I could tell that Bruno was feeling a bit cabin-feverish and neglected by the way he was chewing my leg this morning.
So, after a hurried breakfast, lasting about an hour and a half, and involving almost a litre of coffee (coffee machine birthday present) I saddled up the hound with his harness and lead and orf we jolly well went to Bollihope in Weardale, parking irritatingly neatly just by the bridge over Bollihope Burn.
We followed an old mines track on the East side of Howden Burn, through an interesting but devastated area of mines and quarries. THis continues as an estate track up onto the moor at Pawlaw Pike – a heathery drumlin.
There was snow. Bruno likes snow. The first bit we met was but a small patch, which the dog stamped about in and ate. A bit higher, there was hard, thawing neve in big patches – ideal for running about on and digging up. I left this task entirely to the dog.
The met office’s forecast of a cloudy day, brightening up was witnessed by a cloudy day turning a bit dark with lowering clouds and a light drizzle. Close, but no gold star this time. At least it was mild….
We bashed the heather a bit and climbed to the summit of Five Pikes. Now Five Pikes, you might imagine, would be a more dramatic version of a lake District Pike – all rocky and pointed and covered in people. Not so. The Pikes on Five Pikes are old shepherd’s cairns, built by old shepherds who clearly had nothing better to do. Apparently there are five of them. Three are in view from the trig point.
We headed towards the Elephant trees – a copse which has appeared in this blog many times. many, many times…..
And then we went down to White Kirkley and followed Bollihope Burn back to the car which was still there and with it’s lights turned off and all it’s wheels still on. This was good. Not so good were the holes in the footbridge over the burn. these could scare a small dog of a nervous disposition and a phobia about falling through small holes into a raging beck of brown and peaty water and thus getting washed away and ending up in a canine rescue centre in Sunderland (which is where all that water goes eventually). So I’ve reported it to the County Council. Regular readers will appreciate that this is not a waste of time and that sometimes, often, something Gets Done – one way or another.
Anyway, the walk was seven and a half miles. Its a nice little walk.