Friday, 12 September 2008

Thursday 11th September - Clennell to Ingram

I've found in the past that, in the south of England, a place that calls itself something "Hall Hotel" will generally be quite posh. In the north it tends to be different. Last night was no exception. We ate in the bar, a good enough meal (I started with nachos covered with melted cheese and salsa, followed by chicken tikka masala) but it was more of a pub menu, although none the worse for that. There was a large flat screen TV and a pool table in the bar as well. Still, we were very grateful for the pitch so Clennell Hall Hotel gets full marks.

On returning to camp afterwards, I found that some species of wildlife had made off with a fruit scone in a plastic bag I'd been particularly looking forward to - only the remains were there to be seen. Still, my fault for being careless.

Today has been a short one, only about nine miles. Perfect walking weather - occasional sunshine and a breeze - some road walking but single track roads where half an hour goes by before a car appears. When we were not on roads, it was on good paths and tracks.

For the first few miles it was rather like being on the edge of a warzone. We were not far from the Otterburn Firing Range and there was artillery fire going on perhaps three miles or so away.

The highlight of the day was an encounter with some cyclists. We were told that there were four of them but we only saw three. First, we came across a single cyclist, bike laden with panniers. He was from Essex and was on a tour from Newcastle to Eyemouth. He seemed relatively normal. His bike was interesting - a Maclean (a make we'd never heard of) dating from the 1950s, which he'd had from new.

Some time later two of his companions came up behind us. One spoke with a very strong Welsh accent and flew a red dragon flag from his handlebar bag; he told us he was from Wales. He was quite odd, the more so as he was dressed in fluorescent green from head to waist (with matching wraparound sunglasses) and black tights. The other was totally different, wearing collar and tie, grey flannel trousers and black lace up shoes, as if he was off for a day at thie office. His bike seemed to be falling apart and his front panniers fell off when his bike was stationary.
The fourth cyclist didn't show at all. We can only assume he took a wrong turning somewhere, perhaps disappearing up his inner tube.

"Doing what mobile bloggers do - uploading the previous day's posting to this blog at a "blogspot""

Today has been yet another day when we've seen no other walkers.

There is a National Park Centre at Ingram. A notice in the door says it is closed until further notice. When open, toilets are available. There is an outside water tap.

"At the end of the day, caught blogging"

Howard is possibly a little further along the road to acquiring a food dehydrator. Being short of a meal, I donated a home made beef curry which seemed to go down quite well.

Allow us to help those in need, sell back your spare PocketMail and make some extra pocket money.

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