June 19

Day 33 Bellingham to Byrness

Breakfast at Bellingham with our new Dutch frends was, as usual, a lively affair. They have done many walks including around Mont Blanc and tours of Patagonia. The Pennine Way seems quite modest in comparison to these mighty travels.

Bellingham is very conveniently placed for the Pennine Way, what a shame that one has to approach it via a busy road and also leave it by a busy road. We hared up the hill out of Bellingham at a fair rate of knots and were delighted to leave the road for the hill.
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Once again the weather has been perfect for walking. It was wonderful to get out onto the hill again, to enjoy the wide open skies and the larks singing. Even the cuckoo was active. I know that cuckoos are parasites but, well, they are British.
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This section of the stroll has been quite crowded. We have seen the same 10 or 12 people quite often. It has been enjoyable to stroll along by ourselves then to meet the others in the evening for a chat.
We could see a party of blokes strolling along ahead of us, following the well trodden path of a thousand strollers, Janet mentioned that we seemed to be off the path I checked and agreed. We then set off over the heather and bog towards the correct path. It appears that the path has changed from when our map was printed.

Up until today we have had no problems with midges. We settled down in the forestry for a leisurely bite of yesterday’s BLT and a slice of cheese when the little blighters rose from nowhere. No more rest for us.
We arrived at the bunkhouse very quickly by not stopping to rest..

The bunkhouse at Byrness is quite comfortable but has one difficulty for those of us of the older, masculine, persuasion. There are beds for 9 people but the lavatorial arrangements are of one shower room with one lavatory in it. If someone decides to take a leisurely shower all the rest have to cross everything until the showerer decides to finish. I nipped into the bushes what the others did? Who knows?

OUr host at the hostel could not cope with the last three people to arrive ie us and a chap doing the Lands End to JOG thing. So we ate pies and beans together.
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Posted June 19, 2016 by admin in category "Week 5 Newtown Farm to Melrose

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