the track


Looking ahead


Looking towards Great Standrop on the lower slops of Hedgehope


The track heading up the valley (that’s for another day)


Easy path down (to start with)


Me making easy work of it.


Ian leading the way towards the head of the fall


Close up of the top of the fall


Looking back along the burn


 Side view of the fall


Same again


Me playing on top of the rocky drop


Close up of the rocky drop


Now heading back


Our path is a sheep trail running high above the burn


Some of the locals.


Day after thoughts: as expected no problems what’s so ever today with the walk, my stump was fine, my back didn’t have that small achy feeling that I had been having, I really think that this was because using the hiking poles saves my back a huge amount of work trying to stay upright and not swaying from side to side. I was really chuffed with myself coming down the tricky rock section above the waterfall, something I wouldn’t have even dreamed about a few months earlier so even if I say so myself …..I am getting there thank you.