This is a personal blog mainly to do with hillwalking things but with other stuff as well.....maybe the odd rant..
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Border Walk Day 1 Carlisle to Longtown
The first day of this epic of sore feet and comedy waymarking should carry some kind of subtitle about Adam and Eve and King Arthur. This may well become clear later. Or possibly not. I started with a pie. It was a steak and onion from a Carlisle pie shop and it was very hot and very nice. It was about the time that I’d burned my tongue for the third time (hunger/greed/impatience) and just before I arrived at the fountain in the underpass by the Sands Centre that it started raining. In fact it bounced down. This was to set a pattern. I put on full waterproofs. This was to set another pattern. I wandered off on the riverbank. The river was the River Eden. It leads to the Solway, which is where I was going. The day was one of rain then fairly heavy but short showers. I got fairly wet. The walk along by the River Eden is very easy. It has just the one short shock of an uphill but in general it flows through cow pastures (with cows) on a easy grassy path with no contours to disturb the rhythm. At one point it does go through a marsh, where the line of the path and the line of the river and the mapping thereof bear no relation at all to each other, but in general, it arrives at Rockcliffe, where one of the local cattle was busy eating the cricket pitch and where I was greeted enthusiastically by a border collie puppy, with little in the way of excitement or effort. I pushed Eastwards on lanes, crossing the M6 and joining Cycle Route Number 7 for a short section of pleasant railway path – and thence to Arthuret Church. Arthuret Church is supposed to stand on the site of a sixth century church which possibly involved some post-Roman British Vortigern/Arthur type of anti-English warlord and Christian to boot. It is now a very large medieval church with an incredibly crowded graveyard, and, just a little along the scarp, an ancient well dedicated to St Michael, the Patron saint of lady’s sandwiches and upper middle class underwear. It wasn’t too far through cow and horse pastures, complete with you-know-whats to the Border township of Longtown. This has a bloody history including two 16th century battlesites and general Border lawlessness and more, organised general warfare involving large armies. There was no evidence of this in the Graham Arms (Grahams being one of the local reiver clans) and I had the steak pie and some beer and repaired to my B&B for a lie down. This would be my only B&B of the trip. It was 15 and a half miles and about 500 feet of uphill if you’re really really careful about counting all of the contours.
I am a retired NHS Personnel person. All I do nowadays is walk about.
I used to have my pet dog Bruno with me (in the front page pic). he was Superdawg but he died. Now I have Lucky the pup. He's a bit like Bruno, only smaller and more suspicious.