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At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Monday, 21 August 2017

Berwick 2, summary

Monday 21st August. - Arnside

In general I have to agree with various commenters about my daily distances over the last five days from Weardale to Hellifield. But, those distances are similar to the mileage I was doing during the seven days from Berwick to Weardale before I had the accident, and I had coped with that without marring enjoyment.

The section I have just walked, down, up and over the various dales was not easy to plan for accommodation, but the distances, as I said above, seemed doable. There were two differences though. Firstly there was a lot of road walking, and secondly a number of serious long ascents. Contrary to many fellow walkers I don't mind road walking, especially on quiet lanes, but on this section there was just too much, and with my preference for wearing trail shoes my feet suffered. Apart from my "other" knee becoming painful on the walk into Hellifield I had a large painful blister under my right foot, and various other painful and sore toes, partly from soreness, and partly from arthritis, but I reckon the excessive road walking was a major factor - I have not had those kind of problems for years, 0k old age is creeping up on me, but if you don't try you don't know.

Another factor is recovery time, and with the less arduous walking on the Berwick to Weardale section recovery was fine by next day after a lengthy previous day's walk, but on this new section the increased amount of strenuous ascent prevented such quick recovery and I think by that last day tiredness had compounded  and from the start I had no energy and on top of the painful ailments I was weary as I hobbled into Hellifield.

I am considering  some lightweight boots combined with Sorbothane insoles and keeping mileages down in future to more ameanable distances. I have no definite plans yet for further walking. As I write, only the day after, the knee is much better, but painful feet still persist.

Back in 2014  the knee surgeon suggested me having my "other" knee done which I eventually agreed to but backed out at the last minute. Apart from many many day walks since then I have walked:

3 days         Completing the Cheshire Ring canal walk with BowlandClimber
10 days      North-east coast of Scotland climbing Marilyns
20 days      Macmillan Way 1     Boston to Abbotsbury
10 days      Canal du Midi           Toulouse to Beziers
18.5 days   Macmillan Way 2     Boston to Barmouth

 Jan to April       Outlying Fells some with Bowland Climber, a dozen or more day
March                 Marilyns with caravan from Ledbury - five days
June                    Witches walk - over several days walks with BowlandClimber
July                     SW Coast - Land’s End to Exmouth, 10 days
September          Torridon, caravan - 5 Marilyns

... and some I may have forgotten about. I shall continue to do whatever I can before signing up for the "other" knee.

Lost control of formatting on that second table.


  1. All quiet on the western front.

  2. Hi Conrad
    We've just caught up on Old Reader so haven't read comments, but we were dismayed to find you back in Arnside. At least your injuries appear to be a little less debilitating this time. We do hope you can find a way of finishing the journey, even if by way of short days and a team effort. It'll be an epic...

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  4. Phreerunner - Yes. I'm not sure about resuming. I think I will know after another few days if the knee can recover or if it has finally packed up and needs replacing. As I said in my summary the surgeon said over two years ago that all the cartilage had gone and he was prepared to do a replacement then, so it is a miracle that I have been able to do so much since then - we will see.

  5. I can't comment on whether or not your mileage was ambitious, mainly because everybody's mileage seems far more ambitious than mine! But I do know that I find road walking very tough on the feet and joints, especially when wearing proper walking boots. Anyway, I'm very sorry you had to abandon the walk. Maybe after a few days rest you will know whether it really is time to get that other knee done, or not.

  6. Ruth - I think I'm gradually accepting that it's time for the other knee.

  7. in my long term research project entitled 'can you believe what doctors, especially specialist expert doctors (read: consultants) tell you' I am coming to the conclusion that most of what you hear is not based on knowledge but received wisdom (of course, one has to learn from somewhere) and that often opinion and doctrine is based on false or incomplete 'evidence' (despite the current mantra of 'science based policy' - here 'medicine') endlessly repeated and handed down and thus accepted as reliable truth.
    Again, of course, some is - if a doctor tells you you are dead, there is a high probability that this is true (but, equally of course, not always) similarly with other diagnoses of rampant organic disease: but where the working parts of bodies is concerned, and where those workings are not or 'cannot' be fully understood or 'diagnosed', then a reliance on dogma and 'official policy' replaces a broader based approach to treatment: your man may be right that the cartilage is 'gone' - although I doubt whether it is absolutely 'all' gone, and I doubt that it can never be regrown, like other tissues in the body (note i am not talking about organ regrowth - it is a fairly well established 'fact' that the liver is the only organ can do this) but connective tissues do repair and regrow (think of your elbow) - so personally I think that cartilage itself may in certain circumstances and environments (physiological) regrow and repair. The problem with this is that claim of such and of methods of encouraging such are dismissed as 'folklore' or 'charlatanry' by the profession and so do not receive proper study or examination: thus diet, weight control and use of targetted supplements may have more effect than often recognised and may be better for one than the stainless scalpel.

  8. needlesshaste - Welcome to my blog. New commenters are rare these days. I agree to some extent with your comments which is demonstrated by the fact that I have done so much walking in the couple of years since my surgeon told me the knee was done for. In fairness, when I wrote that he had said "all the cartilage has gone" I don't think those were his exact words, just my understanding or interpretation of what he was saying. I would advise anybody to struggle on as long as they can before undergoing this kind of surgery. Your alternatives may be beneficial, but will take as much or more time to produce a result, and that with a fair amount of uncertainty. When the time comes the surgery is more or less definitive, and unless you are unlucky with some non-standard result the recovery time is more or less definable, so when it comes to it I think that option has to be taken. I have a good friend who is retired surgeon who has always advised me to avoid operations if at all possible.