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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Northumberland Coast Path - day 5

Wednesday 21st September '16 - Seahouses to Belford

A bit of a problem this morning. Breakfast 8:00am, ready to go at 8:30, checkout doesn't open until 9:00 - ah well!

After years of backpacking all my arrangements for clothing, rucksack and its bits and pieces, provision for camera at the ready, transporting incidentals and cash in waist pouch etc. have been pretty well ironed out, but there are always minor changes and fine tuning, but at the moment I reckon I have got it all better sorted than ever.

Today the path lead inland, all in short differing sections providing ever changing interest. Tracks, fields, woods, golf courses, distant sea views were all included.

On a track at the dizzy height of 20m above sea level I rounded a right angle corner and had the most stunning view of Bamburgh Castle sat on top of its hill glowing in the morning sunlight about three kilometres away. I really did gasp.

Distance today was only about ten miles ( I do mix and match my miles and kms.) I tend to use kms. when I'm measuring distance on the map because it is helpfully divided into kilometre squares.

At Bamburgh I found a pretentious tea/coffee house and lingered. On a sort of high class village green under the castle walls I thought I saw a cricket match underway, but when I looked closer they were playing croquet, all dressed up in pristine whites; not a rugby shirt or pair of jeans in sight - I had to chuckle and managed to share my amusement with a passing couple who had previous associations with West Yorkshire, and more recently the Devon coast and we had quite a chat - nice people.

The path meandered for a while through soft sand dunes then into a cul de sac Tarmac road leading to Bamburgh Golf a Club, but alongside, a large field was planted with a sea of cornflower blue flowers which I could not identify, but hopefully my slideshow will display and bring forth the answer, but I say again they were so unexpected and attractive.

The views from the golf course across Budle Bay provided the largest expanse of golden sand illuminated with sunlight that I have ever seen anywhere. This Northumberland coast is a serious challenger for best in England and Wales.

Things degenerated a bit after that, crossing farmer's fields, and a short section on a busy road, then I was off onto minor toads and found a static caravan site - tea and pain-au-raisin - not bad.

For days I had seen strips of red and white hazard tape, and now I met a young man on a mountain bike retrieving these offensive items. It seems there had been a 100 mile run following St. Cuthberts Way which coincides quite lot with the NCP.

I met a couple from Australia who were wandering mapless and this really was in the middle of nowhere. I directed them on the way I had come and wondered what happened to them - one of life's little mysteries, but at least they were seeing our country properly rather than just cruising up the motorways. The weather deteriorated and just before I arrived at Belford I had to don my waterproof and rucksack cover.

I am now at The Old Vicarage b and b where they had the original bath from this old house with brass taps and a patent plug device. I was able to lie full length - without doubt the best bath I have ever been in.

I have just eaten in the Blue Bell. A black pudding, bacon strips, and warm potato salad, then gammon egg and chips - all ok and a bit better than average.


Phreerunner said...

Greetings Conrad, I've just had the pleasure of catching up, from your excellent Torridon slideshow to today's toads (sic).
It sounds as if you are on top form for the NCP and enjoying it like a schoolboy!
Take care not to trip though...
I don't need to complete the captcha either, perhaps it's because we are signed in to Google.

afootinthehills said...

Yes, it does sound like you're thoroughly enjoying this walk Conrad. Like Martin, I don't need to complete captcha either and can't remember ever having to do so.

Ruth Livingstone said...

You're making great progress. Must be heading home soon?

Sir Hugh said...

All - thanks for your comments. Short walk into Berwick tomorrow, Friday, then train home. At least I will have sorting the slideshow to look forward to since Google has stopped letting me put them on the blog from the iPad; they are also asking me to sign in nearly every time I try to do anything - very irritating.