Thursday, 13 April 2017
Berwick - day 4
Wednesday 13th April - Rothbury to Kirkwhelpington
A bright day but still the perishing cold wind especially on the tops, so jacket on all day..
There is something special about the wild Northumberland hills. My route followed St Cuthbert's Way all day right over the Sinonstone hills. I only touched Tarmac briefly at the start and finish. There are not many places where you can walk ten miles or so in such glorious surroundings. Panoramic views seem to be on a special level in this county. From seeing a dog walker just after leaving Rothbury to getting right down off the hills the only people I saw were a group striking camp at Spy Law where there appears to be a bothy. It's surprising not to meet anybody on the track on what is a well established and respected English long distance path.
I had pre- booked B and B with Michael Storey at Brandy Bsnk Guest House, West Woodburn. This is well off my route but Michael came to pick me up at Kirkwhelpington and will drive me back there tomorrow and pick me up again from tomorrow's destination and drop me off again. If anybody out there is in this part of the world I highly recommend this B and B which I do not do very often. Michael is an enthusiastic walker and understands the needs of weary randonneurs, and Brandy House is superbly appointed and so comfortable. Michael has told me about the meal for tonight but more about that later, because I must come to today's blogger's gift.
I arrived at Kirkwhelpington and made camp on a low, ancient drystone wall surrounding the church and phoned Michael for my pick up. I was just easing myself into a more comfortable position when a four foot section of the wall collapsed beneath me and I toppled backwards ending up in a position making extraction difficult. I was not hurt and managed to emerge when a guy in the house opposite came out to investigate. Whilst I was talking to him, wondering what to do Michael turned up. Without hesitation he set about rebuilding the wall lifting the heavy capping stones with ease. Meanwhile the guy accross disappeared. We left the wall looking pretty much ok - there's nothing like a bit of resourcefulness.