E mails had been shuttling back and forth for a while between Mike ( Mike Knipe) and the accordion playing minstrel JJ (John Jocys) and myself. The aim was to arrange for a few days to have a wee wander around the Cheviots.
Thus it was on the Saturday morning Mike collected me and we sped north to Berwick on Tweed. John had travelled up from the Manchester area the day before with his lovely wife Wendy and had parked their caravan in the local caravan park. The aim was to leave the cars at the caravan park with Wendy and travel on to Wooler by bus. Unfortunately, due to health problems Wendy was unable to join us.
After a few cups of tea and a good lunch served from the caravan by JJ, we strolled into Berwick and caught an afternoon bus to our destination. We where not in any particular hurry and enjoyed a leisurely stroll over to the Carey Burn. Rabbits abounded and much to his chagrin, Lucky was forbidden to chase them. We set up camp by the Carey Burn, unfortunately the midges found us. Distance wise we covered roughly an average of six and half miles.
We continued on to Broadstruther. A once derelict shepherds cottage and recently restored by the estate which owns it. In all probability for use by shooting parties and the like. It now even has a fence around the front. Most likely to ensure the gentry folk can picnic in an area unsullied by sheep droppings?
More wandering onwards saw us stopping for lunch at the Hawsen Burn,where we were of much curiosity to the local sheep and most trying for Lucky's patience. From there we ambled up the Harthope valley. Even though it was fairly early in the afternoon, we stopped near to Harthope Linn. This early stop was partially down to me having a 'Dawn Moment! Knowing that the valley narrowed significantly further up and spots to camp would be few, I was unsure if I could manage to push on over the border ridge and on to the College valley, as suggested?
Monday was another lovely day, how Mike managed to wangle two sunny days is a mystery? John had never been on Cheviot before and thus it was our proposed route. Progress up the valley was upwards and yet more upwards with muddy bits and much criss crossing of the stream.
We almost lost Mike when he partially disappeared down a hiker eating hole. It spat him out again and he emerged mud splattered and slightly discombobulated! Progress was slowed a little by me feeling a wee bit wobbly at times. By the time we reached Scotsman's cairn I was glad we were able to sit down and have some lunch. A sandwich, plenty of fluids, a chocolate bar and a handful of jelly babies finally perked me up. Following the yellow brick road made up of very slabs, we soon made the cairn that denotes the Cheviot.
Our way on now was quite straightforward. Down over Scald hill and around towards Broadhope Hill but turning off on a path that in places was a tad indistinct in places but led us back to Broadstruther. We camped not far beyond. A distance of approximately 9.05 miles.