I LOVE YOU FOREVER maribor
I LOVE YOU FOREVER maribor
  • Pennine Conclusion
    • 19/08/2013
Strictly speaking the "pennine" way was already finished, the last few days being over the Cheviots.
Irregardless:

The last few days of the trail were a mixed bag, some great views, some plodding, some mist and rain and high winds, occasional blue skies and sunshine. All things were wrapped up in a determination to blast through the remaining miles and tick off what was once Britain's toughest long distance walk.

My schedule had become synched with that of several other walkers; Robert and Tony, Paul, and the three young lads who seemed to be walking twice as fast. They all distracted me somewhat from the ardour of the miles, providing more consistent comradery, companionship and competition than I have had at any stage of my trip so far.
Even though we were all setting off at different times of the morning it was nice to see them during the day and discuss the lowlights over a drink in the evening.

The last stretch over the Cheviots is a notorious 27? / 29? miles for which a decision has to be made as to whether to go for it all in one long day or split in half. The landlady in Byrness told me a story about a five year old girl in Wellington boots doing it in one day, but I still decided against it.
Knocking off the first four miles in the evening I camped at the Roman camp at Chew Green. No idea why they built a camp there, back end of nowhere!

Next day (friday) I continued over increasingly high summits culminating in the Cheviot, which is the first place I've really appreciated the flag stone path. Peat hag hell to either side, which the wind kept trying to push me into.
I still had enough daylight to get to Kirk Yelthom but with tiring feet I decided to stop at the mountain refuge hut and finish on the same day as my new comrades who were all splitting the journey thanks to transport arrangements with the hostel.
However as I sat enjoying some evening sunshine reading a book I was unexpectedly joined by Paul who had done a very long day and had a blister like a ping pong ball on his big toe. Moments later a Polish bloke turned up who spoke about three words of English, but enough to tell us he was carrying on to finish that night and had walked the whole thing in ten days (av 27 miles per day, hardcore!)

The mountain refuge was basically a heavy duty wooden shed, on first appearance dingy and uninviting, but it did a good job as overnight the wind grew to gale force and rain lashed against the walls, and it seemed infinitely warm and cosy in comparison!
Next day was an easy 7 miles over the last peak and down to the village with a feeling of more despondance than elation at the journey coming to a close. The free beer soon offset this!


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