Wednesday, 21 May 2014

There's a couple of puns...................May16
  I was unable to join the team on Friday as we had my mother staying. An amazing woman, approaching 99 and qualifying almost as a pinball wizard, I felt i had to stay with her for the day. Anyway she doesn't like the Cheviot, too muddy. Several other gadgies were also missing but the remaining three stalwarts did a favourite gadgie walk from Langleeford to Auchape Cairn, Cheviot summit and back, first blogged in September 2011.
Brian sent me his report.....
The Cheviot 2676ft (815m)

Today’s walk is the ever popular route from Langleeford to Dunsdale, into the College Valley, up onto Auchope Cairn, Cheviot and back down to Langleeford.

There are only three gadgies out today – Harry, Ben and Brian – but don’t worry, the others are well but engaged in other activties.  A suggested 8:30 start allowed time to visit the Terrace Café in Wooler (other cafés are available) for early morning refreshments.   As usual we got a  warm welcome, good tea and for some, well one actually, a bacon roll.

We started from Langleeford in warm sunshine but it was a bit breezier than suggested from the weather forecast. The route takes us up Hawsen Burn to cross in the gap between Broadhope Hill and Scald Hill then to drop down to Goldscleugh and on to Dunsdale.  Harry and Ben spotted a small adder sunning itself on the tarmac road.

The wall at Dunsdale has “Herbiespot – Please Use” written on it, so we duly obliged.  As there were only 3 gadgies it was a dieter’s lunch with Ben’s ginger biscuits and Mrs A’s fruit cake (finally eaten after having travelled all the way to Gran Canaria and back).  Harry thought one of the two nearby trees was a pear tree but it was decided that they both were!!

Setting off after lunch we moved into the College valley not far from Mounthooly then south and up onto the ridge close to the mountain refuge hut.  The climb up to the two prominent cairns of Auchope Cairn  is steep but steady and the reward is tremendous views north south and west.

The path beyond Auchope Cairn to Cheviot used to start initially with welcome duckboard but this has been replaced by even more welcome stone slab (apart from 100 metres or so) meaning you can now walk all the way to the summit  without getting your boots dirty, which is what we did.

Cheviot summit (2676ft) boasts a trig point standing proudly on a column of breeze blocks – gale blocks would be a more appropriate name as it is rarely calm at Northumberland’s highest point.

The way down from the summit is steep and very badly eroded.  I’m not sure what the path makers can do about this but I’m certain it would take many thousands of pounds to get to grips with it.  However from Scald Hill it is a very pleasant descent back to the car.

Thoughts then turned to beer and the welcome bosom of the Anglers Arms.  We had the choice of Old Speckled Hen, Bombardier and one other.


The Benometer                                13.0 miles
Brian’s GPS                         12.9 miles

Harry’s Thumb                  12.0 miles*

I love this walk and wish I had been on it but mums are mums and have to be obeyed even when you are 70.
*Harry's thumb is an engineers thumb and is very good at map measuring.

Picture Gallery
The photos of the walk were taken by Harry who is an excellent, prize winning  photographer, not just a snapper like what I am.
                                                       A car park! Thanks Harry
                                                        Hawsen Burn
                                         Brian rests his butt
                                                        Dunsdale, the Herbie Spot
                                                      College Valley
                                                        Auchope Cairn
                                                                           On Cheviot Plateau
                                           The flagged path on Cheviot
                                                                 Goingt down to Langleefored

To increase your enjoyment of the adventures of all the gadgies I have incorporated a blog from my daughter. 

The devil is in the detail

My dad was born 70 years ago to the day, narrowly missing out on having the enviable birthdate of 4/4/44.

I made him a two tier birthday cake of chocolate sponge and fruit cake and modelled him out walking. He goes on a long walk with his fellow gadgies every Friday (gadgie is a north east word for old fella) and writes a very informative blog on each route. If you're looking for a well-mapped walk in the north of England with interesting detail on flora & fauna, archaeological sites, place name derivations, where to get a good bacon butty, a terrible pun and invariably a photo of a carpark, I urge you to visit it. Don't expect to find short, easy walks though - the gadgies are fit as lops.

But look at the detail! This gadgie might colour co-ordinate with the cake, but not in any sartorial sense. You can almost hear my mum saying "Michael! Grey jumper? Green trousers? Brown boots? These don't match". I swear he does it to annoy her. Also I know he is colour blind

Next up - a stile in the middle of a dry stone wall. My dad often photographs unusual stiles and promises to publish a pamphlet entitled "Stiles and Gates of Northumberland and Cumbria". Retirement, eh? I can't wait.

The sheep - there is an ongoing joke about sheep and his fellow gadgie Harry. I don't want to know. The pork pie is the symbol of the Gadgies with the Latin motto "Rarely overtaken, always drunk". The Friday walks are one of the few occasions my poor father gets to eat meat, having lived nearly all his adult life with killjoy vegetarians.

The rabbit. My dad has no interest in rabbits, I just put one on the cake because it's nearly Easter and I think they're cute. One of our habits used to be counting all the rabbits outside the library on the walk into town (record was 13). However they all mysteriously disappeared one night and Newcastle City Council have not responded to my enquiries.

I hope he enjoys his cake - just a few minutes left of 5 April to wish my dad a very happy birthday! xxx