Distance: 27,5 km (17,1 mi) for a total of 1336,1 km (830,2 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 930 m (3055 ft)
Weather: Rain in the early morning, clearing later to sunshine in the afternoon
We had agreed to leave early because the forecast wasn’t for a bright day and just in case of really bad conditions we wanted to have some buffer. So we were away at 6 o’clock. Soon we joined Hadrian’s Wall and followed its ups and downs.
And we passed the so-called Robin Hood tree. I wouldn’t have recognised it, but I was told that it appeared in the film with Kevin Costner.
When the PW left the wall it was first the usual footpaths, still wet from yesterday’s rain but ok. The ugly bit started in the first woodland and lasted for much of the time to Bellingham. The way was wet and boggy throughout with very wet and boggy patches thrown in for good measure. But with having wet feet anyway I hadn’t to look for a way through a small stream crossing our way, I just walked straight through.
If the landscape around us had interesting features I wasn’t able to notice them because I concentrated on my steps. So the walker’s pit-stop at Horneystead with the possibility to sit down and have something to drink was very welcome.
The path improved afterwards although I didn’t manage completely to walk my shoes and socks dry again. At least over the day the weather had improved, sunshine made the surroundings look more favourable.
That the Pennine Way is the senior of the long distance paths is also proved by some of the signposts.
Jim had left Horneystead before me, we had agreed that we would meet in Bellingham. Just when I went up Shitlington Crags Mina and James, a couple walking/running LEJOG caught up with me. I had heard about them already through Geoff’s blog as they had spent the night in Greg’s Hut on Cross Fell one day after I had stayed there. And of course they have heard of me from Geoff. We chatted a bit and as they were staying in Bellingham as well we agreed to meet in the pub later. It was a really pleasant evening with more chatting. James, I hope your interview for the job in NZ went well!