Total distance covered so far : 397 km
Today was definately a day of three halves! First half : easy walking with wonderful views; second half : horrible, squelching boggy up-to-your-ankles, on-no-not-more-of-this-crap boggy nastiness; third half : miles and miles of undulating, made-up roads in forest.
Why is it that a trail that claims to be the grandfather of all modern national trails in the UK is at times so miserabley boggy, impassable, unkept and unsignposted? I have no idea but I'm increasingly frustrated by this nonsense! The first part of today's walk was what you may expect for such a trail. Signs. Fingerboards. Pasture. Views. Paved where it gets really wet! Lovely.
But once you get past Whitley Pike, it's another story! Monstrous inclines that, if it wasn't for the slithering grit and rocks, look like nobody has past that way for decades! Paths, and I use the term very loosely, through tufts of marsh grass and mucky green-algae covered bog that will drown your boots if you put a foot in the wrong place and finally, on the descent from Brownrigg Head to the made-up road in the forest, a total nightmare of boggy, muddy hell that has you ducking under scratchy conifers, clambering through fences, squelching through ankle deep mire and hoping like hell not to go up to your knees in the a God-awful ooze created by the Forestry Commission on the neglected edge of a plot of trees! This is really not funny! If anyone cares about this trail, it would make sense to ensure it's not a freakin' garden pond that you have to wade through to get to safety!
And finally, several miles of lonesome, but by comparison, heavenly made-up road through the forest to Byrness. I would claim this to be boring and hilly but after what I just went through to reach it I'd call it joyous! Something is very wrong with the unkept and unloved Pennine Way!