Friday, 12 September 2008

Friday 12th September - Ingram to Wooler

Another short day today, about eight miles. No rain so just about right. It was all tracks and tarmaced single track roads all the way so very easy.

Today's highlight was coming to a vehicle which had passed us a little earlier. There were so few vehicles that we tended to remember them. It had stopped at the approach to a forded fast flowing stream. A marker post showed the depth of water to be one foot. They were out of their vehicle debating what to do. It was a Honda CR-V, a four wheel drive. After a while, they were obliged to move as a car was coming the other way. A woman driving a BMW came ploughing through unscathed - too fast, but she was lucky not to flood her engine. The Honda then went through, although one of its passengers preferred to use the footbridge, as we did. Another car subsequently approached the ford but turned back.

We arrived at Wooler at about 2pm. Unusually for him, Howard was in greater need of food than drink so went in search of a cafe. Frank and I repaired to The Angel, one of the several pubs in the town. He said he'd been there last year when walking the St. Cuthbert's Way and that the beer had been good. That much was true but the pub itself was a dive, empty but for us and the staff who were well suited to the place. Definitely not a pub we would care to go to in the evening if we wanted to get out of in one piece.

We're on the Highburn House camping park which seems very good with the opportunity for the first hot shower since Bellingham (Tuesday).

The last backpackers we saw were last Sunday, just before Stonehaugh. Northumberland is so sparsely populated and neglected by tourists and visitors. It has so much to offer but somehow loses out to areas like the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales.

I am referred to as the "resident scribe" on this trip. Payphones, from where I send postings to this blog, are "blogspots". Unfortunately, my mobile won't work with the Pocketmail, which has a pod that is clamped over the earpiece of a phone and another part which is held over the mouthpiece. My mobile doesn't appear to have a mouthpiece so the Pocketmail is not detected. Two payphones haven't detected it either for some reason. Yesterday, two payphones were out of order. Generally though, this is a brilliant device.

This evening, we're eating out and fancy an Italian restaurant we saw as we passed through Wooler earlier. We have two nights left; tomorrow will be a wild camp somewhere and Sunday will be on a site on the coast at Beal but with no facilities nearby.

We've been walking for two weeks. I remarked today that this way of life has become our world and it seems perfectly natural now to get up each morning, walk all day, set up camp, cook (usually) and then do the same day after day.

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