Thursday, 11 September 2008

Tuesday 9th September - Bellingham to wild pitch north of Elsdon

It rained heavily last evening. We optimistically thought that it might be today's forecast heavy rain come early. It was not to be. However, although it rained most of the day, it wasn't particularly heavy.

We stopped for mid-morning coffee at the Bay Tree Inn at West Woodburn. The rest of the way was generally pleasant but unremarkable. The views would have been better if it hadn't been misty. Lots of sheep and cattle; sparsely populated farming country.

The high spot of the day was as we left Bellingham. There, we stopped to talk to the drivers/passengers of a couple of 1920s Frazer Nashes on a tour of Northumberland.

We liked Elsdon, a village with an amazingly large village green, bisected here and there by roads going in all directions and some very attractive cottages.

Very few vehicles on the narrow lanes that formed part of our route and no other walkers.

We found public loos attached to the village hall which provided us with water before we found our wild camp on Landshott Hill.

My camera has got damp inside and any photos I take give the impression that it's foggy here which it isn't. I may need to rely on the others for photos of this part of the walk , although they are not taking many.

For my LEJOG next year, I had planned to get another pair of Scarpa fabric boots. However, although they have been very comfortable, they are letting in water, despite being Gore-tex lined. I can accept wet feet when water goes over the gusset but this hasn't happened today and I still have had wet feet. Frank and Howard both wear leather boots made by Alt-Berg, a British firm, despite the name. The gusset is higher and their feet have remained dry, not just today but throughout this walk.

My new waterproof, the Mountain Equipment Ogre, is very good so far. It's a good length, not too short. Temperature permitting, I prefer to wear just a T-shirt beneath it. Its breathability seems excellent and the hood is good, always moving with the head; the wired peak is also good, generally keeping rain off my glasses, which has always been a problem with other waterproofs.

The Rab Bergen overtrousers are good as well (I think). The first day I wore them in heavy rain, my trousers underneath seemed quite wet but they've been fine today. I've snagged them, probably on barbed wire. Nothing serious though and I can do a repair when I get home.

This is proving to be a long posting but it's only 7.40pm, I've eaten and it's raining hard and is very blustery. I'm listening to Classic FM. Frank and Howard are in their tents (I assume), although the noise of the wind would make holding a conversation impossible. I think the weather will improve tomorrow. The weather forecast even mentioned sunshine.

The tarp should hold tonight with the new pegs holding the corners down.

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