For those peeps unfamiliar with North-Eastern parlance, a plodge is a watery and/or muddy paddle in the clarts. And clarts are muddy places. Lancastrians will recognise the word “slutch” whilst others will just have to make do with “mud”.
Soooo, me and Lucky and Dawn headed up to Warkworth for a plodge in the slutch towards Rothbury along Saint Oswald’s Way. Basically, we would see how far we got then turn around and paddle back through the clarts to where we started from.
It had been a night of stair-rods and, in fact was still quite drizzly up on the Pennines, but here in Warkworth it was warm and cloudy – in fact the knipemobile temperature indicator (i.e. thermometer, for those of a scientifical bent) was showing 17C when we left. I meantersay, 17C. We should have gone to the beach with a picnic. It was cooler in June.
So, I followed Lucky who followed Dawn who had a map. We walked for five and a bit miles until we came to a flooded beck, just outside Felton and this prevented further progress. Or at least it should have done, but Dawn found a bridge. But it was too late. I had eaten my cheese butty and witnessed a large rabbit being attacked by a small stoat. The rabbit survived because Lucky barked and the stoat ran off. It was probably a temporary salvation anyway.
And then we walked back again. Lucky was off the lead for some considerable distance and, despite the freedom, walked to heal very sensibly. This was probably because we saw no more rabbits or, indeed, any more pheasants of which there’d been many early on. Lucky has a very strong hunting instinct.
Anyway, we did eleven and a half miles and determined to have a go at the whole route in the new year, judging that a winter walk might be better for discreet wild camping.
And now, I’m all packed up for a little jaunt along the Norfolk Coastal Path. My pack is small due to the fact that I’m doing it the wimpy way and staying in hotels and B&B’s. More of this later. I’ve been hoping for some wildish weather and, it looks like I won’t be disappointed.