At half ten in the morning on 1 July, I’m leading another Durham County Council guided walk and so, roughly a week before I went out today to see if the route was safe and that I could remember where it went.
Superdawg stayed home for a bit of howling because I predicted (successfully as it happens..) suckler cattle and some of those bullock animals that bounce around a lot. he wouldn’t have liked any of those. Note the sign – the farmer is showing signs of contact with the catering trade (note the aberrant apostrophe)
So, after following the Wolsingham wheelchair walk for a bit (for peeps in wheelchairs..) , I struggled manfully up the steep bank out of Wolsingham, ignoring the two herds of idiot cattle running about daft, through a crop of barley 9I think) and a meadow and on to the bridleway to the Efelant Trees. We all know about the elfelent trees by now coz they iz famiss.
And, after some messing on and some pratting about during which I had a long telephone conversation with John Jocys, I entered the superb and interesting little valley of Bollihope Burn with it’s lead mines and quarries and kilns and bridges and holes and chickens. yes, folks, chickens. I got followed for a substantial distance by a herd of hungry chickens. these ladies would not take no for an answer and insisted on investigating my socks to see if there was any grain in there. Or a worm, perhaps…. Eventually they came to the edge of chickenland and turned back. I probably won’t mention these in the Health and Safety assessment.
I also met the train from Stanhope (not many people on board) and a man with a red flag and a green flag operating the level crossing. I expect he was a communist mobile car mechanic or something.. and some brown pigs enjoying themselves free-range in a wood.
Then I met the sucklers who looked vaguely interested in me for a while but didn’t make much fuss. It would have been a different matter had superdawg been along.
I did eleven miles, which, not really coincidentally is the same distance as next week’s guided walk. There’s a few manky planks on a footbridge. Other than that, the walk is fine.
Bruno can come tomorrow. I’m doing another reccy at Middleton in Teesdale.