The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 25 September 2011

East to West Photos: Day 24

Tues 12 April (0800-1615) (S of Harwood Forest to Chew Green)
Distance: 20 miles (Tot: 431)
Weather: mainly sunny, luckily avoiding 2 showers that passed behind us, but strong westerly wind

Day 24 started with a bit of a yomp, but at least there were bridges (sort of) to help us across the streams!

Day 22-1

The bulk of the day was on Otterburn Military Firing Range, and although the first three miles were along the perimeter, the next 11 were across the range. What we really didn’t want to see was the red flags flying. What we found was the red flags flying:

Day 22-2

Continuing on regardless (and with heavy artillery going off to our right) even the strong wind didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this gorgeous area of the country. Lots and lots of space, with no sign of civilisation (except for the passing army vehicles and the sound of heavy artillery…).

Day 22-3

Practically every sign post had a bullet hole. Clean on the entry side:

Day 22-4

Jagged on the exit side:

Day 22-5

Seeing livestock made us feel more confident that we weren’t about to be bombed in these gorgeous surroundings:

Day 22-6

Talking of gorgeous … I was demonstrating the high fashion of bright pink buff worn as a semi balaclava over my warm hat. That wind (coming almost head on) had quite a bite to it – such a contrast to a couple of days before.

Day 22-7

With less than a mile to go until we cleared the range, and just as we were heaving a sigh of relief that we had made it through without being removed from the site and forced to take a lengthy detour, the military activity suddenly got very close indeed:

Day 22-8

The black dots on the road in the photo below are some of the three dozen troops who, fully camouflaged up, came trundling past us. At least they didn’t object to our presence.

Day 22-9

There are already quite a lot of photos in this post, but I think that there’s room for another gratuitous shot of the gorgeous surroundings. I really do like this area:

Day 22-10

We cleared the boundary of the firing range by a whole fifty metres before deciding to camp. We could have carried on another half of a kilometre to camp legally in Scotland, but this spot was reasonably sheltered. The farmer didn’t seem to object either, as he passed by and saw us about half an hour after we had pitched.

Day 22-11

The original post for the day can be found here.

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