Today was perfect walking weather. The sun shone but through a haze and there was a fresh breeze. I started the day wearing long trousers and my warm shell top but by 9 am it was clear that this arrangement would be too hot and I changed into shorts and T-Shirt.
Soon after setting out I ran out of map. I stupidly thought that the double sided OS map had one side above the other but this one did not. So I was dependent on the GPS and the waymarking which is pretty good on the Pennine Way. I just feel uncomfortable when I haven’t got the correct map with me.
I also discovered last night that my emergency phone/iPad battery pack was totally dead. I think something must have rested on the ‘on’ button when I stored it in my rucksack. I will tape something over the button to stop that happening again.
Luckily, the walking was good and by lunchtime I was in Bellingham where I had a good meal, got some charge into my phone and battery pack, picked up a few supplies, and there was a post office that had the maps I needed. I also got some spare GPS batteries as the next section over the Cheviots looks rather wild.
I had been told how busy the Pennine Way was so I didn’t expect to walk a complete day, some 17 miles, without meeting a single walker. I can seen plenty of mud prints so people were about over the weekend but not a soul today.
I must mention the farm that I passed that had converted one of its outbuildings into a walkers’ support room. It had a toilet, shower, kettle and tea-making kit, chocolate biscuits, crisps and cold drinks. ‘Help yourself and make a donation’, the sign said.
They were keeping up an old tradition of helping walkers – good on them!
I don’t have a phone signal here so there may be problems getting this to you in a timely manner, so accept my apologies if it’s a little late.