Trails and trials of the writer who walks
Another fine day brought an easy mile-bashing trek over the delightful Cheviot hills. Although high and affording wonderful views, the hills are more rounded and friendly than the Pennines or the Peaks. The sunlit vistas reminded me of ‘Painting by Numbers’ – smooth-edged splodges of dark brown, bright green, purple or black.
My rapid progress today was also motivated by not expecting to find any water until I’d descended the last hill into Kirk Yetholm valley, and this was indeed the case. Relief at arriving in this water-bearing valley just as the sun was scraping the hilltops turned to anxiety when I saw the burbling stream in the valley bottom was inaccessibly fenced off. I had already passed a sign ‘Kirk Yetholm 4 ½ miles’ and wondered if I should keep walking rather than camp, but darkness would surely overtake me and I hadn’t booked any accommodation anyway. Finally, perhaps 2 ½ miles from Kirk Yetholm, the fencing ended, offering a stream and a sheepfold on rough moorland hillside. I pitched up in semi-darkness and all was black about 20 minutes later.