The best laid plans! We left Hethpool House B&B at 8:30 a.m. hopng for a head start and to cover much of our 13 km walk to Wooler through the most barren part of St. Cuthbert’s Way before the main part of the heat of the day. We took a wrong turn almost immediately due to talking too much and not paying enough attention looking for the St. Cuthbert’s Way markers. We caught our problem quicky, turned around and we had only wasted about 30 minutes.
We scrambled down a precarious hill and then had to climb back up again after realizing we were the wrong side of a fence. Again we hadn’t noticed a sign pointing us in the proper direction.
Then we must have missed a crucial marker or post because we became quite confused. We both acknowledged how quickly we each would have become quite panicked if we had been out on these barren hills alone and had become confused and unsure of where we were. This was also quite an unexpected test for us and we each stayed calm and patient despite our individual concerns.
Eventually we found ourselves close to a farmhouse contemplating whether we needed to ask for help when we finally spotted another trail marker (after climbing over private fences and scampering through chicken pens! Thankfully the barking dogs seemed also to be penned.) So on we trudged, and on and on . . .until:
This is a picture of happiness and relief as we spotted Wooler in the distance after walking non stop for about 5 1/2 hours. It took another 1 1/2 hours to actually get there, but that’s another matter.
Oh my, how slowly and painfully we staggered along the High Street to our B&B, but it is amazing how motivating the thought of removing boots, cleaning up and heading out to dinner can be after 7 hours, 21 km and 30000 steps.
Only two more days left of the walk, but tomorrow is meant to be the longest planned day at 19 km (today should have only been 13) so we’ll see how that goes, but at least it is meant to be flat and fairly straight forward.