Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Day 3: Hiking from Wall to Once Brewed 25km

If Monday was the day of RAIN and Tuesday was the day of MUD, then Wednesday was the day of COLD and WIND! (Thursday was also cold and windy; lucky us!)

If any day stands out more than the others in terms of difficulty it was Wednesday for me. It was a really long hiking day in pretty inhospitable conditions. We did the most climbing on Wed. and some of the paths going up and down the crags were pretty dangerous, especially since they were wet and slippery and the wind was raging. I did a crab walk (on all fours) up some of the hills as it was the only way I felt safe. One time going down a rocky hill my foot slipped off a wet, muddy stone and I ended up sitting on my rear. However, that was preferred to going ass over teakettle down to the bottom.

I kept my camera zipped up in my pocket a lot of the time as I didn't want to damage it and it just wasn't safe a lot of the time to take photos.  The next two aren't my photos but help to show what it was like. Some of the descents were so steep that I had to use the rock wall to balance myself.

 ...and unfortunately it was rainy and windy to boot!

There was nowhere to stop to get warmed up, dried out or fed so we had to take a lunch with us and we sheltered by the wall to escape the worst of the wind. I did worry that the wind would inflate my coat and I'd go drifting off like Mary Poppins! The one good thing about the wind though was that it would dry my rain dampened pants in just minutes - I didn't bother with rain pants, because they just made me sweat! Oh look, the clouds are breaking up - hahaha!

I love this photo of the two sheep - I can imagine what they're saying: "so...what do want to do today?" "Oh, I don't some grass I guess...I heard the north pasture is especially luscious right now..."

Rain threatened off and on most of the day.

It was fun to look back to see what we had climbed so far...

Looks like rain coming - Annie's ready!

Enormous skies... we're definitely going to get rained on again!!

A mixture of grass and rocks on this climb - oh, and watch out for all the poop!!

 The grassy hills were easier to climb than the rocky ones.
It was a long hard day!

This was my last photo of the day (around 5:30pm) - we had climbed up to a parking lot for the Northumberland National Park and we had to call the B&B to come and pick us up as it was off the trail by a couple of miles. Annie tried a couple of times with her call being sent to a 2nd number (who we found out was the B&B owner's mother-in-law). No one called us back after Annie left a message so we faced another 2 mile walk to the B&B called Saughy Rigg Farm (hereafter known as Soggy Bottom Farm!)

This photo shows where we came from and some of the crags and shields that we climbed over.
By the time we arrived at the B&B around 6:30pm (over a 10 hour hiking day) all we had the energy for was a quick supper of squash soup and crusty buns. Then it was off to our room to shower, dress our wounds and rest...well, I had to wash my socks first!! I have 3 pairs each of hiking socks and sock liners so it was time to do some laundry. Thankfully they had heated towel racks so they dried quite quickly. ( I probably could have gotten an extra day out of each pair of hiking socks but I live in fear of toe fungus!!) We were really happy to have that day under our belt. We were dealing with blisters (both of us), aching achilles tendon (me) and various aches and pains in our feet and legs (both).

We really felt like we had accomplished something that day and I think we felt better prepared for whatever came at us next. If we could survive that part of the hike and still smile about it then we were doing great!

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