Planned kilometres: 24 (cummulative 1043)
Kilometres walked: 26 (cummulative 1092)
% Completed (based on 1800km trip): 60.5%
Weather: Overcast and rain
Pubs visited: Forest view Inn
Pints: 2 (cummulative 147)
Kms per pint: 7.4
Blisters: 0 (cummulative 4)
Bellingham to Byrness
Another day starts with a long uphill section to get the lungs bursting from the start. There was no breeze this morning so by the time I got to the top of the hill, I was starting to feel like I was melting. Ahead of me on the trail I could see three other walkers and caught up with them after an hour or so when they stopped for a drink break. It was Jasmine who I walked with yesterday and Tim & Ian who Jasmine had walked with previously. While having this drink break George caught up with us and the five of us headed out along the path.
Photo on the top of next hill (George, Tim, Jasmine & Ian). Ian’s tent is hanging on the rocks as he tries to dry it out from previous night. We didn’t stay long on the top of the hill as we started to get eaten by the insects.
George had been given a road diversion by the B&B he stayed in last night, so we could avoid a hill that was very boggy and where people had previously been caught up lots of deep mud. The forecast for the day was for thunder storms so we took the road diversion as we could hear the thunder in the distance and could see very dark clouds ahead of us.
We stopped for lunch on the road before we went into the forestry area and it was lucky we did as just as we had finished lunch, it started raining so we had plenty of time to get out wet weather gear on.
Most of the rest of the walk was on forestry roads/tracks and as the rain was only a couple of showers so didn’t need to wear wet weather gear for too long. As we were walking along the forestry track, Tim who I also walked with yesterday caught up with us, so we had a big group as we walked into Byrness.
Everyone except Jasmine (who was camping) was staying at the Forest View Inn in Byrness. Check-in is at 4pm and we all arrived at 3:30 and found another walker waiting in the conservatory when we arrived. The conservatory had kettle and supplies for everyone to have a cup of tea while they waited. The Inn has been run by Colin and Joyce for a long time and the first thing Colin did was take all our boots, clean the mud off, fill them with newspaper to dry inside and put them in the drying room.
As we were checking in, the heavens opened, and it poured down. I was very grateful to be sitting inside looking out at the rain, however we all hoped that Jasmine had got her tent setup before the down-pour.
Colin opened the bar in the lounge, so we could all have a beer. The bar only had four ale taps, but Colin had bottle of lager in the fridge, so I was happy. One of the ales was called ‘Thirsty Walker’ and was brewed specially for the Inn. This was the smallest bar that I have been in so far and as it only served those people staying the Inn, tonight there was a grand total of nine customers.
Tonight was the last night with most of the people as George, Tim, Tim and Ian were all continuing to end of Pennine Way which I would only follow for the first couple of hours tomorrow before crossing the border into Scotland and heading for Jedburgh.