DATE                               08.07.2005

DISTANCE                       N/A

WEATHER                       HOT AND SUNNY


Otters and Low Force

Not really sure if I should class this as a walk as such more of a day out , but seeing as I really needed all the practise I could get and it my blog I will post it up anyway .

Today my better half and me where heading down to Teesdale for the day , the plan was to have an easy day with not much distance because I had buggered myself up (again) I had been out having  one of my day’s  walking practising going up and down hills in the cheviots  this time throwing in a bit of very lose scree just to work on my stile or technic if you like , being a complete dick head I hadn’t bothered with a patch of foam over the hole in my leg ……..yes it was fine for normal day to day stuff but it wasn’t fine when I really started to put some serious pressure on it , which resulted in the skin literally ripping apart instantly and me not only having a very sore / painful stump but still having to descend down a very lose scree hill to get to where I had left the ruck sack and first aid kit , on the way down the hill , the plastic socket literally dug into where the skin had torn and was really doing its best to cause me some serious grief , my good mood went straight out of the window and I just kept thinking what a dick head I was , I knew that this would set me back weeks at least and  then I did another school boy mistake and tried to rush things along and my arty leg clasped and I went down like a sack of shit , despite all my best efforts to land softly it really hurt falling on the sharp granite scree , naturally I managed to skin my good leg and both hands and forearms as I skidded down the hill a bit , you know when you have hurt yourself and you just want to lay there and  cry …..Well I felt like that I just wanted to lay there and cry but laying on lose scree isn’t really that comfy and I still  had the job of trying to stand up get my balance and continue to the bottom without any more mishaps .

After a few seconds my brain sorta took over and made me ignore the very painful rubbing on my groin area and kept me going down the hill to finally I could lay on the rug in a snotty heap.

Arty leg was taken off and my worse fears where realised .I had buggered things up big time again , not only that I had scrapped the skin off my good shin bone and it was stinging like there was no tomorrow  & the palms of both hands where cut to ribbons and putting away . First aid kit came out along with my emergency pooh kit (for the wet wipes) and I began the very slow painful process of cleaning myself up. At the same time I was asking myself how could I be so stupid to let this happen and how could things go from so good to so shit in a matter of seconds. I am certain that there are lessons to be learnt from this but at the moment I couldn’t think of any, after I cleaned myself up a bit I decided to call it a day, I still had about ½ a mile to get to where I had parked the car up and decided to sit there and drink coffee and try to think about the situation a bit. I managed to stop the blood in my groin area so now I could patch it up then cover it with a tegaderm plaster , my shin bone was stinging away and was covered in partly dried blood as well as allsorts or dirt and most likely sheep pooh , and it really stung when I tried to wipe it clean with a wet one , no I will leave that till I get home and have a bath and let the water soak it all off, my hands where in a mess as well with lots of small splinters stuck under the skin , something that took days of careful digging with a needle to get them out . the coffee break turned into another followed by another , really I was waiting till the last possible moment before I had to Redon  my arty leg , I knew that it was going to hurt and I knew I would feel every single step back to the car . Fortunately it was a flat grassy walk back to the car because I really didn’t know how I would manage if there was any rough terrain.

Walking or should I say hobbling back to the car wasn’t as bad as what I though it would be, yes it was very painful but either my brain refused to accept the pain or my body was producing huge amounts of endorphins that masked every thing up, I have often wondered about things like this ………before my accident I know that I would have wimped out about this big time where as today I just accepted it and got on with what had to be done, has my pain threshold increased or am I now used to a constant level of discomfort so it doesn’t matter . Something to think about or is my brain taking me away to some place safe so I don’t know about the pain? all very good questions that I haven’t got the slightest answer for, one thing I do know when I am really tired or sore I can allow myself to go into a safe place where nothing can get me, don’t get me wrong I am full aware of what’s going on around me and can still act and make choices but when I am in my safe place I am almost untouchable with regards to how my body feels……weird eh?( I know still only one step away from the Lonnie bin) Anyway I wont go on about the hobble back to the car or how I had to drive home without the leg on , or how I had to phone my long suffering better half Yvonne to meet me with some crutches when I got home so I could get from the car into the house or how the bath water turned a muddy red colour……………… yes I had buggered up and the only thing I could do was to learn from the whole experience.

So getting back to todays day out, we planned to visit the Vale House Farm Otter sanctuary near Bowes and if there was enough time a quick visit to the delightful waterfall at Low Force. Good plan eh? Very easy limited walking, in a beautiful part of the country no need for a rucksack or food as there are plenty of cafes in the area and it got me out and about what was really the whole point, I simply needed to get out and about at this stage of my life, I cant really explain it but by the simple act of getting out someplace seemed to help me (like I have said many times I wasn’t really all there all the time) note from today 28.07.2014 the vale House farm otter sanctuary has sadly closed down , the otters where transferred to other sanctuary’s however the area is still open to the public to “wander around” if you want to.

A few photos from todays outing

 Baby goat (there was a few other animals living here as well)


Otter having a snooze (in fact that’s all they seemed to do)


Snuggling up to each other




A very young one (snoozing)

Highland cattle (same colour hair as my better half)

See what I mean?


More snoozing otters

Wait two that are awake

A good spot to sit and have coffee we got from the café



Young rabbit

Me (note how my arty foot sticks upwards)


Otter snoozing in the water

Big deer


My better half at Low force


Close up (can’t believe that she looked this young)


Low force.

Day after thoughts,

With not doing much walking I didn’t hurt myself or make things worse and it’s a lovley area so once again I will mark this up as a success just because I proved to myself that I can still go where I want to when I want to …thanks

 ABOUT ME          PENNINES        WALKS 2005