Friday, 16 May 2014

Day 17 : Byrness - WindyGyle/Trows/Byrness (26km)

Total distance covered so far : 423 km
No digging! No vehicles! But what's that other thing? Obligatory posing dressed as an angel?

The penultimate day and finally, some weather worth going out in and some hills worth hiking over! I'd been frightened off the Cheviots by several people I met along the way telling me how horribly boggy they were. Well, the drier weather has dried them up a bit over the last couple of days and it's true they are still a bit boggy in places, but it's also true, and it's the magical redeeming feature, that where it's boggy, there's always a way around! For days I've been obliged to squelch directly through unending wet messes, heart in mouth! This time round, whenever faced with a problem, I could walk 20 metres away and chose a safer route. No nervous breakdowns today! So that, plus the sunshine plus what's now an easy working knowledge of what you can and can't step on, turned today into one of the nicest day's hiking of the entire trip. Lovely!
From my accommodation I had a very steep climb up onto the top of the Cheviots but then pretty much an undulating ridge walk all the way to Windy Gyle! I saw nobody until I got to Windy Gyle either! And then it was only one person passing me and another heading off into the distance! It's a really huge area and as has so often been the case on this trip, there wasn't a soul there. And that's been one of the toughest things about this whole trip. Loneliness and the fear of 'what if things go wrong'! But then carrying on anyway.
Maybe from the text of these notices, I just strayed in to Scotland! Must be getting close to the end then!
I've included these three pictures of moss and grass because they are now some of my best friends! Pretty as they are, they are also safe places to put your foot when surrounded by boggy waste! They have got me through plenty of tricky places, though sadly they got squashed in the process!
A little mountain shelter and it's contents! A curiosity today, a lifesaver in the winter!
That's Windy Gyle in the distance and that's the end of the hike for today. From the summit, I have to make a detour of a few km down from the summit and off the Pennine Way to the nearest road to get a ride to my accommodation for the night. There's nowhere to stay for miles round here so unless you wild camp, that's your only option! I'll be back tomorrow!
The summit of Windy Gyle. The views are lovely!
The sky was lovely too, let's not forget what's up there!
Bye bye summit. See you, or a bit very close to you, again tomorrow!
They have geese where I am staying!

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