DATE                                        22.04.15

DISTANCE                               9.9 MILES

WEATHER                               HOT (FAR TO HOT FOR MY LIKING )


Davidson’s Linn

Today’s plan was to up my game a bit! so far apart from a dull ache my knee hadn’t been giving me too much grief and if I ever want to start doing proper walks with big hills in again I needed to see how it would feel when I started to put in under a bit more pressure so my plan was to do something that was a bit more difficult not so much big up’s or downs but stuff that will mean nothing to most people but I wanted to see how it held up when I started to walk against the camber with my Arty leg , this makes it so much harder as I cant take a normal step and so have to go onto my toes to get the clearance with arty leg also it means my really knee has to do so much more with regards to keeping me balanced and moving , in fact at the best of times I find it a right pain in the arse not to mention knackering , I also wanted to see how it behaved when having to go through long overgrown stuff you know where its that little bit harder just to take a step , again not a problem for most people but having an Arty leg makes it that little bit harder and of course puts my real knee under a little bit more strain so todays walk would be a bit more testing for me.

I had in the mean time gone out and spent some of my very hard earned £££ and got myself a Nikon D3200 for dummies book and had actually got as far as the first few chapters so I wanted to try out some of my new found photography skills (ha) with regards to what I call smoky water shots …..sorry don’t know what the correct term is so my route for the day had to have a few tricky sections in it and a small waterfall or something that I could practise my photography skill with and it just so happens I know of such a walk, in fact its one that I haven’t done for some time and I just thought why not.

Next problem was how to let Munchy & Flynn that they wouldn’t be joining me today, I was planning to do around the ten miles give or take a few feet and I know that it would be simply be too much for them, I noticed that they where both starting to get  tired the day before see   for info and I know that they need a easy day to recover, Bob dog on the other hand just keeps on going time and distance mean nothing to him so he would be joining me and I know that he would have a great day .

Yvonne came up with a solution (what a surprise) that she would get up and take Munchy & Flynn out for a small morning walk when I was packed and ready to go and then when she had left with them me and Bob would simply jump in the car and go without them knowing and I have to say I worked out pretty good, I felt a bit guilty but there was no way that they would manage and have fun it simply wouldn’t be fair on them. What did surprise me was the greeting Bob dog got when we returned home later that evening  off them both , they clearly missed Bob , but after talking to Yvonne she assured me both pup’s where fine all day .

Any way getting back to the walk, I had decided to visit Davidson’s Lynn, just getting there had enough tricky bits to satisfy my need to test my knee and of course it had the waterfall that would fill my new found requirements for taking photos other than simply point and press.

The weather forecast was good so for the first time this year I didn’t bother with a flask of coffee and took a water bladder (3 litres) with me and a small bottle of water for bob along with his normal food and treats, (bloody hell the rucksack weight a ton) but it turned out to be such a hot day I was really pleased that I had extra water for us both as we needed it.

Our route for the day was (see map) parking up in the small but free car park (old hall) at Barrowburn , gear was sorted and we where off , past the farm with the lovley tea room at Barrowburn (sadly it was closed when we finished the walk ) then up over Kyloe Shin which proved to be hard work , even though it was still early morning is was getting hot and half way up the wind decided to stop and it got hot , by the time I reached the top I was sweating like a pig and for the first time this year I had to take the Arty leg off and wipe both my stump and the liner , I had to repeat this process several times during the day , I don’t know if it is because I’m really unfit or is it because it been the first really hot day where I have been out walking …I guess only time will tell , my route took me into the cool shade (very welcome) of Kidland forest straight up Middle hill then out of the woods and onto “The Middle” fortunately there was a slight breeze up on this hill and things wasn’t so bad . From there we walked down onto the cart track that took us both to Usway Farm, where we crossed over the Usway Burn via the footbridge , Bob of course made the most of the burn and spent several minutes splashing around and drinking and burst out of the burn looking refreshed . the foot path now started to get a bit tricky ……but that was what I was here for, it was very steep and narrow in places but I managed it no problem then our path took us over the Clay burn where both Bob and me had a splash and sit down (very refreshing) and decided to have a cake break. Now things started to get hard the path that took us into Usway forest was very overgrown (even this early in the year) and the Chamber was the wrong way, I managed but to be honest I found it really hard work and was puffing and panting like there was no tomorrow, Bob of course was having the time of his life, the area was teaming with small Cheviot Lizards and Bob was having a whale of a time pouncing from tuff’s  of grass to the next wagging his tail and letting out little excited woofs , I was really pleased when we finally linked up with Salters road and followed this track down to Davidson’s Linn .

Lunch was had sitting on the grass at the base of the Linn; Bob had his own roast Beef and a few treats then went off to cool down in the burn and spent the next twenty minutes jumping and running about in the shallows chasing small trout whilst I got the camera out and played about taking photos using methods other than point and press.

Then it was time to pack up and start on the return leg , as soon as we moved away from the burn the heat picked up and in no time I was sweating again , I think that the heat got to Bob as well as he tended to stick to the shade rather than run about all over the place , we saw a deer and of course Bob gave chase , I waited for about Five minutes before I started calling for him and sure enough he came bursting out of the trees with a happy expression on his face . We linked up with the forestry track and headed out of the forest, I have to be honest and say I was pleased to get out. The trees stopped any breeze and it was stifling hot walking along the track plus there was quite a few midges starting to take notice of me , no I was pleased when we left Usway forest and joined up on the track again , we stayed on this track with one small detour where we by passed a herd of cattle (I don’t trust cows around the pup’s) then it was past the Trows Plantation , turning off onto Barrow law just past Murder Cleugh and we walked back to Barrowburn along the Boarder cycle track which is a joy to walk on , tremendous views all around and nice soft grass to walk on , sadly the farm shop was closed so I had to dig out the jet boil and make my own coffee when we got back to the car , bob of course had a lay down in the shade and a nice big cooling drink and a few more treats then it was into the car and drive home . I walked about 9.9 miles with 1840 ft. of the up’s and downs according to my GPS; it goes without saying Bob till loads more.

 A few photos enjoy:

 Taken from the car park looking towards the farm at Barrowburn


Looking towards our pathway


Bob having a sniff at the old school house (now a holiday let)


Looking back, it’s already starting to get hot, looks like its going to be a scorcher of a day


Part way up Kyloe Shin looking back (really I’m getting my breath back)

Looking down towards Fairhaugh


Bob leading the way up Middle hill (its nice an cool in the shade)


Looking back (towards a distant Shillhope law)

About to leave the trees and go onto the Middle


Part way up looking back at Kidland forest


Looking along the valley towards Usway ford


Bob having a five minute sit down with me


Some of the locals


Looking down at a bend in the burn near the Farm


The track to Usway ford farm


Our route over the bridge then along the bank


It’s a bit steep and narrow in places


Looking back towards the ford where Bob had a splash


Following the Usway burn along


The Clay burn


Where they meet up


Bob having a sniff during a rest stop


Now entering Usway forest, last look back


Heading towards Salters Road


Looking up the valley (hoping to find the track soon)


Davidson’s Linn


A few posh photos


Heading up towards a forestry track


Now on the forestry track looking at some dead / dying trees


Looking back (what you can’t see in these photos was how still and hot the air was)


Hot Bob


At last we leave Usway forest and see this view and meet a gentle cooling breeze


Looking back towards Uswayford farm


Bend in the Usway Burn (every time I walk here I fully expect to see the burn flowing on both side of this rock)


Looking back at the cattle we sneaked past with Hazely Law in the back ground


Murder Cleugh


Mum and her young one


Now on the path back across Barrow Law looking back


Our route


Bob waiting for me again


Looking across towards Kidland forest


A very nice grassy path to finish our walk on


The farm at Barrowburn (sadly we was too late and it was closed up for the day)


Nearly there looking down the Coquet Valley


Looking at the hall and the car park


Taken from the car park looking at some of the locals


Day after thoughts

Today I found it really hard going in places , I don’t know if it was because I was tired from the walk the day before or that I’m not as fit as I like to think that I am or was it because of the heat , I know that I’m not very good in the hot weather and the fact that I had to stop several times and take Arty leg & the seal off and dry every thing didn’t help , fortunately I did no damage to my stump with my multiple stump breaks (as I call them ) but its something I had better warn people about if they are walk with me , like wise I suppose I should make sure that I have my good undies on so I don’t offend any one .

My knee really started to ache on the latter stages of the walk so I know that I’m still not ready for any really big hills yet and to be honest it continued to ache and let me know that it was pissed with me for several day afterwards and I resorted to taking pain killers again . But as they say it’s all a learning process.

Bob dog said that he had a great time and when are we going out again?