DATE                                13.12.16

DISTANCE                        5.4 MILES

WEATHER                       MOSTLY WET AND GREY


Today’s wander was always going to be a bit different, to start with I didn’t really have a clue where I was going or even what sort of distance I even wanted to attempt, I suppose that I have been getting lazy by just turning up for various wanders that have been posted online and letting other people do all the thinking.

Using what tiny bit of brain power I have left I decided to check the weather for various areas, Teesdale, the coastline, Weardale, Hadrian’s wall area and finally the Cheviot hills, according to my trusty weather app it seemed that it was all pants, but the further north I went the better the weather should be (note the word should) but come three o’clock it was going to be throwing it down all no matter where I was. So that was sorted, I would be heading up north someplace and just play it by ear as I went.

I did discuss the what’s, where’s etc. with Bob dog and he informed me it really didn’t matter as long as we just got out some place …and to make sure that he had his roast beef packed along with a supply of treats, (not much help off him then), Naturally both Munchy & Flynn dogs wimped out saying don’t even bother to ask either of them till the summer has arrived.

So we found ourselves heading up north the following morning, it was raining, with a dull grey low cloud type of sky, you know the sort………. it’s going to be a wet grey day, however it did look a tiny bit brighter up north and so we headed towards it, passing one “turning off” point after another till at last we got out of the rain and the sky did look a tiny bit brighter and so on the spur of the moment we turned off into the hills just before Wooler , then I just knew where I would be going , a walk that I have been meaning to do for some time ,  a walk where I get to say a better goodbye to a dear old friend Yvonne (or Carey Burn as she was known online) who  is no longer with us today, I had said my goodbyes at her funeral but out here where her Daughters  scattered her ashes I could make it a bit more personnel and say a few things about “life and stuff” and just let her know that I still think about her and the laughs we used to have and that yes I’m missing her . I won’t even pretend to say that this is the correct thing to do and I suppose it all depends on your faith on what you believe and what you don’t believe if there is even an afterlife as such …………I haven’t got a clue, but I do know that Yvonne loved this area and was very spiritual when we was out in the remote fells so who knows , maybe she will hear me may be she won’t but I know that I will feel better by speaking to her , a link with a bit of info about her :-

And so I found myself pulling up onto the Grass near the Carey Burn Bridge, where we would be starting our walk, gear was sorted and much to Bob dogs annoyance he got his coat on , with the words if you roll in something smelly you will be sleeping downstairs tonight and off we went , with Bob dog leading the way as normal , there is another reason why I chose this route today , it would be a good test of how my new sensor Knee would behave , I have walked this section loads of times in the past and I know that it is a bit tricky in places so today would be a good test , Naturally it started raining which meant all the photo’s would be damp and lacking colour and so we stopped for me to put my waterproof trousers on , I don’t really like wearing these  trousers as they make me sweat plus I can’t see what’s going on with my Arty leg , but I knew that the gorse bushes further along would be waiting for me so wearing trousers would give me that tiny bit of protection so it wasn’t all bad . Walking alongside the Carey burn in this valley always makes me happy it’s a bit tricky for me in places but it is spectacular in places and the views looking all around are...Well worth looking at sort of a very rugged beauty (if that makes sense) part way along I saw the small waterfall where Yvonne’s ashes were scattered and decided to have a chat with her , like I said I don’t know if or what I believe in but somehow it felt good to chat with her, Bob dog came running back to see who I was talking to then went running off again , Yvonne didn’t answer me ( I think that I would have shit myself if she did) but it brought back many good memories of our walks together and the laughs we used to have , then I felt a great sadness that this lovely woman was taken from us far to early …………………….but this spot is a lovely place to start your final journey from and for the life of me I cannot think of a better place that she would have preferred. I bet Yvonne was having a good laugh at me as I was chatting away to no one in particular.

As normal we had a stop at the wooden hut for coffee and Bob managed to get a few treats, it had stopped raining and so with great relief the trousers came off, then we was off, this time it was easy walking apart from the ground being waterlogged and the sun did come out for a few minutes, then it got dark and the heavens opened up and out came the waterproofs again (this happened on and off all day)

Crossing over the Hazelly burn the heavens opened up yet again and it looked like it was in for the day so I decided that I wouldn’t head up to Broadstruther but wimp out and follow the cart track that run alongside steely Crag and head back, as it was because of the late start, I knew that I would be cutting it fine before I ran out of daylight so I thought that I would call it a day , I had packed my head touch just in case but with the clag and the rain it didn’t seem worth it ….as they say there is always another day .

Naturally when I was past the point of no return when the rain stopped and it brightened up when I had yet another brain wave why not have a mooch around the top of the Carey burn valley looking down at the burn itself, I know that there is a footpath further along as I have walked it several times but today I would mooch around and see if it’s possible to see more of the valley from up high (so to speak) and make my way along to link up with the footpath. And so with Bob dog leading we headed off towards the top, & what started off as a good idea soon turned out to be a bit of a disaster with the long grass turning into dead brown overgrown fern with no real path heading anywhere and for a lot of hard work and effort didn’t really give me any better views of the valley , but it was something that I had talked about with Yvonne so it seemed proper that I tried it today ( I bet she was wetting herself laughing at me) , eventually I did link up with the footpath (which itself is overgrown in places ) and things got a bit easer but it had taken its toll on me and I was feeling knackered , naturally the heavens opened up again but by this time I really couldn’t have cared anymore and found a good spot to stop and make coffee and had a well-deserved rest sitting in the rain drinking coffee and feeding bob the last of his roast beef and you know something …………………..I felt good , I might have looked like an idiot sitting in the pouring rain with Bob dog snuggled up next to me but I didn’t care , I was warm ,dry , and happy and for the next few minutes just though about Yvonne and the good times we had out on the fells , then right out of the blue I spotted two deer which brought me back to reality and it was time to pack the gear away and head back down to the car , we only walked just under 5.4 miles today with 1020ft of the ups and downs some easy walking some tricky and some bloody hard going but all in all a good day.

 As normal a few photos

Taken from where I parked up, a grey day


Heading along the burn, Bob as normal is off in front


Bob dog just sniffing, he had been warned NO ROLLING IN SMELLY STUFF


Looking back (it’s all easy walking so far)


Bob dog up close


Looking back along the path


The pathway ahead


The water running off Snear Hill


First sighting of the Carey Burn waterfall


Getting closer


Bob waiting in the gorse bushes


Up close


Looking back down the valley


Looking up the valley above the waterfall

Looking back down


Our route (it’s a bit wet and boggy in places)


Looking back at the hut where we stopped for coffee


The burn


Heading towards the footbridge where the Common burn runs into the Carey Burn


Starting to head up a bit looking back


Looking towards the Cheviot


Bob running to cross over first


The shooting lodge at Broadstruther


And the sun comes out for a few minutes and the whole area brightens up


Grouse (very tasty)


Looking towards Hart Haugh


Looking across toward the plantation on the side of Watch Hill


A distant Broadstruther


Time to go mooching


Nearly at the top of the valley?


Looking down you can just make out the wooden hut where we had coffee earlier


And the sun comes out again and once again the land seems to warm up and becoming welcoming again


Bob dog letting me know it’s time to get going again


A few photos as we make our way along


Sitting having coffee and we spot deer


Looking back at the overgrown dead fern we walk in …ugh


Now on the footpath (looking back towards the stile)


Starting to head down, Bob dog leading the way as normal


Taken at max zoom looking towards the water fall


Same place different zoom


Yet another last look back


Bob dog bouncing along


Ok one last look (and the sun comes out)


Heading down towards the car


Just made it down as yet another rain cloud drops down from Hedgehope


Taken on the bridge where we have parked up


Day after thoughts.

I was knackered by the time I got into the car, the last mile or so going in and amongst the dead fern really pushed me and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it but I’ve done it and  now I can forget it.

I ached by the time I had driven home , one hot bath later I discovered that I had torn off a layer of skin on my stump and would be sore for a day or so but it’s something that I’m used to . The fluid lump (bursa?) seemed to have stopped growing so that’s some good news; mentally it felt good (in a sad way) to say a proper goodbye to a dear friend who is resting (or whatever you do when you are dead) in a place where I know she loved or if you go onto another place…… what a place to start your final journey.