19.5 miles – Mostly overcast, breezy
I awoke at 4:30, got up at 5:30, and left before 7:00. Condensation had soaked my sleeping bag: I was cold and damp. The landscape was yet more moorland.
After three-quarters of an hour I found a lovely, level, grassy pitch sheltered from the wind: oh that I had pushed on to find it yesterday – but you can’t know these things in advance.
My first ever experience of hiking was 42 years ago, when I was 18, on this part of the Pennine Way. I remember in what awe I held the most northerly section, and with what longing I had wanted to walk it. But my friend and I decided we weren’t sufficiently prepared, and so instead we turned east and crossed the military firing range with the red flag flying and gun shots echoing all around, I wonder whether we made the right decision!
I followed the Pennine Way south, through the great Kielder Forest, and onto another swathe of flat, boggy moorland. I pitched my tent on a solid, grassy glade, with heather and bog all around.