DATE                                   20.03.13

DISTANCE                          7.4 MILES

WEATHER                          GREY, COLD AND OVERCAST

START / FINISH               VILLAGE HALL CAR PARK AT EASTGATE

Rookhope burn

Today’s walk was going to be another walk down Weardale way someplace , I had a nice  early start as I had to take my daughter to work , (she had blown her car engine up) and so was relying on good old dads taxies again , I didn’t really mind as it gave me the chance to get an early start, however I just wish that she wouldn’t speak to me first thing in the morning , I am one of these people who is just happy with a grunt first thing in the morning , it normally takes at least one cup of tea and one coffee before I stop being a grump and start to be a bit (just a bit ) more sociable first thing.

After dropping her off I decided to head off down towards Weardale someplace, thinking like mad where I should go walking for the day. I was a little bit concerned about my stump. I had been out walking the day before and it didn’t appear that my stump was suffering I didn’t want to overdo things, then a sudden brain wave hit me, why not have a small wander from Eastgate along the river to Rookhope, I had done this walk a year or so earlier in the warmer summer months with my long suffering better half Yvonne, and if I remember correctly she didn’t have her normal face like a smacked arse on when we walked it. So it must have been easy ………………………..I was to find out that mother nature had been very busy in the year or so that had gone by.

My route was to park up in the free yes free car park by the village hall and head up along the valley following the Weardale way , with the odd side trip down to the Rookhope burn for a look at the small waterfalls , and have a mooch around the old mine ruins that lay along this valley . from there along a small section of road to the village of Rookhope ,from there  it was my plan to head up to Smailsburn Common but once I started up the hill it was just too wet and boggy so I decided to cut back down , may be when it dries out a bit in the warmer months (that will be on a Tuesday this year)  I will have a day just mooching around up there , but not today from that point it was time to cut back down to the Rookhope burn again  , this proved to be a bit of a disaster for me as the footpath has been badly worn away in places and extremely dodgy in places . In fact it’s that bad I felt the need to report it to the footpath people at the local council.

Anyway look at the map above for the route but I would avoid the last section if I was you , when I got back to the car , I was knackered , the last mile or so was hard work and I needed two cups of coffee before I could even start to sort my gear out. Mud I have never seen or carried so much mud in all my life and as for my cloths ………………all I can say is that they will test out the washing powder and the washing machine at home , I will be surprised if they ever get clean again .

But even though I have never done anything so difficult since I became an amputee I feel really pleased that I not only coped with the broken down footpath , climbing over trees , sliding along steep drop offs where the path had been washed away , I was actually really enjoying myself and felt up to the challenge . unfortunately I didn’t get any photos off the really bad bits mainly because I was doing my best just to get along it  but there are a few from the rest of the walk …….enjoy.

Taken right at the start looking down at a waterfall, I intend to get a better look on my way back.

 

Walking along the Weardale way, unfortunately the weather isn’t at its best and is restricting the views.

 

The track heading to the small farm? At Hole House, very easy walking.

 

Snowdrops just starting to show themselves

 

Looking towards what I think is Ashy Bank.

 

Looking down towards the Burn.

 

Starting to head down now.

 

One of the many small waterfalls along the burn.

 

Another one.

 

When I took this I couldn’t help but think of getting my canoe and shooting down it.

 

A few more photos, and me trying to do a smoky water shot.

Looking upstream towards another small water fall.

 

Now at the old mine ruins. A few photos.

 

Trees fallen across the path, they have been down a while as the path now diverts around them.

 

About to enter the small village of Rookhope, there is a village shop, pub and toilets in this village but other than that I don’t know this village or the surrounding area at all, I really should do a bit of walking around here.

 

Another old mining cart.

 

Now heading up and out of the village, looking back down.

 

I don’t know what’s been going on here , if I didn’t know better I would guess that it’s been strip mined on a small scale ………………….not nice at all.

 

Looking across towards Rookhope church.

 

A couple of scenery shots as I make my way back down to the burn.

 

Another waterfall.

 

My route looks very easy at this point.

 

Another small waterfall.

 

Looks like the burn has washed away the path at this point.

 

A few photos of some of the waterfalls that I took on my way back.

 

Arty leg having a pose.

A few more waterfall shots

Day after thoughts.

None really, my gear was in a right old state, but arty leg and my stump seemed fine once I had showered and washed the mud off.

About 7.4 miles with 1100 ft. of ups and downs.

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