St Cuthbert’s Way Trip – Day 3 (Summary – Part 1)

St. Cuthbert’s Way – Resources and Index

Before my engaged and excited readers get saddened that this is just a short post, that’s because I’m back in England and the phone signal has suddenly stopped, with the B&B having hopeless Internet. That means several shorter posts and we’ll see what happens… Today was the walk from Town Yetholm to Wooler, a distance of around 13 miles.

It was a pleasant night at the Plough, it was good to get seven hours of uninterrupted sleep. The morning started with another cooked breakfast, although I’m starting to crave continental breakfasts now as these are quite stodgy. Good energy for the day though and the bacon was delicious. Gordon had caused confusion the night before with his fiddling about with the breakfast order, but fortunately the staff had worked it all out.

This was Gordon at the breakfast table, where he kept asking for extra food items and then had a great idea to make himself a jam sandwich for lunch. Steve and I watched this little arrangement, but we were surprised to see Gordon then immediately gollop the sandwich down. He had forgotten that he was saving it for his lunch….. I didn’t say anything of course.

One of the conversations at the breakfast table was about how Gordon looks a bit chubby in walking shirts. He was right though, they’re really not flattering, in his words, “the shirts don’t follow my well-toned six pack, they just hang”.

I walked over to the village shop and noticed that they had numerous sandwiches, pastries and random items that wouldn’t fit into my bag without getting squished. So, I decided to just get the above for my lunch, all very squish proof. The packaging for the chocolate in the middle said that they were decadent, and they most certainly were.

A little bridge in the village of Kirk Yetholm and just past this there was a sign to the gypsies who came here in the eighteenth century, some of the earliest to come to Scotland. Soon after this there was chat about standing stones, relating to a previous trip where Susanna had got muddled up. I heard her say to Andy, “all of your misdemeanours are remembered in this group”.

The border collies had just jumped off the back ready for their day chasing sheep. They really are adorable dogs. Living in a city and being away a lot unfortunately makes having a border collie impossible. I’m hoping though that maybe Dylan and Leon want a selection of border collies and then my friend Liam can have them and I can take them out on walks occasionally (I meant the dogs, the children I take out on trains).

At first this looks like a group shot, but click on this image and Susanna’s secret hobby is revealed…. She’s a real handful to control and without Bev, it’s been left to poor Steve to keep her under control.

Gordon was brave and courageous on the hills, looking quite stoical and calm here.

This is the English / Scottish border and the rest of the group were here for just over an hour and a half taking photos of each other excitedly. It’s almost as though they’ve never gone to a foreign country before…. I let them get on with it, preening themselves and getting each other in the best light. I walked ahead, I think as Sarah said that I was in a slight mood I was back in England and my Scottish holiday had come to an end.

The real disaster that happened nearly the moment that we crossed the border though was that my mobile phone signal disappeared. This annoyed me greatly and for the first time in memory, I wanted to climb a hill in the hope of recovering my mobile signal. I ignored Steve when he said something about walking trips like this were about getting away from it all.

It was at this point that Steve commented that Gordon was “dysfunctional” and we all agreed later on in the day that this was a fair comment. More on this quote throughout the week though no doubt.

Walking across the fields, which was really what took up most of the day’s walking. It’s peaceful, although quite far from civilisation and there’s a lot to be said for civilisation….. The weather conditions were favourable, sometimes a bit hot and humid, but mostly OK. Although there were too many hills, some of which I think were substantial mountains. The Cheviots are quite beautiful and we again had a variety of terrain today.

Two horses not talking to each other (or that’s what it looked like at the time).

Crossing the bridge and someone came to us asking for directions to the waterfall. More on this separately as I need to extract some video…..

You can see the legal training here, Gordon’s mind is alert and functional, ready to work out the best way across the swamp. He caused a pile-up soon after this when he nearly fell in the mud and held up those behind him. I didn’t say anything obviously, I’m being careful not to cause offence this week.

And then it was lunch, something I had been hinting at and I was pleased to hear Steve was willing to deliver. We found what looked like a nice spot and I began to treat myself to my Irn-Bru and chocolates. I had to drink all of the Irn-Bru quickly as last time Gordon got most annoyed when I only let him have a third of my bottle to try and I was concerned that he’d be back for more.

Anyway, I was sitting behind Gordon until I noticed a giant flock of large bulls charging towards us. I decided I had now finished my lunch and was ready to go. It’s fair to say that I moved quickly, efficiently and I had great clarity in my decision making process.

The giant bull sizing Steve up ready to attack him. I was conscious here that they might encircle us, although the others hadn’t thought of that danger. It’s really quite a good job that I’m at these events.

I thought that I should mention the situation to Steve as he was close to the danger zone and was without any shoes on. I wasn’t too concerned about Gordon.

Steve wasn’t though as concerned as I was and seemed to want make friends with the damn thing. I will admit that I wasn’t entirely happy about this situation, but at least they didn’t have their calves with them, but that little treat was yet to come. We also had Gordon walking around sounding like a cow and his drinking flask clatters into the metal on his bag. A few people have complained about this to him, but, fortunately, I haven’t got involved.

The next instalment is coming soon, assuming that I can get enough signal to complete my little summary of day three in the wilds of the north. And this next instalment contains details of Susanna’s latest little debacle. I will say that it’s certainly put the taxi situation into perspective.