Up at the ridiculous time of three thirty a.m on the Monday morning. An early train to Newcastle. This was followed by a quick dash to catch connecting buses to Cresswell. A surly bus driver who wore lead boots and had delusions of being on a grand prix track did not help. A monosyllabic grunt to indicate that I was at the required stop. Unfortunately it was not the required stop. No harm done though, it was only a five minute walk down the hill to meet up with Mike.
A welcome cup of tea and a bite to eat at the local cafe. By early afternoon we set off to head up the beach of Druridge Bay. The bay is immense, superlatives, such as vast, big skies and mile upon mile of of golden sands, hardly do it justice. The few folk out on the sands where just tiny specks upon the landscape.
A brisk, northerly breeze kept the temperature down a fair bit. However the walking was excellent. We even paddled a few times. Mike had already walked down from the visitor centre and it was here we parted. Many thanks Mike for your company.
My way on now was to Amble. Fish and chips bought in the village. Not the best. Finding a spot to camp was forefront on my mind. Water also was a concern. There is little to be had on this coastal route. Two litres picked up at the marina was added to my pack.
Pushing on, the route led over to Warkworth. There is a cycle path that separates walkers and cyclists from the busy main road. Not pleasant though, especially when tired. The pubs certainly looked busy with many people sitting out enjoying the evening sunshine.
Finally, once over the bridge spanning the river Coquet, the way on turned away from the main road.The path skirted the golf course. Unfortunately the dunes where a mix of dense bracken and gorse. It was just beyond Birling Carrs when I finally stopped. Note, the static caravans on the headland have a couple of water taps. A long day and a late finish.
Tuesday morning broke to overcast skies and a spot of mist. It was an early start, always best when stealth camping. The way on lead over to Alnmouth. Once more the route followed a purpose built cycle track. Hard going on the feet.
It was still early when I arrived in the village, however, I fancied a cuppa and a slice of cake and lingered until the coffee shop opened.
For easier going I took to the beach up to Seaton House. From there on to Boulmer. Some fine coastal walking lead over to Craster. The village was busy and, after picking up a couple of litres of water at the lifeboat station, I moved on.
The good weather certainly had brought out the crowds. Many heading over to the castle. A woman having mild hysterics because she had inadvertently stepped in a cow pat. Screaming kids being pacified with promises of ice cream. An elderly gent sweltering in his tweed jacket, twill trousers and cap.
By now I was thinking of finding a spot to camp.not an easy proposition. It was close to Low Newton By The Sea, before I tucked the tent in among the dunes. Anyone needing water, there are a few beach bungalows in the dunes and a couple of outside taps.
On the Wednesday it was once again, an early start. The aches and pains I had been experiencing where now easing. Also, I was finally starting to settle down a bit and get in to something of a steady rhythm.
Beadnell to Seahouses involved a stretch of main road walking. Metronome walking, the brain switches over to auto pilot , the body functioning automatically, legs maintaining a steady pace, the mind taking flights of fancy/
Coastal path hazards.