I thoroughly enjoyed my stay with Mike and Val Seal at Cresswell but as ever I had to move on the next morning and head for Alnwick.
The walk turned into a 20-miler thanks to a wrong turn near Almouth that added a couple of unnecessary and intensely annoying miles. Navigational errors cost you dear when you are walking. However, that brings my total mileage up to 920, another notch closer to the magic 1000 and the even more magical Scotland.
The walk was a mainly pleasant one along the coast much of the way, through pretty and historic towns such as Amble and Warkworth and finally Alnwick.
This is a market town cleft from the time-worn stone of history with much to see if you delight in ancient buildings, cobbled streets and castles. The guest house that has generously given me shelter and a very nice breakfast indeed, is the Bailiffgate B and B at 1 Bailifgate at the ancient heart of the town. I could not have wished for a nicer, more characterful place to stay, nor a kinder more pleasant hosted than Juliette Walker. So THANK YOU to Juliette for the hospitality, which is much appreciated. The Bailiffgate B and B is highly recommended if you are visiting historic Alnwick and want a comfortable place to stay that reflects the timeless qualities of the town. I will post a link to the Bailiffgate in a separate post.
Incidentally, the new rucksack given to me by Mick Seal at Cresswell has turned out to be a godsend. If I had persisted with the one I had, I am pretty sure that I would soon have developed back problems that would have jeopardised completing my walk. The new rucksack is of much better design and much kinder on the back and shoulders. I also ditched some unnecessary items I had been carrying to reduce the weight down to about 10 kilos and this has saved undue stress on my knees and the arches of my feet as well as my back and shoulders. Walking itself is no longer much of a problem, but the weight I have to carry while doing it sure is. Fortunately a large chunk of that problem has been alleviated.
Having solved one problem, naturally I have to have another to keep life interesting and the next one to solve is my boots. They are worn very thin. This is the second pair I have worn out. The top of the range company Go Outdoors have kindly donated a top of the range spanking new pair of boots and I will be able to pick them up in Edinburgh.
In the meantime I was hoping to make my current ones last until then to avoid spending any money on a pair of boots I will only need for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately I don’t think my current ones will make it to Edinburgh as they are now worn worryingly thin so I am on the lookout for where I can buy a cheap replacement pair to last a week or so.
Almost forgot: I did a radio interview via my mobile whilst on the road somewhere near Alnmouth. This was the weekly thing with The Urban Warrior Show on Salford City Radio. I will put up a link to a recording of the show as soon as I have it Or someone else will kindly post it for me. On the show I gave a nice mention for Val Seal and her husband Mick, as well as Maria Hurst who has been so helpful as a volunteer and brought about the donation of the boots from Go Outdoors.
I head for Seahouses on the coast today, hoping I can find somewhere to buy boots or that the current ones will hold out. Looks like the weather will be good. I may have to invest in sun cream.
See you on the road!