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Friday, 17 August 2012


Walkin' in the rain................August 17th.
was a hit for Johnny "Cry" Ray in 1956, a time before I got interested in pop music. It has an interesting story though as it was written by a group of men on death row in some American prison. They were allowed out, accompanied I suspect by a man wearing reflective sunglasses, carrying a rifle and riding a white horse.They made a recording of it at the famous Sun Studios owned by Sam Phillips in Memphis.
 There are other songs about rain: Raining in my Heart by Buddy Holly and the Crickets; Rain, B side of Paperback Writer by the Beatles and the wonderful ballad of teenage angst Crying in the Rain by the Everly Brothers. And Carol King of course.
The weather man forecast rain today and he got it right. As we drove up the A1 heading for the hills it was agreed that walking in the rain was fine for macho young men it isn't much fun when you are pushing 69 so we headed for the coast, hoping it would be dry, or at least  the rain would not be heavy.  And it stayed dry most of the day.
  It had to happen, this is a repeat of a previous walk but I am committed to recording our efforts, and other things, so here we go again.
 Four gadgies out today, Harry the routemeister, Cornish Johnny the musicmeister, Dave the vogelmeister and me the blogpiemeister. Diverting from the Cheviot massif we drove to Alnmouth on the coast To get there take the A1 north and turn right at Alnwick, go through Lesbury to Hipsburn and on to  Alnmouth. There is some street parking at the far end of the main street or leave your car on the beach car park.
If you need a map, Explorer 332 covers the walk and we left our car at GR246102 and headed north on the beach.
After about three miles of gentle walking on the sand, stopping to watch the seabirds which were out in number, probably fed up of the rain too and having a quiet day on the beach, teaching the kids how to search for sand eels.
 It was a bit misty out at sea but we watched an RAF Sea King helicopter hovering near a boat. We assumed it was a practice, the machine was some distance from the vessel. The helicopter had probably flown from the RAF base at Boulmer which used to bristle with radar aerials facing east.
Not much to see now but I believe that underground is a huge complex housing James Bond style gadgets.
A Herbiespot was declared and we sat on some rocks, putting the world to rights, and eating the pork pie ration. On the beach were curlews, ringed plovers, herons, sanderlings, cormorants, red shanks, green shanks, shelducks,swallows, starlings and seagulls of course. And a dead seal.
 A little north of Boulmer village we climbed off the beach  and followed the footpath alongside some fields. There are several pieces of art work on the wall;


                                   A heron made from discarded  bits of metal......


                                                             and an owl.

Cornish Johnny did an excellent impression of Brian Sewell, an art critic who recently said the Olympic site should be left to rot. He has been known to visit the north of Enland but doesn't think much of it. Pretentious asterisk.
 Continuing north we passed Iron Scars, an interesting rock formation and walked past the site of what is thought to be the oldest house in Britain. Even its replica has collapsed.
 From here we walked on along the cliff tops, which have become dangerously eroded in places, to the village of Craster. Craster is the home of the kipper and the starting point to the ruins of John of Gaunts castle at Dunstanburgh.
He built parts of Lancaster castle too, and he left his horse shoe on the intersection of Penny Street and Market Street in that fair city. And it is still there.


                                   Craster Village and harbour. Picturesque.

At this point decisions had to be made; walk further up the coast and hope we could get to Embleton before the bus back or enjoy a two bus trip back via Alnwick, the seat of the famous Percy family.
We opted for the latter, after all we have gadgie passes and after a couple of bus rides arrived back in Alnmouth and went home, without visiting a pub.
Outdoors GPS said the walk was 7.5 miles long, more interesting considering most of the walk was on the beach was its claim that we had gained 1223 feet in height and lost 1180 feet. I don't understand this.
Good old Higear measured the walk as 7.2 miles, a nice distance on a damp day.
Not much to write about but watch out for CНОВА  B  CССР , coming to a blog near you soon.