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]

Saturday 7 June 2008

Day 54 - Bryness to Hen Hole Refuge Hut

7 June
Distance: 19 miles (plus water collecting detour)
Number of snakes encountered: 1
Number of people seen in vicinity of Windy Gyle: about 100

Two things had me somewhat less than amused before we left the campsite. The free range roosters that decided to stand outside of our tent to do their cock-a-doodle-doing at 5 o'clock was the first thing to irk me.

Then, when it was really time to get up (rather than the time the roosters wanted us to get up) I looked outside of the vent that we had open in the flysheet and counted, in that view hole of one square foot, no less than two million three hundred thousand and thirty four midges. Appearances were not important. Out came the head net.

The day improved massively once we (we including today Mike who joined us last night) left the campsite and set out up the killer hill that got us up onto the ridge.

What a spectacular day it was for a walk along the ridge into the Cheviots. It was by no means wall-to-wall sunshine, but there was plenty of sun between the clouds and the warmth of the day was tempered by the nice breeze.

And the views. Well, they went on for miles without the hint of even a farmhouse, never mind a road. This is one big empty place - just as I like.

It was one of those days that made me appreciate once again how lucky I am to be able to take this little walk.

For most of the day it was pretty quiet too. There were the two chaps who we passed on Ogre Hill who were just cooking a full fry up, in a full size frying pan, in the middle of the path (bikers they said, I assume that they meant motor; we all sniffed the aroma before continuing). Then there was Limping Man who we've been seeing off and on for a few days, but didn't have the opportunity to talk to until today.

Then we were all on our lonesome until we were sitting having our late lunch and down the hill towards us came twelve people. A group outing, we thought. But then we continued up the hill and in the next couple of miles met somewhere approaching 100 people. Eventually we had to conclude that there was some event going on, and sure enough on asking a chap he confirmed that it was a challenge walk.

Fortunately not long later their route diverged from ours (really, we'd said enough hellos by then!).

The day was long with plenty of ascent and descent putting it firmly into the category of 'quite hard', but for me it was one of the most pleasing days of the walk.

We're now camped outside of the Mountain Refuge Hut with magnificent views. The skies have cleared to give us the perfect end to the day.

If we had a bottle of fizzy with us we would raise a toast to having successfully negotiated England and Wales. Just 500 miles of Scotland to go.


  1. Congratulations on completing the E&W stretch. The blog is still riveting, thanks to really descriptive writing. Thanks too for occasional photos.

  2. Welcome to Scotland. What a couple!