Trails and trials of the writer who walks
It seemed at first that it was a mistake to have another rest day at Alston, as my plan to take a bus journey was foiled by the lack of buses – only one out and one back. I didn’t want to risk becoming stranded. After an hour and a half of coffee, crosswords and a delicious home-made scone at the Blueberry Café, what was I going to do for the rest of the day? Then I overheard the café owner talking to a customer about Indian Hill railways – both had some experience of these – and through my eavesdropping I found out that Alston’s South Tyne Steam Railway were holding an Indian weekend with guest engine and coaches from Darjeeling.
The station was decked out in garlands with hill railway notices such as ‘No Beggars’. Indian music snaked from tinny tannoys. The sun broke through and I had a delightful ride up and down the line (half an hour each way).
Can you keep a secret? Tomorrow I intend to take the steam train again and cut 3 miles off my day’s walk by joining the South Tyne trail from Lintley Halt.